The UAE protests the arrest of an Emirati businessman after he was tackled to the ground in Ohio and detained as a member of ISIS.
In response, the UAE has sent a senior American diplomat to investigate and protest against the arrest of the UAE man. The UAE is calling the Ohio police forces’ treatment of the man, suspected to be a member of the terror group ISIS, abusive.
According to Al-Jazeera, The UAE has tasked senior embassy members to ensure the treatment of the “ISIS suspect,” Ahmed al-Menhali, is proper. This includes a medical checkup after being brutally handled in the U.S.
The UAE man, al-Menhali, was arrested in a Cleveland hotel.
The UAE’s foreign ministry demanded clarifications over the detention of al-Menhali. The UAE has expressed their discontent greatly during their protest.
Al-Menhali was spotted wearing a white robe and Arab headdress as he was taken down by police armed with rifles.
After being viciously apprehended and searched, despite already having dropped to the ground before police made contact, al-Menhali explained that he was a staying at the hotel on business before having a stroke and passing out.
After the police were certain that the UAE businessman was not a member of ISIS, they let him go.
What sparked the UAE man’s arrest and subsequent protest may have been the combination of his traditional Arab clothing and the business conversation he was having at the hotel.
It was enough to get one non-Arabic-speaking hotel employee’s attention, as she suspected that Menhali was pledging allegiance to ISIS over the phone in Arabic.
Al-Menhali told Al Jazeera the situation, as he understood it.
“She went off and texted her sister and said I pledged my allegiance to ISIS.”
Al-Menhali protests that he said nothing about weapons or ISIS, but that’s how the police were responding. As the UAE protests the arrest, Menhali may be pressing charges regardless.
“We are consulting with lawyers and will decide where to go from there.”
The UAE foreign ministry also protested the arrest saying that it “defamed a UAE national.”
U.S. embassy deputy chief of mission Ethan Goldrich, apologized for the incident. He pledged to UAE protesters of the arrest, that the embassy will put pressure on authorities to clarify the excessive take down of the innocent UAE man.
In protest, the UAE foreign ministry posted a statement on Twitter strongly urging citizens “not to wear the national dress during travel, especially in public areas, to ensure their own safety.”
The executive director of the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Julia Shearson, adamantly apologized for the incident claiming that the UAE business man was “100 percent blameless.”
“They told him that he was 100 percent blameless in this matter, and that the incident absolutely should never have happened.”
Meanwhile, the UAE embassy has been in touch with al-Menhali and his family amid the protest of his arrest. Cleveland Mayor Jensen and Avon’s Police Chief also met with al-Menhali to apologize for the incident.
Shearson claimed that the Cleveland police chief also stated that he would welcome cultural training about Islam and Muslims to limit profiling in law enforcement.
The hotel employee who accused the UAE man of pledging allegiance to ISIS has yet to be held accountable for making such false allegations against him.
Twitter has responded by starting the hashtag #firealexis
This incident is just the latest in the recent spike of violence against Muslims. According to CBS News there has been a noticeable uptick of attacks on mosques for instance.
What do you think of the UAE man being arrested and the ensuing protest?
[Photo via YouTube]