Factions of Yemeni society reacted sharply to critical comments by Dhahi Khalfan, the police commander in Dubai, who compared Yemenis to goats.
On Friday, Khalfan used his Twitter account to tweet that Yemenis are like “a flock of goats wrongly vaccinated by the guru of the Muslim Brotherhood (Mohammed Badee).” Recently, Khalfan similarly criticized Egyptians and newly elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. In Yemen, the Islah party represents the Muslim Brotherhood, considered the strongest political party in the Arabian Peninsula. However, Mohammed Kahtan, a leading figure in the Islah party, said negative reactions to Khalfan’s comments should be confined to Twitter.
“It is better to blame Khalfan without any insult to the United Arab Emirates as a government or to Dubai as a city, which all Arabs take pride in,” Kahtan said. “Khalfan has the right to have his say about Yemen and Yemenis. However, defaming others is unfit because he is the commander of police in Dubai.” Abdulhadi Al-Azazi, a member of the Organizing Committee of the popular youth revolution, said Gulf regimes fear the Muslim Brotherhood’s dominance in Yemen. According to him, Khalfan’s “frivolous” statements are appreciated by the Gulf regimes.
“Khalfan stands for the Arabian police that have been grown under the auspices of despotic regimes,” Al-Azazi said. “The Arab Spring came to disintegrate these regimes. The Arab Spring has paved the way for the Muslim Brotherhood.” Faris Al-Himyari, a Xinhua News Agency correspondent, said Khalfan adopts the policy of his nation and its stance toward some countries through tension-sparking declarations.
He said Khalfan’s declarations cause headaches.
“His statements have nothing to do with diplomacy, tactfulness and shrewdness,” Al-Himyari said. “It is disgusting and slanderous to depict the whole nation as goats.” Al-Himyari said the Yemeni government should not be deaf to such declarations. He said insulting Yemenis is unacceptable, and the government should mention this to the embassy of United Arab Emirates in Sana’a.
Also on Twitter, Khalfan wrote, “Veterinary clinics are like the yard in Yemen. Hey, find a solution for the qat.” “I have been to Yemen. The guide informed me about Marib civilization as an Ethiopian one,” said Khalfan.
“They have Marib dam that made an outstanding civilization in the past. Can they take advantage of this dam?” he added.
Khalfan’s tweets sparked angry reactions on Twitter in response to the “arrogant, degrading comments.” The Financial Times newspaper reported that Khalfan’s comments demonstrate fear of the reform movements in the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf states.
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