by Mark Angelides
Designating the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist organization is not a controversial move, it is in fact long overdue and most certainly NOT an outlier’s opinion. It is far from divisive and actually does what President Obama failed to do: Tackle extremism at its cause. By giving the MB this designation, it will limit their ability to receive “charitable donations” from US sources; stop the US taxpayer payouts from “linked sources”; and ultimately, cut down on their worldwide exposure and influence.
Consider that many other countries have already stopped government funding and declared them terrorist linked such as:
- Russia – 2003
- Egypt – 2013
- Saudi Arabia – 2014
- The UK – 2015
- And more
This is neither an effort to demonize a peaceful Islamic group nor an ill-thought out policy; this is something that should have happened a long time ago.
Three of the most notorious figures within ISIS and al-Qaeda: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Osama bin Laden, and Ayman al-Zawahiri, all began their rise to power through the same hub organization: The Muslim Brotherhood. So either it an organization that inadvertently creates terrorist block leaders, who know how to access weapons, cash and vital intelligence purely by accident, or it is actually a proving ground for terrorist block leaders.
Photo credit: Wikimedia.org
As the UK government states at Gov.UK:
Officially, the Brotherhood adheres to a non-jihadist form of Salafism and maintains a public stance of non-violence, a position adopted by the main Egyptian branch in the 1970s in exchange for permission to organize politically in Egypt. Despite this official position, the Brotherhood has nonetheless supported the violent policies of its Palestinian offshoot, Hamas. The Brotherhood has also been linked to violence in Egypt since the 2013 fall of the Brotherhood-led government there. Recruiters to violent Islamist groups also frequently use Brotherhood literature and ideology as a part of its religious indoctrination program for potential recruits, who then easily transition to overtly violent jihadist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Opposition to this terrorist organization is coming mostly from career officials at the State Department and the National Security Council who say that there is
- no legal basis for this
- it may alienate allies in the region
Firstly, let’s look at the legal basis. Here is a report that was commissioned by Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron to look at terrorist ties and links to extremism within the Muslim Brotherhood. Some of the key things to consider are:
“It also developed a large, sophisticated and often clandestine network of commercial enterprises, small businesses and charities.” Why would a political organization need “clandestine charities”?
“The Hamas founding charter claims they are the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim Brotherhood treat them as such. In the past ten years support for Hamas (including in particular funding) has been an important priority for the MB in Egypt and the MB international network.” Hamas has been designated a terrorist organisation by the US, EU, Canada, Israel and Japan.
This official government report contains real information, gathered by professional people who were tasked with it specifically for their independent research abilities. Please read it and arm yourself with the facts.
The second point about “alienating allies in the region”. We all understand that sometimes things need to be handled diplomatically, but if our “Allies” would be upset by the US calling a terrorist organization a “terrorist organization”, they are probably not very good allies.
President Trump and his advisors have called this one right. We can never start the fight back against radical, extremist Islam while we do deals and provide funding for the very organizations that recruit and radicalize innocent boys. These boys could be the voices that are needed to make a better and more peaceful future; instead they are weapons, used by an enemy that cares nothing their lives and nothing for ours.