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The New Arab Staff

Dubai deputy police chief Dhahi Khalfan praises British colonialism

Dhahi Khalfan is known by many as the 'Trump of the Arab world' [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 July, 2020

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Dubai's controversial deputy police chief Dhahi Khalfan sparked an uproar on social media after he praised British colonialism.
Dubai's deputy police chief Dhahi Khalfan has sparked a social media controversy over his comments on the British empire, Arabi21 reported.

The former police chief caused an uproar when he tweeted that three Iranian islands, which the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said falls under its emirate Sharjah, are "not Emirati".

In discussing the islands, which were occupied by the United Kingdom until the 1960's, Khalfan said it was "from God's mercy to us in the Persian Gulf that we were in a period of history under the British Mandate".

"Imagine if we were without British protection, but had the misfortune of a Persian enemy with ever-expanding ambitions," he added.

Activists have said that Khalfan's comments are proof that the UAE has abandoned its claim to the islands, Arabi21 reported.

This is not the first time the former police chief has caused controversy with his tweets.

Last month, Khalfan sparked outrage after tweeting in support of normalisation with Israel, saying he would visit Tel Aviv before Qatar.

"Instead of saying the Israeli enemy... say the Israeli friend... where's the problem", the Emirati official said on Friday.

He added that refusing to recognise Israel lacks logic, saying: "Israel is a country based on knowledge, science, prosperity and close ties with all the countries of the developed world."

"Those who do not recognise a state in Israel's scientific standing, are the Jews originally from Hawaii?"

In a later tweet, Khalfan said that he is ready to visit Israel and would do so before he visits Qatar.

"I declare that I support comprehensive and lasting peace with Israel ... If peace happens with Israel and after that reconciliation with Qatar, I will go Israel and I will not visit Qatar even if they say the Kaaba is there," Khalfan tweeted, adding laughing emojis.

The Kaaba is a building at the centre of Islam's most holiest site, the Great Mosque of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is a site Muslims visit during their Hajj pilgrimage, considered a pillar of their faith.

The controversial Emirati has a reputation for calling for violence, including bombing Al Jazeera and urging Egypt to strike Qatar.

Boasting 2.8 million followers on Twitter, Khalfan has a habit of firing off almost daily angry, controversial tweets to opponents.

Khalfan is known as a key figure in the UAE regime and has been one of the most important intelligence chief's in the country. He often tweets fiery, strongly-worded messages to the Gulf state's opponents - from Iran to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Read more: Emirati polygamists 'need permits' to visit wives, says police chief

He once backed Donald Trump's so-called "
Muslim ban" in a series of Twitter messages that were aimed primarily at the Shia Muslim-majority countries - Iran and Iraq - included in the list.

Khalfan has also claimed to have seen UFOs and has tweeted a proverb about rape.

He also once described former Yemen dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh as "the manliest man" in the country.

This earned him a public rebuke from UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed whose nation was officially at war with the late Saleh and his Houthi allies.

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