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PRESS CONFERENCE STATEMENT
17th November 2014
The Muslim Association of Britain held a major news conference on 17thNovember
2014, outlining its position following the inclusion of its organisation on a terrorist list issued by the United Arab Emirates authorities.
Dr. Omer El-Hamdoon, the President of MAB condemned the decision which he described as ‘outrageous and unjust’ and said the organisation would be asking the British Foreign Office to seek clarification on behalf of MAB from the UAE about the decision.
MAB’s President said the ‘so called terrorist list’ cannot be taken seriously particularly as it is issued from a government that operates a totalitarian regime denying its citizens and migrant workers democratic rights.
He compared the Muslim Association of Britain democratic credentials to the UAE’s, “It goes without saying that our organisation, which has a democratically elected leadership and constituted to serve the Muslim and the British society, and is registered under all the rules and regulation of this country has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism or any other form of extreme ideology. On the contrary, the UAE authorities operate a dictatorship which denies democratic rights and oppresses its own citizens; and has a poor human rights record”
The Muslim Association of Britain called on other organisations to demonstrate opposition to The UAE and to publicly reject what it called an ‘outrageous and unjust’ evaluation.
In addition, Dr. El-Hamdoon warned of serious consequences that may result due to the inclusion on such a list. He said the ‘baseless’ accusation would damage the creditability and the good work done by the Association.
Equally as menacing he said that the action places the lives of ordinary Muslim people in danger as they may be targeted and treated as terrorists or become the victims of ‘hate crimes’. This decision opens the floodgates for an increase in Islamophobia all around the world and as a consequence marginalizes the voice of ordinary Muslims.
It sends the message that; as Muslims we cannot oppose dictatorships and undemocratic regimes or any form of injustice for that matter, without being labeled as an extremist or terrorist. It is an extremely dangerous precedent and one that the Emirates government has probably not thought through or given due consideration to.
The organisation said it would be approaching the UAE via the British government to ensure that its name was removed from this list and it would be investigating the form of legal action that may be appropriate.