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Classifying the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization is the ultimate no-brainer

Classifying the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization is the ultimate no-brainer

Reports are emerging that the Trump administration is once again considering designating the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) as an officially classified terrorist organization. This ultimate no-brainer move will serve to empower policymakers and government officials to crack down on the double-dealing Islamist extremist organization, which seeks to undermine the United States and our allies abroad.

The New York Times reports:

The White House is pushing to issue an order that would designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, bringing the weight of American sanctions against a storied and influential Islamist political movement with millions of members across the Middle East, according to officials familiar with the matter.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by an Egyptian preacher named Hassan al-Banna, who is a revered, almost holy figure in the fundamentalist Islamic community. 

Al-Banna said of his group’s founding ideology: “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” The MB leader, who later became a staunch admirer of Adolf Hitler, called on his followers to constantly “prepare for jihad” and be “lovers of death.”

The Muslim Brotherhood originally sought to seize control of Egypt before pursuing a worldwide expansion. Since the day of the organization’s founding right up to modern day, its leaders have consistently endorsed violent action as a means to achieve its ends. However, unlike groups such as ISIS or al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, while sharing those groups’ ideology, has preferred to take a long-term strategic course, instead of pursuing immediate violent action, to achieve its endgame.

Terrorism experts often describe the Muslim Brotherhood as a gateway to violence and further extremism, as proven by its rogues’ gallery of terrorist alumni, which includes Osama bin Laden, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and current al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, to name a few.

Today, the Muslim Brotherhood and its devotees find sanctuary in many nations, but its most prominent backers are the nations of Qatar and Turkey, which not only provide safe havens for the group’s top leaders, but also remain devotees to the group’s global Islamist agenda. Qatar is home to the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, who has publicly endorsed suicide bombings against American soldiers deployed abroad. 

If the Muslim Brotherhood is classified as a terrorist group in the U.S., it remains unclear what would become of its offshoots in the United States, such as the terror-tied Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), among others. A terrorist designation could also provide legal hurdles for new Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who have consistently advocated for those groups and even keynoted several fundraisers for the MB-tied outfits. 

Since the early days of the Trump administration, conservatives and a widespread coalition of national security experts have been advocating for the White House to pursue the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist designation. Previous efforts to push the terrorist designation regularly hit a standstill, as it seemingly did not have the support of key cabinet members. However, both national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been major advocates for a Muslim Brotherhood terrorist designation. Bolton has voiced his support publicly for the measure, while Pompeo cosponsored a bill supporting the designation while he was in Congress.

The Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots have been classified as a terrorist organization in several nations, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Russia, and elsewhere. The United States currently classifies the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot, as a foreign terrorist organization.

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