British aid charity 'Islamic Relief', who have been enlisted to work on £12.5 million valued projects with the Department for International Development, involved in helping children affected by the Syria conflict remain in school and improved the quality of lives in Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and Sudan through “Islamic microfinance” schemes, were chastised as a terrorist outfit by the United Arab Emirates.
Though the British government are still waiting for “further clarification from the Emiratis on their rationale for some of these designations, and any practical implications,” the Islamic aid group are speculated to have been banned because of their apparent ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, the latter's charity 'The Muslim Association of Britain' being one of the 85 organisations already etched into the UAE's 'black book'.
The Muslim Association is a highly influential organisation whose equally devoted perspective on Islam poaches many of the followers who might otherwise turn to the fundamentalist ideology of the Emirates. In a passionate rebuttal to the UAE's accusation, the 'Muslim Association of Britain' have stated that they have “nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism or any other form of extreme ideology.” In a separate statement 'Islamic Relief' said “we assume that our inclusion on the UAE list can only be attributable to a mistake (…) we will be engaging with the UAE authorities to seek the removal of this wrongful designation.”
UAE is an important transport hub and aid workers risk being arrested if they fly through while assets kept in the region or processed through the financial system are subject to confiscation. Based in Birmingham, Islamic Relief is a philanthropic organisation that is valued by the Disasters Emergency Committee, alongside charities such as Oxfam and the British Red Cross. Recently, they joined together to combat the Ebola outbreak.
This is another blow for the British aid charity who have also been denounced by the state of Israel for supporting Hamas.