The Union of Islamic Organizations in France (UOIF), which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, said it discovered with “shock and anger” its presence on a list of “terrorist organizations” established by the United Arab Emirates.
The list was published in mid-November by the UAE, which is part of an international anti-jihadist coalition led by the United States. It names 83 groups, many of which are based in Syria.
Al-Qaeda, ISIL, the Muslim Brotherhood and its various branches are also on the list. “It’s with shock and horror that the UOIF has discovered that it is part of a list of organizations classified as terrorist organizations by the political authorities in the United Arab Emirates,” said the group in a statement published on its website.
“Several other Western Muslim organizations are also unfairly listed,” said the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). These include The International Islamic Relief Organization and the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FOIE), both of which have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. “This qualification, as insulting as it is ridiculous, affects not only French Muslims and their representatives, but also our country and its international image,” the UOIF stated. The group “reserves the right to take action to demand reparations.”
The UOIF boasts 250 member associations and mosque leaders and is one of the principal organizations to shape the “French-Muslim landscape,” along with the Great Mosque of Paris, the RMF, the UMF and the CCMTF. Although it no longer participates in events held by the French Council of the Muslim Faith, the UOIF hosts an annual event billed as the largest gathering of Muslims in the West, with more than 150,000 attendees.
In the past weeks the group has condemned ISIL’s actions and signed a “call to French Muslims” while lambasting the “deportation of Iraqi Christians.” Despite their public statements condemning terrorism, Front National leader Marine Le Pen has “reiterated her request for the UOIF’s dissolution,” which she previously requested in 2012, citing “the dangerousness of an organization that consistently defies the Republic and encourages radicalization.”