US Muslim rights group seeks removal from UAE terror list

AP News
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Posted: Jan 16, 2015 8:51 AM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Friday it has sought to be removed from a United Arab Emirates' list that designates it as a terrorist organization, along with dozens of other groups.

The move comes after the Emirati Cabinet said that designated groups can pursue an appeals process to seek removal from the terrorism list.

Washington-based CAIR describes itself as America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. It has called the terrorism designation "shocking and bizarre."

The Emirates included CAIR on a list of 83 groups — including the Islamic State group, a number of al-Qaida-linked groups, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and several Western-based Islamic organizations — it considers terrorist organizations. The list was made public Nov. 15 and also included another U.S.-based group, the Muslim American Society.

Washington has said it was seeking more details from the UAE over its listing of the two American groups, which the U.S does not consider terrorist organizations.

CAIR civil rights litigation director Jenifer Wicks said Friday that details of a 2014 Emirati law the designation was based on were made available online this week. She said CAIR has not yet received details of the appeals process.

"Therefore, we asked that the submission sent this week be considered an appeal of the designation," Wicks said in an email. She said CAIR was awaiting a response from the UAE Embassy in Washington or the Emirati Ministry of Justice, the first step in the appeals process.

The Emirates — a seven-state federation that includes the oil-rich capital, Abu Dhabi, and the Middle Eastern commercial hub of Dubai — has taken a tough stance against radical militants such as the IS group. The Gulf nation has joined U.S.-led airstrikes against IS extremists in Syria, and has outlawed groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

The federation accuses Islamist groups of trying to topple its Western-backed ruling system, and has emerged as a strong supporter of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who was elected last year after leading the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.