by Dr. Mordechai Kedar
The United Arab Emirates consider fighting the terror organizations spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood as a crucial mission.
Mustafa Tusa is a French journalist whose family moved to France from Tunisia and who works for several French media outlets covering events in the Middle East. Tusa interviewed me about two years ago and I told him then that the emirate model is the only socio-political model capable of governing a functioning, legitimate Arab state which provides its citizens with a comfortable, orderly life. I claimed that any Middle Eastern state based on Western political constructs or European administrative paradigms would soon join the fate of Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
On October 23, 2017 Tusa published an article on the United Arab Emirates, describing how the UAE ruling coalition views fighting terror organizations spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood as a cultural mission. The struggle is not against terror attacks alone – it is also aimed at the ideas that created the fertile ground for the birth of terror organizations, ideas diametrically opposed to the tribal culture forming the basis of the Emirates' success. The obvious conclusion reached upon reading the article is that only states that take tribal codes into account are capable of dealing successfully and over the long term with the ideology of Islamic terror and remain functioning nations despite being in direct conflict with cruel organizations that operate without any of the civilized world's constraints.
The following is the translation of Musa's article, translated into Hebrew by David Pasder and then into English from the Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky. My comments are in parentheses.
The Emirates: A worthwhile model
There is only one number of value to the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, and that number is 47, representing the number of years it took to unite the Arab Emirates. During this time span, a conglomerate of diverse and hostile tribes transformed into the influential and all-powerful federation it is today, capable of being a political player, creating history and navigating events. This is not much time by any historical scale and is a source of great pride and unflagging initiatives.
United Arab Emirates leaders are confident that they created a super nation characterized by economic efficiency, political tolerance and civilized government, in a region where a plethora of social-cultural barriers paralyzed any attempt at creativity. They claim that their success is a result of a strategic choice to invest in people, in granting a new role to women, "sanctifying the life" of local togetherness (read "tribe") and gambling on successful interaction with the rest of the world.
In other locales, the use of bombastic expressions like these might be considered the shallow utterings of an overblown ego. In the UAE, they are intoned in all seriousness, based on the certainty that they act as the impetus to push their nation forward and to protect its population.
During the Gulf Straits crisis, international media tried to explain what motivated the UAE's attempts to make an appearance on all fronts – Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Egypt and Africa, and to be present at every spot where tension was perceived. UAE leaders readily explained that this multi-dimensional involvement is part of their unending struggle against terrorism. In the current crisis between the Emirates and Qatar, their only goal is the fight against terror, with their main enemy the Muslim Brotherhood organization (supported by Qatar, as well as those organizations which are its offshoots, notably Hamas).
The official policies of Abu Dhabi's leaders are quite clear. According to them, the Muslim Brotherhood, whose manifold public statements are of varied import while the organization itself preserves an aura of secrecy, spawned the political, ideological and military discourse common to all the terrorist organizations threatening world stability. The uncompromising conclusion of the Emirate leaders is that al Qaeda and ISIS, as well as Somalia's Boko Haram and a-Shabab, along with the Al Nusra front and the Abu Saif group are all "natural offspring" of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In order to fight terror, military operations are absolutely necessary, but they do not take the place of political and ideological activities. These leaders feel strongly that they must destroy the Muslim Brotherhood's maddening proclivity for creating extremist infrastructure and taking advantage of weak minds. Dr. Ali Rashid al-Nuimi, head of the Hadaya Center for the Struggle against Radicalism, is an example of a person who does not mince words. His fluent and uninhibited speech, ever clear and succinct, makes him the darling of the media as he searches for concise and enlightening explanations (for the political events sundering the space occupied by the Middle East).
For Dr. al-Nuimi, the war on terror embarked upon by the Emirates is necessary, even crucial, in order to protect the socio-political model of the UAE in the region (i.e. the tribal model): "If we do not deal with the terrorists wherever they operate, they will end up attacking us in our homes." This position explains the fact that the UAE is in direct conflict with political Islam and will all the political organizations aspiring to use religion in order to gain power and then grasp the reins of government.
Abu Dhabi believes that political Islam receives funding, protection and encouragement from the axis of evil that includes Qatar, a country that evinced intolerable empathy for the terrorist organizations and those in charge of them – and from Turkey, a country trying to return to its former power in the region by encouraging the Muslim Brotherhood organizations.
For the UAE leaders, the Muslim Brotherhood is much more dangerous than an organization like Hezbollah which has no chance of gaining a foothold in the area after what it did in Syria. According to Dr. Nuimi, "The Muslim Brotherhood is more dangerous because they enjoy the support of several western nations" (Some of the European countries and part of the US State Department see the Brothers as a positive, pleasant and well meaning organization, one that should be encouraged as an alternative to the Jihadists who belong to even more extreme organizations).
The axis which must be fought includes Iran as well. Iran takes advantage of the economic situation to fan the flames of tribal hostilities and create massive confusion that allows it to encourage the most extreme terrorist movements. Dr. Ali Rashid al-Nuimi takes pains to remind those with weak memories that "when Saddam Hussein fell in Iraq, Iran came in to light the flame of religion so as to sow hatred between Sunnis and Shiites, something that had never existed in that country."
This approach also explains why the UAE hurried to bless the important political turnabout that US President Donald Trump effected with regard to American policy vis a vis Iran, this by placing the Iranian regime in the center of the evil circle threatening international stability and peace.
So ends Mr. Tusa's article. It portray the cultural element in tribal social fabric as a necessary condition for waging an ideological war against terror and the countries encouraging it, such as Qatar. If fact, since most of the Middle East is Muslim, many people – especially the young, whose picture of the world is not yet formed – may be blinded by the sparkling Islamic mantras of terror propagandists. In order to meet this challenge, those who suffer from terror, with Muslims being the most affected, must present a cultural, political and social alternative for those lost young adults, and the most veteran alternative, most stable and efficient is the tribal alternative, which offers a warm and embracing family framework, guarding hi from entrapment in the net of Jihadist organizations.
The UAE is the political expression of the familiar, accepted and legitimate basic social construct known to the entire Middle East, the Emirate Concept. It is applicable to almost every Arab society (minus Egypt and Tunisia) and must be part of the basis for solving the Israel-Palestinian problem, i.e. the Palestinian Emirate solution. As the middle eastern modern state, built on pseudo-western foundations, turns into a story of failure, here is no other option except turning to t he success story in our region and establishing the eight Palestinian Emirates that have every possibility of being stable, organized, legitimate and peace loving, exactly like the UAE in the Persian Gulf.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.
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