Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90
PA Arabs protesting in support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Ramallah, August 23, 2013.

A court in the United Arab Emirates has postponed the hearings for several individuals accused of membership in the Muslim Brotherhood who are also facing charges related to terrorism, WAM, the Emirates News Agency reported on Friday.

The decision to adjourn followed a session at the Abu Dhabi Appeal Court on Thursday, during which evidence regarding money laundering allegations involving five suspects and the six companies under their management was presented by prosecution witnesses.


The rescheduled hearings are set for February 7 and 8.

The Muslim Brotherhood in the United Arab Emirates is known as al-Islah or the Association for Reform and Guidance. Established in 1974, three years after the UAE’s independence from Britain, al-Islah expanded throughout the 1980s when its members received prominent government positions in the education and justice sectors. But in 2012, reports began to emerge about the group’s ties with the Muslim Brotherhood in other countries, which endowed the UAE group with close to $3 million.

Like the Brotherhood, Al-Islah’s leaders promote stricter religious laws, particularly regarding students and women.

The UAE designated al-Islah as a terrorist organization under Federal Law No. 7, issued by the President, his Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on November 15, 2014.

Tharwat Al Kherbawi, a former member of the Egyptian Brotherhood and a prolific author on the movement, claims that Emirati members of the Muslim Brotherhood undergo a proxy allegiance ceremony. In this process, these members pledge loyalty to a veteran leader in the UAE, who, in turn, swears allegiance to the Supreme Guide in Cairo. Al Kherbawi asserts that individuals are recruited into al-Islah, an affiliated group, as early as high school and college.

In 1994, the UAE disbanded al-Islah after the Egyptian government complained that the group had provided financial support to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization. Almost a decade later, in 2003, UAE authorities held discussions with the al-Islah’s leadership, urging them to either renounce their Islamist ideology or, if remaining affiliated with the Brotherhood, cease activities in the education sector. However, no agreement was reached during this engagement.

In 2013, the UAE conducted a mass trial of 94 lawyers, students, and teachers accused of membership in the Brotherhood and anti-government activities.

Last week, the UAE’s attorney general ordered 84 people to be tried for membership in the Muslim Brotherhood. The UAE AG Hamad al-Shamsi said they are being tried for “establishing another secret organization to commit acts of violence and terrorism on state territory.”

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