UAE tells citizens to avoid national dress in West after man held in US

  • AFP, Dubai
  • Updated: Jul 04, 2016 10:43 IST
An Emirati man looks at fruits and vegetables at a market during the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan in the Gulf emirate of Dubai. (AFP)

The United Arab Emirates has advised its citizens to avoid wearing traditional Arab clothing in Western countries after US police “brutally” detained an Emirati businessman suspected of being a jihadist.

The 41-year-old, visiting the United States for medical treatment, was wearing a white robe and Arab headdress Wednesday when he was arrested at a hotel in Cleveland, Ohio after an employee suspected he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group, apparently in a phone call.

A video of the incident, posted on Youtube, shows several policemen armed with rifles take down Ahmed al-Menhali, and then handcuff and search him.

“They were brutal with me. They pressed forcefully on my back. I had several injuries and bled from the forceful nature of their arrest,” Menhali said, quoted in The National daily.

The Emirati foreign ministry, in a statement posted on Twitter, urged citizens “not to wear the national dress during their travel, especially in public areas, to ensure their own safety”.

After confirming that Menhali posed no danger, the policemen let go of the Emirati man, who said he collapsed and needed treatment in hospital.

Menhali had been in the United States since April for treatment after a brain stroke suffered last year, said Emarat Al-Youm, another UAE daily.

Anti-Muslim incidents have spiked in the United States on the back of deadly IS attacks in the West that prompted presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

also read

France, Britain bicker over treatment of migrant children in Calais
Show comments