UAE religious authority brands Muslim Brotherhood as 'terrorist organisation'
The UAE Fatwa Council, the coutrntry’s highest religious authority, announced the move in a virtual meeting led by Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah just months after a similar decision by Saudi Arabia.
The council also warned Muslims to stay away from groups that “work to divide the ranks and inflame discord and bloodshed”, UAE news agency WAM reported.
“It is not permissible to pledge allegiance to anyone other than the ruler,” the statement added, saying all residents should show “respect and commitment” to leaders.
Saudi Arabia earlier this year took similar action against the Muslim Brotherhood, which was established in Egypt in 1928.
The MB is a "violent terrorist group" that "does not represent Islam”, Saudi Arabia's Council of Senior Scholars said.
The Saudi authority accused the group of being "a deviant that attacks rulers, stirs up discord, and uses the cover of religion to practice violence and terrorism", without disclosing further details.
The coordinated move against the MB was widely condemned in a statement by global Islamic scholars who called on Saudi Arabia to reconsider.
The group of 18 Muslim scholar associations called for unity among Muslims and said the discourse of scholars should not be politicised, Arabi21 reported earlier this month.
Read also: Islamic scholars call on Saudi council to review Muslim Brotherhood 'terrorist' designation
In a joint statement, religious scholar associations from Sudan, Libya, Lebanon, Palestine and other countries backed the Muslim Brotherhood as "defenders" of Islam.
"The Muslim Brotherhood is a missionary group … including a large number of scholars, preachers and Mujahideen have joined the effort to defend the doctrine of Islam and its Sharia," the associations said.
Talat Fehmi, a spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood, told Anadolu Agency that the organisation denies all accusations made by the council.
Read also: Egypt's Al-Azhar hits back at Macron's 'racist' remarks on Islam
"The Brotherhood ... is far from violence, terror and tearing apart the ummah. Since its establishment, it has been calling people to Allah with good advice," Fehmi said.
The Brotherhood was blacklisted by Egyptian authorities in 2013 after the ouster of Mohamed Morsi – Egypt's first democratically elected president – in a military coup led by current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Yusuf Al Qaradawi, a prominent cleric close to the Muslim Brotherhood is based in Doha. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar in 2017 and imposed an air, land and sea blockade on the Gulf state over what they claimed was Doha's financing of extremist groups and its ties to Iran - Saudi Arabia's regional arch-rival.
Qatar vehemently denies the charges.
Earlier in May, Saudi Arabia officially blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.
Agencies contributed to this report.