Published On: Tue, Aug 4th, 2015

UAE has no room for extremist ideology

A group of 41 suspects have been charged with setting up a terrorist organisation, plotting to overthrow the government of the UAE and planning to set up a Daesh (self-proclaimed state of Iraq and the Levant)-style ‘caliphate state’. The group includes Emiratis and other nationalities and, according to the official charges, they went as far as procuring firearms, ammunition and explosives using funds they collected — and had communications with foreign terrorists.

This group has been ordered to stand trial and, as with all who are accused in the courts of the UAE, are innocent until proven guilty. But rest assured, the trial will be transparent and the accused will be afforded every legal opportunity to defend themselves. Why? Because the UAE is a nation based on the founding principles of peace, justice, equality and tolerance. Such is the nature of a caliphate that these defendants allegedly plotted to create — and the evidence from Daesh-held areas across Syria, Iraq and Libya clearly demonstrate — justice is delivered by means of beheading, torture and brutal executions at the whim of individuals deluded by power.

The group is to be tried under a federal law enacted last year to combat terrorism and, if convicted, the 41 accused face penalties ranging from capital punishment, life imprisonment and fines of up to Dh100 million.

What needs to be remembered too is that right now, the men and women wearing the uniforms of the UAE armed forces are actively engaged in striking back at those who have wrought violence and extremism by the philosophy allegedly espoused by this group of 41 defendants. If indeed the allegations against this group are proven in the courts of law in the UAE to be true, their alleged actions are all the more unacceptable, repugnant and treasonous.

Like all peace-loving nations engaged actively in the fight against terrorists and extremism anywhere around the world, the UAE has no time, tolerance nor truck with those who seek to spread hatred, division and violence — be it across the region, across the Gulf or within the nation itself.