Emirati citizens are being urged not to wear national dress outside the United Arab Emirates (UAE) region, days after businessman Ahmed al-Menhali was detained in the US.
Ahmed al-Menhali was detained while wearing traditional robes in a hotel in Avon, Ohio.
According to local media, a hotel employee feared he was pledging allegiance to ISIS.
The UAE’s ministry of interior issued advice on July 2 urging citizens to be careful about what they wear abroad.
UAE nationals should avoid wearing traditional costume “to preserve their safety”, the ministry said without referencing the Ohio incident.
Ohio broadcaster WEWS reported that police received a call from the sister of a hotel clerk who had said there was a man “in full headdress with multiple disposable phones pledging his allegiance to ISIS”.
Police later received a call from the employee’s father alleging the same thing.
A video of Ahmed al-Menhali’s arrest, filmed by police, was published by WEWS on July 1.
The footage shows armed police approaching him outside a hotel and forcing him to lie on the floor, before searching him.
Ahmed al-Menhali, who is wearing white robes, the ghutra headdress and the agal – cords to hold the headdress in place – is heard repeatedly asking why police had stopped him.
“They were brutal with me,” he told the UAE newspaper The National.
“They pressed forcefully on my back. I had several injuries and bled from the forceful nature of their arrest.”
Avon’s mayor and police chief have since apologized to Ahmed al-Menhali, who was recovering in Ohio after treatment following a stroke.
After meeting him, Muslim community leaders invited the officials to break fast with them as part of the holy month of Ramadan.
The UAE ministry of interior warning was distributed on July 2. A day later, the ministry also issued travel advice to Emirati citizens, urging them to respect bans of the full-face veil where they are in place.
The note also urges people “to take caution while abroad due to the security developments in some European countries, triggered by the unfolding unrest in the Middle East region, and their fallout, especially the refugee crisis”.
The UAE recently postponed their participation in airstrikes in December after concerns about their pilots’ safety while flying. Leaders in the UAE were worried that the plans to rescue captured personnel, if necessary, were insufficient.
However, the UAE decided to reinstate its airstrike mission, and UAE F-16s station in Jordan recently took part in attacks. Due to the collaboration between the Iraqi and Syrian governments, as well as the aid provided by the UAE and some US-led missions, some territory has been regained from ISIS. However, although some success has been made against the terrorist group, ISIS continues to make their own strides.
The History of ISIS
ISIS started as ISI in 1999. In 2013, it announced its merger with al-Nusra Front, and the group has been using extreme force to take over cities in both Iraq and Syria. The ISIS extremist group took over Iraq and Syria last year. Since then, the group has murdered a good number of foreigners. Right now, ISIS has nearly 20,000 members, and thanks to continuous recruitment efforts by the group, more and more people continue to flock from different parts of the world in order to join the terrorist group, including Americans. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Syrians have fled the areas that are now controlled by ISIS in order to preserve their safety. ISIS has been known to execute natives in the cities they take over for no reason.
Recent ISIS Victories
Even with airstrikes in place and minimal success efforts, ISIS is continuing to further their endeavors. In early May, ISIS seized control of Ramadi as the government decided to pull back forces. Militants detonated multiple car bombs, and the Iraqi security forces were forced to retreat, giving ISIS access to take full control. Officials in Ramadi have reportedly warned against ISIS’s advances and have asked for more backup regarding airstrikes, yet ISIS was still able to overcome the city.
Along with Ramadi, the ISIS fighters have also recently took control of Palmyra, a desert city in central Syria. The reason this is a big win for ISIS is due to the city’s gas fields and network of roads that connect it across the country’s central dessert. This will allow ISIS to have an easier way to perform illegal trafficking, as well as easier access to other major cities in Syria. While many residents have fled the town, it’s been reported that thousands of residents have been executed, although ISIS claims to restore power and healthcare within the next few days to those residents who have stayed behind.
Both the Iraqi and Syrian governments are working toward overtaking the ISIS group, although both claim that efforts will be time-consuming. Both countries are working together, as well as with US-led teams, in order to take back their countries.
About the UAE
The United Arab Emirates is a country located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is made up of seven emirates, including Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Rulers of the emirates, including Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi of Ras al-Khaimah, demonstrate the Pro Western stance of the United States, its allies, and moderate Muslim countries around the world.
Three Gulf countries have withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar amid accusations that it has meddled in internal affairs.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, which are all part of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) along with Qatar, made the joint statement on Wednesday.
The statement claims that Qatar failed to commit to an agreement it signed three months ago in Riyadh.
Tensions between Qatar and the rest of the GCC have increased in recent years.
The joint statement said that during a meeting on Monday in Riyadh, the three countries had made “major efforts to convince Qatar” to implement a 2013 GCC agreement on joint security.
The recall of the ambassadors was therefore necessary to ensure “security and stability”.
Three Gulf countries have withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar amid accusations that it has meddled in internal affairs
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have been calling for increased military and diplomatic union within the six-member GCC, which also includes Qatar, Omar and Kuwait.
However, Qatar and Oman have so far resisted increased integration in these fields.
The incident is one of the most serious disagreements within the GCC in recent times.
Oil and gas-rich Qatar has been an increasingly vocal diplomatic player. It strongly supported Egypt’s now-ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and is a key backer of rebels in Syria.
Qatar is home to the influential al-Jazeera news network, which broadcasts across the world and has been critical of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
The state is seen as a major financial and diplomatic supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
On Monday, a Qatari citizen received a seven-year jail sentence in the UAE for supporting a group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s new government, which is backed by Saudi Arabia, has charged nine al-Jazeera journalists of aiding a terrorist organization, as it now brands the Muslim Brotherhood, and has put them on trial.