The United Arab Emirates said men should avoid wearing the traditional white robes, headscarf, and headband that characterizes the national dress shortly after an Emirati businessman was violently detained in Ohio when a hotel clerk told police he was linked to ISIS. “They were brutal with me,” Ahmed Al Menhali, 41, told the National of his arrest on Wednesday in Avon, Ohio while wearing traditional clothes. “They pressed forcefully on my back. I had several injuries and bled from the forceful nature of their arrest.” Police said the family of a clerk from the hotel had called them in, claiming the employee was suspicious because a man had claimed allegiance to ISIS on the phone.
The police quickly realized none of that had happened and let al-Menhali go, but he suffered a panic attack and was taken to the hospital. Following the incident, the country’s foreign ministry said Emiratis should think twice before wearing traditional clothes when abroad. “For citizens traveling outside the country, and in order to ensure their safety, we point out not to wear formal dress while traveling, especially in public places,” noted the message posted on Twitter.
On Saturday, Avon’s police chief and mayor apologized to al-Menhali. “No one from the police department (wanted) to disrespect you,” Police Chief Richard Bosley said at the meeting. “That was not the intent of any of our officers. It is a very regrettable circumstance that occurred for you. You should not have been put in that situation like you were.”