The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) cabinet approved a comprehensive list of 83 designated terrorist organizations Saturday, the WAM Emirates News Agency reports. The list includes various al-Qaeda affiliates and the Islamic State.
But the UAE also considers the Muslim Brotherhood and some of its global affiliates as terrorist organizations. The list includes the Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS).
The UAE action follows a decision last spring to follow Saudi Arabia’s decision to label the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. CAIR officialspreviously traveled to the UAE on fundraising missions, State Department records obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism show.
Buzzfeed reports that CAIR is asking the UAE to reconsider, saying its “advocacy model is the antithesis of the narrative of violent extremists.”
In a statement, CAIR said it and MAS “peacefully promote civil and democratic rights and … oppose terrorism whenever it occurs, wherever it occurs and whoever carries it out.”
But FBI policy since 2008 has prohibited communicating with CAIR outside of criminal investigations. That decision was based on evidence in a terror-financing prosecution in Dallas which placed CAIR and its founders in a Muslim Brotherhood Hamas support network called the Palestine Committee. “[U]ntil we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and HAMAS, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner,” Assistant FBI Director Richard Powers wrote in 2009.
The Muslim American Society (MAS) also serves as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. A 2004 Chicago Tribune story describes how MAS was formed as the Brotherhood’s U.S. arm after a debate about whether to stay underground. In 2012 testimony, Abdurahman Alamoudi, once the most politically influential Islamist activist in the country, said the connection between MAS and the Brotherhood was well known in Islamist circles.
CAIR’s standard response to criticism, and to questions about its roots in a Muslim Brotherhood-created Hamas support network, is to accuse the source of “Islamophobia.”
They’ll have to get more creative this time.