On Saturday, November 15th, the United Arab Emirates government issued a list of 83 organizations and groups worldwide that it has designated as terrorist entities, including two American organizations. It is important to note that the UAE’s designations are theirs alone and are not reflective of how those groups are viewed under U.S. law. In fact, the U.S. State Department has rejected the labeling of the U.S. organizations on the list as terrorist groups and is directly asking Emirati officials about how the designations were made and the information leading to the decisions. We are deeply concerned about the prospect of any American organization being labeled as terrorist or other prohibited entity without robust due process and a full and fair opportunity to respond. We are continuing to monitor this situation closely.
As with any news regarding designated Muslim charities or organizations in the U.S. or around the world, we encourage you to stay informed and engage in safe giving practices. Earlier this year we issued My Charity Checklist, a handy checklist containing key questions Muslim Advocates suggests you, as a donor, should use to guide your charitable giving decisions. To verify that the organization you are considering isn’t prohibited, check the charity’s name against the Specially Designated Nationals and other government blocked lists by using the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) SDN Search tool. If you are seeking a tax deduction for a donation to a domestic organization, you can use the IRS’s EO Select Check tool to verify that the group is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. You can access the full My Charity Checklist and the accompanying video in our Donor Toolkit. Please share these resources with your family and friends.
If you or someone you know is approached by the FBI or other law enforcement regarding contributions made to a charitable cause or organization, please let us know. Watch the Got Rights? video and share your story with us on our website by clicking here.