موقع إخباري يهتم بفضائح و انتهاكات دولة الامارات

Taqueen Foundation: Intensifying UAE’s Hostility towards Arab and Islamic Principles


The UAE’s recent launch of the “Taqueen Foundation” represents yet another effort to entangle Abu Dhabi in a potential cycle of failure and to provoke the Arab world with a precarious rhetoric that undermines the state’s established policies.

The UAE promoted that the Taqueen Foundation, which was launched in Egypt, aims to “ask questions about intellectual assumptions, engage in dialogue, and reconsider gaps.”

The organization swiftly sparked significant debate regarding its objectives, particularly with the involvement of Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb from Al-Azhar, along with inquiries about its backers and funding sources. These concerns were emphasized in an investigation by the opposition website (uae71).

While certain individuals are listed on the Board of Trustees, the identity of the president, executive director, and other key figures, including religious scholars and experts in Islamic thought, remains undisclosed.

As a result, the leadership of the ” Taqueen Foundation” remains unknown, with its official website failing to disclose its funding sources or budget size. However, it does list certain members of its board of trustees, who are perceived as extremists echoing Abu Dhabi’s tendency to view anything deemed “Islamic” as a potential menace.

The website lacks clarity on its executive leadership, merely displaying members of the Board of Trustees. Notably, controversial media figure “Ibrahim Issa” leads them, facing multiple accusations of showing contempt for Islam and questioning its principles, including incidents in 2022 and 2023.

Similarly, author Islam Al-Behairi was found guilty in 2015 of disrespecting the Islamic faith and received a one-year prison sentence. Likewise, writer Youssef Zidan faced akin accusations in 2013 regarding the Christian religion, as well as other charges of disdain towards divine religions and advocacy for extremist ideologies.

The Taqueen Foundation is acknowledged for uniting “Al-Buhairi” and “Zaydane” despite their conflicts and mutual accusations. Each of them claims credit for challenging the Prophet’s hadiths and the leaders of the four sects. In 2015, Al-Buhairi even derogatorily referred to Zidane as “Yusriya Zidane” in an attempt to belittle him, while simultaneously expressing contempt for Arab women as a whole.

The website of the foundation also mentions another member of the board of trustees, Firas Al-Sawah from Syria, who holds extremist views asserting that “the present form of Islam fosters extremism.”

The Taqueen Foundation claims to pursue “Arab enlightenment.” However, the term “enlightenment” must be questioned; it cannot be bestowed upon program hosts and figures in the media who have dedicated themselves to endorsing military coups and committing atrocities against humanity.

Although Taqueen’s website did not reveal the funding sources, equivocal statements by writers in the organization indicate that the funding is coming from Abu Dhabi Moreover, the foundation’s vision and objectives appear consistent with the goals of Abu Dhabi-supported institutions over the past decade, which emphasize the “rejuvenation of religious discourse,” adaptation to modern developments, and the counteraction of extremism.

The Emirati-backed “Hedayah” Center, serving Abu Dhabi’s interests in the Western sphere, serves as a notable comparison. Similar to the “Hedayah Center,” the “Taqueen ” Foundation relies on extremist figures. These entities both enlist personnel and researchers with right-wing leanings, known for their antagonism towards Muslims and Islamic establishments. Notable individuals in this regard include “Lorenzo Vidino,” “Sarah Brzoskiewicz,” and “Magnus Norell.”

It also emphasizes the ” Taqueen Foundation’s” objectives of targeting “Islamists and Islam” within a network encompassing various specialties and interests aligned with Abu Dhabi’s agendas and aspirations, aimed at countering its adversaries. This network includes entities like “Sawab,” the “European Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Centre,” and the “European Eye on Radicalisation” platform.

Abu Dhabi has been setting up parallel institutions for over ten years, to shape moderate Islamic discourse. Through these institutions, it seeks to redefine Islamic discourse in line with its foreign policy objectives, including normalization with the Israeli occupation and the promotion of the so-called “Abrahamic religion.” Thus, it comes as no surprise that none of the presentations at the inaugural conference of ” Taqueen ” addressed the genocide inflicted upon the people of Gaza by the Zionist enemy along the Egypt border.

The Al-Azhar Sheikhdom is widely regarded as the foremost institution tasked with revitalizing religious discourse, not just within Egypt, but across much of the Arab world and Africa.

The leading religious institution in Egypt, Al-Azhar, expressed skepticism towards the establishment of the ” Taqueen ” Center and its conference. Numerous scholars from Al-Azhar criticized the center, labeling it as the initial concerted public endeavor aimed at challenging the fundamentals of Islam. They asserted that the center seeks to promote atheism, skepticism, and rejection of the Prophet’s teachings among Muslims under the guise of enlightenment, tolerance, and free thinking.

Dr. Abbas Shoman, Secretary-General of the Council of Senior Scholars at Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, overseeing advisory opinions, responded to the launch of a new organization targeting Islamic principles by stating, “We will take appropriate action once we ascertain the facts.”

Shoman posted on his Facebook page: “The General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars is actively investigating reports about the creation of an entity aimed at undermining the fundamental principles of religion and the moral and cultural values of our nation. Appropriate action will be taken once the truth is established.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Ali Muhammad Al-Azhari, a faculty member in the Department of Doctrine and Philosophy at Al-Azhar University’s Faculty of Fundamentals of Religion, remarked, “The training center comprises individuals who challenge the Sunnah and doctrine, and it is imperative for the esteemed Al-Azhar Al-Sharif Foundation to address this significant concern.”

Dr. Al-Azhari draws a link between the Taqueen Center and the influence it exerts on Al-Azhar students, stating, “I have observed a segment of Al-Azhar students, as well as those from scientific and modern institutions, who are inclined towards such ideologies.”

He further expressed, “Al-Azhar bears a contemporary responsibility, and those in authority must reevaluate the educational curriculum, particularly regarding doctrine, ideologies, and the uncertainties surrounding faith.”

Over the last ten years, Abu Dhabi has founded numerous centers and organizations akin to the ” Taqueen ” Foundation, hosting significant conferences both within and beyond the UAE, with tens of millions of dollars allocated to achieve objectives mirroring those of the Egyptian Taqween Foundation.

However, these institutions and organizations faced challenges in reaching out to the public, leading to a widening gap over time. This was largely due to their dismissal of alternative ideas and movements, often labeling them as terrorists or inferior, and their politicized interpretation of Islamic heritage, which consistently fostered division among their audiences.

The ” Taqueen Foundation” follows in the footsteps of previous Abu Dhabi-established institutions, employing a method that is deliberately shocking, provocative, and alienating to the public. It exhibits hostility towards political Islam movements and overlooks other critical issues such as freedom, justice, democracy, political participation, and key Islamic and Arab nationalist causes like the Palestinian issue.