Islamic Relief controversially put on UAE terrorist watch list
Aid charity Islamic Relief has been branded “terrorists” by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The UK charity – which has a base in Glasgow – joins a UAE cabinet approved list of “terrorist organisations” which includes Al Qaida.
Ten other western groups are on the list including another two UK groups, the Cordoba Foundation and theMuslim Association of Britain.
Both forms of the charity were included on the UAE list – Islamic Relief Worldwide and Islamic Relief UK.
A spokesperson for the organisation 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.
“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.”
Islamic Relief is one of the biggest fundraisers among the Muslim community in Scotland.
Its former chief executive Habib Malik (pictured) won the Burns Humanitarian Award in 2010.
The move comes after it was revealed more than a quarter of investigations that have been launched by the Charity Commission in England since April 2012 have targeted Muslim organisations – drawing criticism from Islamic groups that they are being unfairly singled out.
The Charity Commission is now defined as a partner agency in counter-terrorism leading to complaints such policies are creating a surveillance state.
A commission spokesperson said: “The commission does not target Muslims, any other religion or type of charity.
"All our casework is prioritised and assessed for action against the risk framework, published on the website."