‘I Told You So’: Prophetic Warning Of Arab Leader Resurfaces After 7 Years Amid US Campus Turmoil | WATCH

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (File Photo). Students and pro-Palestinian supporters occupy a plaza at New York University (NYU) campus on April 26, 2024. (Reuters)

In 2017, bin Zayed issued a stark caution about the consequences of neglecting to confront and counter extremist elements transplanted from the Middle East into Europe

Amid a surge of pro-Palestinian demonstrations roiling US campuses and spilling over into Europe, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed drew attention to his 2017 prophetic warning regarding the perils of complacency of Western countries towards extremism.

In a reposted video clip from a 2017 interview, bin Zayed warned about the consequences of neglecting to confront and counter extremist elements in Europe. He forewarned that such negligence would foster an environment conducive to the proliferation of radicalism and even terrorism within Europe and the broader Western sphere. The clip shared with the caption “I told you so,” resurfaced as pro-Palestinian protests intensified on US campuses.

‘He Knows What He’s Talking About’

During a panel discussion at the Tweeps forum in 2017, bin Zayed underscored the urgency of addressing extremist migration to Europe. During the Arabic-speaking panel, bin Zayed cautioned that Europe could witness a surge in radical extremism due to indecision, political correctness, or a misguided sense of expertise on Middle Eastern and Islamic affairs.

Zayed’s warning

The resurfacing of bin Zayed’s warning gained momentum after billionaire Elon Musk, owner of the social media platform X, shared the video, endorsing bin Zayed’s insight. Musk’s endorsement amplified the reach of bin Zayed’s remarks, garnering millions of views, likes, and shares across social media platforms. The resurgence of bin Zayed’s message coincides with a wave of pro-Palestinian protests on US campuses.

Demonstrators at prominent universities, including Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, and Boston University, have displayed solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Tensions rose Monday at Columbia University, the epicenter of pro-Palestinian protests across US campuses, with college authorities and student demonstrators in open conflict after negotiations broke down.

Hundreds Arrested

Across the United States, police arrested around 275 people on four separate campuses over the weekend, with the White House calling on the growing protests in recent weeks to remain peaceful. Columbia University, which said many Jewish students have left its campus, on Monday demanded that the protestors’ encampment must be cleared, and added that Columbia would not divest financial holdings linked to Israel — a key demand of demonstrators.

Students pushed back, vowing to defend their camp on the New York institution’s main lawn, despite the threat of suspensions and disciplinary action from the college. Protests against the Gaza war, with its high civilian death toll among Palestinian civilians, have posed a challenge to university administrators trying to balance free speech rights with complaints that the rallies have veered into anti-Semitism and threats of violence.


Hamas’ bloody October 7 assault on southern Israel and the devastating Israeli response have stoked existing rancour over the Middle East conflict between two diametrically opposed camps in Europe. European authorities are clamping down on pro-Palestinian protests, rights groups told news agency AFP, as the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza sharply polarises opinion across the bloc.

“We see hate speech laws and we see counterterrorism laws being instrumentalised, being weaponised to go after what is legitimate speech under international standards,” said Amnesty International researcher Julia Hall. She added that there has been “an avalanche of cancellations and targeting of peaceful protesters, academics, anyone who is basically out there in solidarity with Palestinian human rights or is criticising the state of Israel”.

(With agency inputs)

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