A prominent Dubai businessman, who once supported Donald Trump, has called the presumptive GOP candidate “dangerous to the world”.
Khalaf Al Habtoor, the chairman of the Al Habtoor group, has done a 180 on Donald Trump – and has gone from supporting the politician to calling him a “loose cannon”.
“I call him a loose cannon, very dangerous to the world, very dangerous to the world,” said Al Habtoor when speaking to Bloomberg Markets last week.
Trump speaks about his foreign policy at a press conference last week.
In November last year, Al Habtoor – who is behind brands like Bentley and the St Regis hotel in Dubai – wrote an opinion piece for The National in which he endorsed Donald Trump for US president. He wrote that Trump was the candidate with the “necessary substance and life experience” to be President. Adding, “He is a strategist with a shrewd business mind and he has triumphantly rebounded from setbacks time and time again to emerge triumphant.”
But after Trump called for “the complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” in December last year, Al Habtoor said he was wrong about Trump.
“I’m sorry I ever supported [him]… When he was talking about Muslims, attacking them … I had to admit I made a mistake in my supporting Mr.Trump. He is creating a hatred between Muslims and the United States of America,” he told NBC News immediately after Trump’s announcement.
“I view him as the biggest enemy of Islam,” he told CNN. “He is a man supporting ISIS… he is encouraging them, this is what they want to hear.”
In the same interview he ruled out the chance of ever working with Trump again: “I don’t trust him anymore… he has damaged his brand in all Muslim countries.”
Remember, Donald Trump still has development deals with Damac in Dubai – with the Trump International Golf Club, a 7,205-yard, par 71 course that will be in the middle of the ‘AKOYA by DAMAC’ master development currently under construction. The golf course’s website still says it’s “due to be completed in 2015”, which was obviously not the case.
Trump is currently the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for this year’s US Presidential elections, and he is likely to faceoff against Hilary Clinton (or perhaps Bernie Sanders) in the election later in the year.
TRUMP’S ANTI-ISLAM STATEMENTS
In a 2011 interview, Trump said this: “The Quran is very interesting. A lot of people say it teaches love… But there’s something there that teaches some very negative vibe… Now I don’t know if that’s from the Quran. I don’t know if that’s from someplace else. But there’s tremendous hatred out there that I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Early December 2015
Late last year he propagated what’s widely considered to be a myth about uninhabitable areas of Paris: “If you look at Paris [it’s] no longer the same city it was. They have sections in Paris which are radicalised where they police refuse to go there because they’re petrified. We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised the police are afraid for their own lives. We have to be very smart and very vigilant.”
Late December 2015
In December he called for the ban of all Muslims travelling to the United States, this led Dubai-based Landmark group to pull all Donald Trump products from their shelves. It also called into question the businessman’s ongoing relationship with Dubai-based developer Damac (which appears to be continuing on as normal for now).
The media statement began with: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
It then quoted him as saying: “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
After last week’s attacks in Brussels, Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump tweeted, “Incompetent Hillary, despite the horrible attack in Brussels today, wants borders to be weak and open-and let the Muslims flow in. No way!”
OTHER GCC REACTIONS TO TRUMP
Donald Trump at a press conference last month.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal
The multi-billionaire Saudi prince expressed his feeling toward the controversial frontrunner for the Republican nomination on Twitter: “You are a disgrace not only to the GOP [Republican Party] but to all America.” Adding: “Withdraw from the US presidential race as you will never win.”
Trump responded with: “Dopey Prince @Alwaleed_Talal wants to control our U.S. politicians with daddy’s money. Can’t do it when I get elected.”
The retail giant behind Splash, Centrepoint, Home Centre, Iconic, Emax and many other stores, has removed all Trump Home products from their 195 Lifestyle stores across the Middle East due to his anti-Islam statements. Read more about that here.
Dubai Police Chief
Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the deputy chairman of police and general security in Dubai, took to Twitter to warn that there would be a “clash of civilizations” if Trump won – which references political scientist Samuel P. Huntington’s theory that future wars in the world will be fought between religious and cultural divides rather than country lines.