Aid organisation Islamic Relief is among a number of European charities to have been placed on a list of terrorist groups by the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE cabinet approved a list of "designated terrorist organisations" on Saturday, which includes groups such as Al Qaeda alongside more than ten Western civil society organisations that have since spoken out against their inclusion.
Two other UK civil society organisations have been placed on the list: think tank the Cordoba Foundation and representative body the Muslim Association of Britain. Both deny any links to terrorism.
In a statement on its website Islamic Relief denied links to terrorists, and said: “We abhor terrorism in all its forms, and we categorically refute any allegation of links to terrorism and any such accusations that have been made by the UAE.”
Both Islamic Relief UK and Islamic Relief Worldwide have been included on the UAE’s list. The charity added: “We assume that our inclusion on the UAE list can only be attributable to a mistake. We do not have a presence or any programmes in the UAE. Islamic Relief Worldwide will be seeking clarification from the UAE Embassy on this matter, with a view to having this wrongful listing removed.”
The Cordoba Foundation said: “To group TCF and others in the same list as extremist organisations such as Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and Isil, is shameful and cannot be justified. It is simply another example of a despotic regime seeking to silence any form of dissent.”
A number of other European civil society organisations have been included on the list. L’Union des Organisations Islamaques de France said its inclusion in the list is “as insulting as it is ridiculous”.
The Islamic Association of Sweden, the Finnish Islamic Association and the Islamic Society in Denmark have also publicly rejected the terror label.
Two US organisations were also included in the list. The Muslim American Society said it is “perplexed” by the reports and is seeking clarification from the UAE.
The Washington-based Council of American-Islamic Relations said in a statement: “We are seeking clarification from the government of the United Arab Emirates about this shocking and bizarre report. There is absolutely no factual basis for the inclusion of CAIR and other American and European civil rights and advocacy groups on this list.”