Two Islamic groups in the U.S. that portray themselves as moderate and mainstream expressed shock to learn at the weekend that the United Arab Emirates had included them in a list of terrorist organizations.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which describes itself as “America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization,” and the Muslim American Society (MAS), which calls itself “a religious community service organization,” were among more than 80 groups whose designation was approved by the UAE cabinet and announced on Saturday.
Others listed included al-Qaeda and its various affiliates in Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and North Africa; the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL); the Muslim Brotherhood and several of its U.K.- and Europe-based affiliates; and some Iranian-backed radical Shi’ite groups.
Conspicuously absent was Hamas, despite being the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Like most Arab states the UAE is a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause.
Also not listed was Iran’s Shi’ite proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah – a curious omission since Hezbollah-linked groups in the Gulf states and Iraq were included.