This post is from 2014, and nothing has changed since then: The UAE (United Arab Emirates) has designated both CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) and MAS (Muslim American Society) as Islamic terrorist organizations.
Clarion Project Despite heavy pressure and negative media coverage, the United Arab Emirates is standing by its decision to designate the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim American Society (MAS) and other Islamist organizations as terrorist groups.
Senior UAE officials have responded to the criticism by restating that CAIR, MAS and other Muslim groups in the West are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, promote extremism, and incite and finance terrorism.
The UAE banned CAIR and MAS along with approximately 80 other organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood itself. CAIR and MAS are both U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities. By calling out European and American affiliates of the Brotherhood, the UAE is trying to bring attention to the Islamists’ influence in and danger to the West.
“[The list is] a clear message to the world about the UAE’s stance against terrorism, extremism and fanaticism, focusing on and putting a cordon around all subversive entities that seek to undermine the security and stability of the state and seeks to protect the community from extremist ideology,” a top UAE official said.
The objective is “to cut off access to all forms of material and moral support for terrorism, to drain its resources, to prevent the incitement of terrorist crimes, to prevent the praising of terrorism and to work to stop the spreading of such crimes or any encouragement of the committing of them.” UAE State Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash implied that CAIR, MAS and other U.S. and European groups banned by his country are part of a pro-Muslim Brotherhood lobby.
In a televised interview, UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan was asked about the specific designations of CAIR and MAS as terrorists. “We cannot accept incitement or [terror] funding when we look at some of these organizations. For many countries, the definition of terror is that you have to carry a weapon and terrorize people. For us, it’s far beyond that. We cannot tolerate even the smallest and tiniest amount of terrorism,” he answered.
CAIR proved the UAE’s point earlier this month when its San Francisco Bay Area chapter held a 20th anniversary fundraising banquet that honored convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Sami Al-Arian with a “Promoting Justice Award.”
The designation of CAIR by a Muslim Arab country puts the organization in a difficult spot. CAIR cannot attack the UAE as bigoted Islamophobes, as is its usual strategy with its critics. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have also banned the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. The Egyptian government praised the UAE’s list, specifically singling out its designation of the Brotherhood.