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Danish Muslim group on international terror list

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Danish Muslim group on international terror list
In addition to the Islamic Association in Denmark, groups in Sweden and Norway were also on the UAE's terror list. Photo: Peter Helles Eriksen/Scanpix
11:55 CET+01:00
The Islamic Association in Denmark says it has been wrongly included in a list of groups labelled as terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the weekend.
Around eighty extremist groups were listed by the UAE, with Islamic organizations in Denmark, Sweden and Norway featured alongside the likes of the Islamic State (Isis) and al-Qaeda.
 
The sole Danish group on the list was the Islamic Association in Denmark (Det Islamiske Forbund i Danmark). Mahammad Fouad Albarazi, an imam with the group, said he “cannot understand” why they were included. 
 
“They are apparently not making distinctions between the organizations. I completely cannot understand it and I think the United Arab Emirates are just putting organizations on the list without looking into what kind of organizations they are,” Albarazi told TV2 News. 
 
 
The UAE's list is part of the country's clampdown on terrorist activities, in line with the anti-terror law issued by President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in August.
 
On Monday, Nordic terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp told The Local the list was a "game changer", because it "puts terror groups recognized by the EU and the UN alongside a second category of Muslim groups that are certainly not terrorist organizations".
 
He sad that the UAE had singled out Islamic associations in Scandinavia with links to the Muslim Brotherhood (or al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun in Arabic), one of the world's oldest and largest Islamist organizations.
 
 
The group was recently in power in Egypt under former President Mohammed Morsi, but was ousted following violent protests in 2013.
 
"Maybe the UAE does have information that it is not sharing, but I think it is more that these organizations in Sweden and Europe are seen as part of the umbrella of the Muslim Brotherhood," said Ranstorp.
 
"The UAE's decision is linked to the politics and power struggles going on in Egypt," he told The Local.
 
But he added that it was possible that "certain dodgy individuals" in Scandinavian Islamic organizations could be helping to fund the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
He also said that the new categorization of Scandinavian Islamic associations as "terrorists" could lead to some Muslims being unable to visit family members in the UAE.
 
"It is unclear exactly how laws will be applied by the UAE but this could lead to restricted travel movements for some people".
 
The UAE said it would impose harsh penalties on anyone who is connected to groups on its new list.
 
“Whoever seeks or communicates with a foreign state, terrorist organization or with anyone who works for their interests, to commit any terrorist act, shall be punished with imprisonment for life while the death penalty will be imposed if the terrorist act has been carried out,” reported Gulf News.
 
In August, the UAE toughened anti-terrorism laws in a bid to stamp out terror financing, hostage-taking, human trafficking and money laundering. The UAE's full list of terror organizations can be seen here
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