The UK, an extremist’s Utopia?

As shocking as this may sound, the evidence is piling-up that Britain is a safe haven for Islamist organisations

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor

Published: Updated:

As shocking as this may sound, the evidence is piling-up that Britain is a safe haven for Islamist organisations to the detriment of its friends in the Middle East. Until 2010, it played host to al-Muhajiroon organisation which has now morphed into several different names. Al-Muhajiroon former leader, radical cleric Anjem Choudary, was free to recruit militants to ISIS until very recently when he was arrested and for some unknown reason allowed bail. It’s not a random fact that 2,000 British Muslims have joined ISIS ranks, including the man dubbed “Jihadi John” seen on a series of videos decapitating Americans and Britons.

Moreover, several state-run schools in Bradford have been exposed as pursuing aggressive Islamist agenda by education inspectors and put under special measures while media reports about schools in Tower Hamlets council in London, where black ISIS flags have been seen fluttering, mentioned the possible Islamification of one school.

It’s common knowledge that the Muslim Brotherhood – branded as a terrorist organization by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates –establish a hub above a kebab shop in north London, where they are endeavoring to regroup now that the welcome sign has been removed from the doors of Egypt and Qatar.

As an Emirati and a proud Arab, who considers the UK as my second home, I cannot possibly condone the current political climate in Britain that undermines its Arab friends

Khalaf Ahmad al-Habtoor

Clearly, the Brotherhood feels right at home in Great Britain, where they can cynically manipulate its time-honored laws, fine-tuned over centuries, and disseminate misleading propaganda to the world. The Brotherhood and associated cover organizations know how to play the system and milk this open, tolerant and politically-correct society to their benefit. While it’s true that the Government launched an enquiry into the Brotherhood’s activities, its findings have yet to be officially announced; perhaps because the Muslim Brotherhood may have threatened that if branded as terrorist in Britain, attacks on Britain would follow.

Two Muslim organizations – The Muslim Association of Great Britain and The Cordoba Foundation –whose names appeared on the UAE’s recently published terrorist list have reportedly hinted that they plan to take action for the apparent tarnishing of their reputation.

Threats or idle rants?

A week ago, I would have laughed off those threats as idle rants. But the British legal system, one that I’ve respected for all of my adult life for being one of the fairest on the planet – and still do - is governed by the letter of law and is not influenced by political considerations.

However, according to the The Middle East Eye, a UK based rag with alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood, a British High Court has reportedly given the police the go-ahead to investigate Egyptian cabinet members for international crimes and torture while they are still in office in response to a petition lodged by the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. Can this really be the case, when President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has been invited to London for a state visit and was recently feted by the presidents of Italy and France, not to mention Pope Francis?

If so, this alleged High Court ruling, made under the little-used principle of Universal Jurisdiction, will be viewed by the Brotherhood as empowering and will be seen by Egypt’s Arab allies as not only a grave insult but also as setting a precedent that can negatively affect other countries fighting to preserve their soil against infection by radical ideologies.

When it’s an indisputable fact that the UK’s judicial system is independent, what’s preventing disgruntled Iraqis and Afghans from suing Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his cabinet for the bombing and torturing and conspiring with the US to illegally render terrorist suspects to Guantanamo? Blair isn’t under investigation. He’s been inundated with high positions, awards and advisory roles on company boards.

Furthermore, members of the murderous Syrian regime are free to travel around the world without a care. Why isn’t the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan being brought to justice for slaughtering Kurds and hosting Islamic State fighters?

David Cameron was upset that the failed Muslim Brotherhood president was sent packing from day one. He’s since been calling upon the Egyptian government to reconcile with this terror group that murders security forces, burns churches plants bombs on train tracks and coats bridges with oil to create car accidents. He even sought to punish Cairo for its anti-Brotherhood stance by suspending certain export licenses.

My message is this

My message to Mr. Cameron is this: “You must stop appeasing extremists, especially when your friends in the Middle East and the Gulf are battling the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Ansar Beit-al-Maqdis and Muslim Brotherhood traitors who have allegiance to no country. Furthermore, you have no right to interfere in the affairs of Egypt, an Arab country in turmoil, endeavouring to set its house in order. You are wrong to play host to terrorists working to crush a sovereign state integral to our Arab nation. You should respect the will of the Egyptian people and their elected leadership struggling to bring order out of chaos.”

The same goes for a certain section of the UK media that’s falsely claimed that the results of last year’s presidential elections were faked when a poll published in September showed that el-Sisi enjoys an approval rating of 82 percent. Indeed, The Middle East Eye article claims that Mohamed Morsi is the “only democratically-elected Egyptian president” although President el-Sisi received millions more votes than the criminal on trial for colluding with foreign governments and conspiring with Hamas and Hezbollah to get himself and his cohorts out of jail. Why do the British government and a section of the UK media insist on disrespecting the will of the majority preferring to champion a small, violently extremist minority?

As an Emirati and a proud Arab, who considers the UK as my second home, I cannot possibly condone the current political climate in Britain that undermines its Arab friends while nurturing terrorist-breeding groups that are a danger to this region .In the long term, that will boomerang against the British people themselves.


Khalaf Ahmad al-Habtoor is a prominent UAE businessman and public figure. He is Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group - one of the most successful conglomerates in the Gulf. Al Habtoor is renowned for his knowledge and views on international political affairs; his philanthropic activity; his efforts to promote peace; and the has long acted as an unofficial ambassador for his country abroad. Writing extensively on both local and international politics, he publishes regular articles in the media and has released a number of books. Al-Habtoor began his career as an employee of a local UAE construction firm and in 1970 established his own company, Al Habtoor Engineering. The UAE Federation, which united the seven emirates under the one flag for the first time, was founded in 1971 and this inspired him to undertake a series of innovative construction projects – all of which proved highly successful.

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