(JNS.org) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) officially designated 83 groups as terrorist organizations on Saturday, including two U.S.-based Muslim organizations—the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS).
Other terrorist groups blacklisted by the UAE include al-Qaeda and its Syrian-affiliated the al-Nusra Front, Islamic State, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Emirates News Agency reported.
CAIR has close ties with the Hamas terrorist group and its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2007, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the FBI’s case against the Hamas-linked Holy Land Foundation, which was eventually found guilty of aiding Hamas.
MAS also has purported ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. According to an investigation by the Chicago Tribune, MAS was partially formed by U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood members.
The UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia have stepped up cooperation against Islamic extremism. Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia are participating in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, while Egypt has cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood as well as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the Sinai-based terror group which recently declared allegiance to Islamic State.
CAIR is known to enjoy close ties with the Obama administration. The State Department did not return a request for comment from JNS.org regarding whether the U.S. will also consider terrorist designations for CAIR and MAS. But State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke did say on Monday that the Obama administration is "engaging UAE authorities” on the matter and “seeking to gain more information on why” the UAE included CAIR and MAS on the list of terror groups, CNSNews.com reported.
"The UAE government understands something that the U.S. and other Western governments do not: that the supremacism and incitement proffered by CAIR and MAS, while not violent in themselves, serve as a precursor to violence," Dr. Daniel Pipes, president and founder of the Middle East Forum think tank, told JNS.org. "In this sense, these two organizations are indeed terrorist."
"I hope the Obama administration learns from the UAE decision and also lists CAIR and MAS as terrorist groups," added Pipes. "Beyond the government, I hope that media, educational institutions, law courts, and others likewise reject these vile organizations."