Doha-based Qardawi rejects UAE blacklisting

Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Youssef al-Qaradawi (R) speaks during a news conference in Doha June 23, 2014.

Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Youssef al-Qaradawi (R) speaks during a news conference in Doha June 23, 2014.

The International Union of Muslim Scholars and its chairman, Qatar-based Egyptian cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi, expressed “astonishment” on Monday at being designated a terrorist body by the United Arab Emirates.

On Saturday, the UAE government formally endorsed of the designation of more than 82 organizations, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as terror groups, in line with a federal law on combating terrorism. The International Union of Muslim Scholars was also named in the list.

In a statement Monday, the International Union of Muslim Scholars urged the UAE to remove it from the list, saying the inclusion of the group was “not based on any analysis or investigation, whether legal, logical or rational.”

“The Union expresses its complete and extreme astonishment of its inclusion by the UAE among the terrorists groups and rejects this description completely,” said the statement, which was co-signed by Qaradawi, the union’s chairman, said.

The group claims it seeks to promote scholarship and awareness of Islam.

Other groups designated in the list included the Nusra Front and ISIS, whose fighters are battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, several Shiite Muslim militant groups such as the Houthi movement in Yemen, and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, with which Qaradawi is closely associated.

The list also includes a number of humanitarian, relief and Muslim community associations in the Arab world and the West.

The union said the UAE list ignored groups engaged in what it called “non-Islamic terrorism” against Muslims, saying this raised questions about the motives behind the designations.

The UAE action mirrors a move by Saudi Arabia in March that was seen as part of a campaign by the kingdom, the UAE and Bahrain to pressure Qatar to reduce its longstanding support for Islamist forces around the Middle East.

 
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