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UAE brands Muslim Brotherhood terrorists - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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An image taken from the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, on May 21, 2013 shows part of Dubai's Marina. (AFP Photo/Marwan Naamani)

An image taken from the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, on May 21, 2013 shows part of Dubai’s Marina. (AFP Photo/Marwan Naamani)

Dubai, AP—The United Arab Emirates designated the Muslim Brotherhood and dozens of other Islamist groups as terrorist organizations on Saturday, ratcheting up the pressure on the group by lumping it together with extremists such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group and the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.

The federation’s Cabinet adopted the designations against the 83 groups, the official state news agency WAM said. They include Al-Islah, an Emirati group suspected of ties to the Brotherhood, whose members have faced prosecution in the seven-state federation, which includes the cosmopolitan business hub of Dubai and the capital of Abu Dhabi.

The move follows a decision by Saudi Arabia in March to designate the Brotherhood a terrorist group along with Al-Qaeda and others. The UAE voiced support for the decision at the time, and accuses Islamist groups of trying to topple its Western-backed ruling system.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have taken a firm stance against the Brotherhood since its ascendance in Egypt in the wake of the Arab Spring, and the oil-rich Gulf neighbors are strong supporters of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. He was elected earlier this year after leading the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

Egypt labeled the 86-year-old Brotherhood a terrorist organization in December.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and the kingdom of Bahrain earlier this year recalled their ambassadors from fellow Gulf state Qatar to protest what they see as its failure to stop meddling in other nation’s affairs and for backing groups that threaten regional stability. Analysts widely saw that as a swipe at Qatar’s perceived support for the Brotherhood and other Islamist groups.

The UAE list includes ISIS, which it is helping to bomb as part of US-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. Among the other groups targeted are the Pakistani Taliban and the Yemeni Shi’ite Houthi movement.

Also on the list are a number of Western Islamic organizations, including the Council on American–Islamic Relations, the United States’ largest Muslim civil liberties group.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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