Is President Trump Backing Off from Designating Muslim Brotherhood a Terror Group?
Reports are that President Donald Trump seems to be backing off an executive order to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terror group.
Following his election in November, Trump said he would be seeking Congress for a bill to ban the Muslim Brotherhood and designate them as a terror organization, something that has been done by Egypt, the country that was ruled by these Islamists.
Now, it is being reported that there is a heated debate taking place inside the administration over the designation.
The Washington Times reports:
While the White House has declined to comment publicly, officials speaking on condition of anonymity say the administration backed down from a plan to designate the Brotherhood last month after an internal State Department memo advised against it because of the movement’s loose-knit structure and far-flung political ties across the Middle East.
The memo “explained that there’s not one monolithic Muslim Brotherhood,” according to one of the officials, who told The Washington Times that while the movement may well be tied to such bona fide terrorist groups as Hamas, its more legitimate political activities would complicate the terrorist designation process.
The Brotherhood has prominent political factions engaged — at least perfunctorily — in democracy in Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and several other Muslim-majority nations, and the State Department memo coincided with high-level pressure placed on the Trump administration from at least one of them.
Senior diplomats from Jordan — a close U.S. ally — are believed to have weighed in heavily against the idea of adding the Brotherhood to the State Department’s foreign terrorist organizations list, said the official, because the movement’s political arm in Amman currently holds 16 Jordanian parliament seats.
But debate over the Brotherhood’s status remains biting in Washington, where hard-liners in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism say former President Barack Obama erred for years by failing to target the organization’s promotion of extremist ideology, and that President Trump is now badly fumbling a chance to rectify the situation.
In November 2015, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) introduced bills that would designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. In January 2017, Cruz tweeted that they had re-introduced the bill.
The Middle East Media Research Institute reported on the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) campaign to attack the bill.
Trump’s Middle East advisor Walid Phares repeatedly stated that the new president would act for the passage of a bill doing so. For example, following Trump’s September 2016 meeting with Egyptian President ‘Abd Al-Fatah Al-Sisi on the margins of the UN General Assembly, Phares told the Egyptian daily Al-Watan that Trump had promised Al-Sisi that he would promote a bill that is already before Congress that designates the MB a terrorist organization. After the election, Phares reiterated these remarks to the press.
In light of this bill, and in light of statements by Trump administration officials about its intent to promote it, the MB began preparations to confront the bill and prevent its passage. Launching a widespread informational media campaign, including the hiring of U.S. lobbying and legal firms, outreach to the press in the U.S., and dissemination of informational content aimed at improving its image in the West, particularly in the U.S., the MB attempted to convey that it is not a terrorist organization, but rather an ideological movement whose methods of operation are peaceful.
What’s interesting in all of this is even the New York Times writes that the Brotherhood, “calls for a society governed by Islamic law, and some of its former members and offshoots – most notably Hamas, the Palestinian group whose stated goal is the destruction of Israel – have been tied to attacks.”
At least one of the Muslim Brotherhood front groups, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), has been designated a terror group by the United Arab Emirates. CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror scandal and is joined at the hip with Hamas.
That in itself would be enough designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization, but why not mention their fantasy of destroying the West as outlined in their goals? Read the goals of the MB and understand that if they are not dressed as militants and engaging in bombing jihad, they are putting on suits and ties and engaging in cultural jihad. Both use terrorism in different forms to achieve the end results of the domination of Islam in our society.
However, NYT, like the Intercept, claims the designation would only benefit Islamic jihadis. Personally, I think it would simply mark them out in the open. The US has been funding and supplying these Islamists with weapons, when it is known that the goals they have for the united States makes them our sworn enemy. It is treasonous to do so. So, I ask, why not call them what they are?
Walid Phares knows all too well about the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terrorism. He advised the Bush administration, but they ignored the real issues he raised and failed to designate the enemy as Islam, not radical Islam (whatever that is supposed to be).
So far, there has been no comment about what is taking place with regard to the designation.
Trump needs to stick to his guns on this and designate the Muslim Brotherhood and its plethora of front groups as terror organizations. There can be no debate to this.