Salon.com reports that the group issued public approvals for the September 11, 2001 attacks and the organization's rallies have been reported by the Christian Science Monitor to end in chanting "jihad" and "Osama Bin Laden". However, the group's English-language website has been critical of Al-Qaeda, referring to the September 11 attacks as "horrifying and condemning al-Qaeda for alleged terrorist acts committed in Jordan.
The AEL strives to develop an Arab Muslim communalist movement in Europe. The group participated in the federal elections in Belgium in 2003 under the umbrella RESIST with the PVDA (Workers Party Belgium, a Maoist political party). The party gained 0.15% in the election of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives and 0.27% in the Dutch electoral college of the Belgian Senate. These electoral results were too low to win a seat.
They also participated in the Flemish elections in 2004 under the denomination Moslim Democratische Partij (Muslim Democratic Party), reaching their highest share of votes (0.27%) in the province of Antwerp. This electoral result was too low to gain a seat in the Flemish Parliament.
Following the murder of a 27-year-old Belgian of North African descent by an allegedly mentally ill native Belgian man in Antwerp in 2002, which led to racially influenced riots in the city, the Arab European League began patrolling the streets of Antwerp with video cameras to monitor police activity. The AEL claimed that Belgian police were engaging in a racist "manhunt" of the city's Moroccan youth and that many police officers sympathized with the political party Vlaams Blok. The AEL patrols were stopped after the Antwerp public prosecutor's office began an investigation into whether the activities violated Belgian laws against the organization of private militias. The court however decided on 31 May 2006 that the patrols were not enough to prosecute the organization. Three leaders of the AEL however will be tried for their leading role in the unrest and riots after the 2002 murder.
Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt blamed the group for inciting violence during street riots in Antwerp in 2002 and criticized it for creating patrols to shadow policemen with video cameras to monitor acts of anti-Arab racism.
Salon.com states that an AEL official called for the death penalty for homosexuals prior to assuming a leadership position within the group. In 2003, the political party Agalev (currently known as Groen!) attempted to place posters in Antwerp of gay and lesbian couples kissing while dressed in Islamic attire. The AEL considered it blasphemous and as an insult to Islam because according to them, the Qur'an explicitly forbids homosexuality.
In late September 2005, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published several controversial Muhammad cartoons in which the prophet Muhammad was associated with terrorism. After Belgian and Dutch newspapers republished the cartoons and politicians defended the publication with the argument of free speech, both denouncing the protests of Muslims and the AEL, the AEL issued statements and posted cartoons on the subject of Holocaust denial on its web pages using the same argument of "free speech" and denouncing official protests against them in return. The cartoons were called anti-semitic and negationist by De Standaard, a Belgian newspaper. A Dutch pro-Israel organization "Center for Information and Documentation Israel" filed a formal complaint in Amsterdam against the AEL following the publication of the cartoons. In response to the charge, the AEL stated not to "endorse any anti-Semitic, homophobic or sexist stands. All we are trying to do is to confront Europe with its own hypocrisy using sarcasm and cartoons.