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Published on : Monday, July 4, 2016
The United Arab Emirates Foreign Ministry has urged its citizens to avoid wearing the traditional white robes, headscarf and headband while travelling abroad after a businessman visiting the US state of Ohio was mistakenly held as an Islamic State suspect.
Posting a tweet on Saturday, the ministry advised Emirati people not to wear traditional garments abroad and also requested women to follow the rules and bans on veils in European countries.
41-year-old Ahmed Al Menhali, a businessman from Abu Dhabi, was talking on the phone in Arabic outside a hotel when five police officers carrying guns began shouting at him to get on the ground. In fact, a footage showed that Mr Al Menhali was shouting in panic saying he was a tourist as he was surrounded by the policemen.
Police searched him, threw his phone on the ground and removed his shoes while he was handcuffed. An officer can be seen going through his wallet, allowing cards and photos to blow away in the wind.
Mr Al Menhali was released immediately after Police realised their mistake. But he collapsed on to the ground and had to be hospitalised as he previously had a stroke. He had been in the US for medical reasons.
A similar incident happened when the sister of a woman working as a hotel clerk at Fairfield Inn and Suites in Avon called officers at 911. She feared and called that a man in the lobby was “in full head dress with multiple disposable phones pledging his allegiance to Isis”. The clerk’s father had also called and requested police come to the hotel. Police later interviewed the hotel clerk, and found that there had been no mention of Isis.