The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a US-based pro-Muslim group that enjoys close ties with the Obama administration, has been named as a terrorist organisation by United Arab Emirates. This has placed CAIR in the company of Al Qaeda, Islamic State and others.
Calling its inclusion on the UAE list a bizarre move, CAIR, in a statement posted on its Facebook page, has called on the United Arab Emirates to review the inclusion and remove organisations such as CAIR, the Muslim American society and other civil society organisations. It further claims that these organisations ‘peacefully promote civil and democratic rights and oppose terrorism whenever it occurs, wherever it occurs and whoever carries it out’.
In the past, CAIR has held multiple meetings with white house officials on a wide range of community issues and attempted to present itself as a mainstream Muslim organisation. On the other hand, it has also been linked to Hamas. CAIR was named along with 300 others as an alleged co-conspirator in a case regarding funding to extremist group Hamas.
Speaking about the inclusion in the UAE list, CAIR spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper has been quoted by Fox News as saying, ““Obama provided examples of religious leaders engaged in the ideological fight against extremism, quoting a Muslim sheikh who said, ‘We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace. That sheikh is Abdullah bin Bayyah, a 79-year-old cleric who, even though lauded on the world stage for his recent efforts at peacemaking, is dogged by controversy over connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Back in 2021, Saudi Arabia had banned Tablighi Jamaat. Calling Tablighi Jamaat a gate to terrorism, it prohibited all its activities on Saudi soil. Meanwhile, Pakistan came out in Tablighi Jamaat’s support and said, “Tablighi Jamaat is a global organisation. It has nothing to do with terrorism. History has shown that these people have never been involved in such activities. They are earning goodwill for Pakistan with the preaching of Islam all over the world.”