Abdul Rahman al-Suwaidi is a former Emirati Islamist leader. Repentant, he delivers here a relentless testimony about the 35 years he spent in the hell of the Muslim Brotherhood. In front of our cameras, he reveals, in a series of uncompromising interviews, the Brotherhood’s best kept secrets, unmasks his double discourse and reveals the hearing of his hidden tentacles implanted throughout the world…Interview By Atmane Tazaghart
– Tell us about your childhood. In what social environment did you grow up and how did you manage to secretly join the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood?
– My name is Abdul Rahman Bin Khalifa Bin Sobeih Al-Suwaidi. I was born in Dubai in 1964, more precisely at Al-Maktoum Hospital, one of the very first hospitals in Dubai. I am native of the Fareej Al Murar region. In the 60s Our lifestyle in Dubai was very simple and peaceful. Neighbors were like a family and kids used to go together to school.
In high school, I started to get very interested in maths. It kept my brain very busy. I think that I inherited this from my parents and grandparents, may their souls rest peace. They were working on sailing boats and used to sail a lot. Astronomical calculation and stargazing were part of their lives constantly. When I was young, I also used to travel with them.
My interest in maths started early. That is why some “spheres” became attractive for me. When man is allowed to live his life in its natural spontaneity, and is free to express his natural inclinations, he will for sure show interest in specific areas. But, when you are under influence of external parties who believe that their own opinion and advice are authoritative, he will inevitably change.
Even when a person receives advice from his father, mother, friends or his entourage, he still remains free to make his own choice. But when advice come from doctors, academics and other high-ranking personalities in society, their opinions are not questionable, they are taken as such, even if you have to give up your own hobbies, ambitions and personal interests.
That’s how changes have occurred in my life. My dream to pursue studies in mathematics and the scientific field turned into an interest in the social field. This is the result of my presence in this domain whose ideas are different from those conveyed in my previous one. This environment [The Muslim Brotherhood] has changed a lot of things in my life. I put mathematics and the scientific field aside, and my interest was focused on the social field and on other aspects related to my new domain.
– Why such a change?
Targeting a recruit is one thing, the following is something else. We always want our group to be the best, to build an elite group. This can be achieved in two ways: either by targeting brilliant recruits, or by enhancing the capacities of existing potential in the group.
These two approaches are constantly in force within the Muslim Brotherhood Organization in the Emirates. Targeting, attracting and selecting the elite is a constant line of conduct. In addition, training and capacity building of existing potential are conducted according to modes that are specific to the Organization.
At first contact they explain you that thanks to God you are skilled at mathematics, that you are this or that and that your potential interests the Organization. For example, I was introduced to the former Minister of Education. I was also given the chance to submit my modest research and contributions to the University of the Emirates. They have been reviewed by academics and I have even received a feed-back report on them. Imagine I was just 16 years old and I met a minister and received an attention of such magnitude! A young man of this age will simply be snapped up.
Stimulating him in this way makes him blind and impairs his judgment, what makes him follow others without any questions being asked.
Once the step is taken and you have joined the group, things change and priorities also. That means you will have to preach (Da’wa). As you have been targeted yourself, you must also target new recruits. You have received attention, so you must show similar attention for new recruits, in the interests of the Organization. You have received attention, so you must show similar attention for new recruits, in the interests of the Organization.
In the same way that you yourself have been supervised, you in turn must supervise new recruits. So from interest in maths I switched to targeting recruits. How to attract young people of my generation? How to direct them to such group or association. These were my new concerns.
Maths were used at first as a subterfuge by the Organization. But in reality, the latter does not have a particular interest in maths or in capacity building of future recruits in this field. But to attract the recruit and create a complicity with him, the Organization had to pretend to be interested in maths
The targeting phase was followed by an initiation phase, during which I met new persons who became friends. I met important personalities, academics and some opinion leaders and preachers These are the ones who advised the 16- or 17-years old youngster that I was.
Who diverted him to other areas and experiences, who asked him to take example on so-and-so.
This is how my interest in the scientific field began to decline and that I found myself engaged in a new fight. It is important to distinguish between the various phases. At the beginning, you are a recruit targeted by them. Targeting phase has one goal: get the future recruit to join the group and sympathize with it, so as to contribute, a posteriori, to its activities.
All the youngsters of this age are looking for opportunities to release their energies. In those days, there were not many opportunities and the Al-Islah organization which offered a lot. Al-Islah was the facade of the Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Emirates. So, when an opportunity is offered to a youngster, he is attracted inevitably, especially if around him there is not much to do.
His change will take place over time. It is gradual. The new recruit becomes aware of the unconfessed objectives a long time after, once it becomes mature
It takes 5 or even 6 years to realize who we are, and who are those around us. To realize that the panel “Association for Reform and Social Orientation” (Al-Islah) on the front door overlooking the main street hides doubtful things
It’s in the 1st year at the university that I realized the situation. From initiation phase to the beginning of activism, it took 4 years in my case. During the 4 years, I was very active and I quickly took several steps. Compared to my peers of the same age, I was a model in terms of rapid progression. Because it usually takes 6 to 7 years
During the first two-year-initiation phase the future recruit is admitted as a simple listener. The future recruit is treated as an object that passes through several hands. There are those who carry him by car, those who accompany him by bus, those who provide him with explanations, those who train him, tell him what to do and not to do, etc. The future recruit is required to be present, participate and enjoy the programs no more, no less
Then, during the next 2 years of the same phase some small responsibilities are assigned to the future recruit. The recruit obtains her driving license for example, so he can be asked to pick up, by car, some members of the group on his way. If a conference is scheduled somewhere, the recruit has to drive the lecturer. The new recruit may be requested to lead the group on its way to the venue, not the whole group, only 5 or 6 members can be placed under his direction or responsibility. It’s a way of training future recruits for leadership.
The transition from the initiation phase to that of activism does not obey specific rules or indicators. It is rather at the discretion of the branch or sub-region of the Organization. They are the ones who give their opinion about the future recruit, about your involvement. The latter can make big leaps forward or stagnate for a long time.
The Organization sometimes assigns new tasks to future recruits just to observe their reactions. Some recruits assimilate and progress quickly. There is no precise rule, as I said earlier, it can take 4 years for some and 7 years for others.
Crucial matters intervene at the moment of Al Bay’a (pledging allegiance). It is the moment of disclosure and transparency. It is at this moment that the future recruit is informed that this is the Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. All of a sudden the ordinary and natural tasks that were assigned to the recruits are transformed into commitment and this commitment implies specific provisions.