US designation of Muslim Brotherhood would make the world safer

Originally published by Arab News

Now and then, calls rise in Washington to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group due do its activities on a global level. Although several conservative politicians, intelligence think tanks, and anti-Islamist activists continue to highlight the danger of this radical movement and its proxy organizations, no official decision has been taken by the government of the US.

Early this month, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who is known for his relentless attempts against this radical group, reintroduced the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act, which, if it becomes law, would allow the US government to impose a broad spectrum of sanctions on any countries, companies or individuals that support, finance or interact with the group and its members. “I am proud that under the Trump administration we continue to call out and combat radical terrorism and I am glad to join my colleagues today in reintroducing this legislation,” Cruz said in a statement, emphasizing the importance of holding foreign terrorist organizations accountable for their actions.

Even though the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt by Hassan Al-Banna more than 90 years ago, its threat has grown and its base has widened with the support of two US allies: Qatar and Turkey. However, several Arab countries close to Washington have taken firm measures against the group, considering it the No. 1 threat in the region and beyond.

Al-Banna’s ambitions exceeded the borders of his own country, as he believed the Brotherhood’s agenda — of recreating the Islam of the caliphate as a transcontinental ideology — should be implemented globally. The group’s ultimate goal is to form a bond based on a political ideology to restore the “authentic” Muslim power and prestige and to have an impact on major international decisions to serve its own political and economic interests.

Between 1949, when Al-Banna was assassinated, and 2020, the Muslim Brotherhood learned to infiltrate the West and master the political game. But how? Political persecution and the oppression of freedoms in parts of the Middle East, in addition to the desire to pursue a better life, caused waves of immigration. Millions of Muslims fled to different countries in the West, especially Europe and the US. Slowly, Muslim communities started to build their own institutions and organizations. Unfortunately, the people who were most interested in building these institutions were associated with the Muslim Brotherhood or inspired by it.

Well-funded and backed by powerful governments, the Muslim Brotherhood has used a large percentage of its assets to manipulate millions of Muslims around the world by creating hundreds of organizations to keep them isolated in their own communities. Meanwhile, away from Islamic slogans, the international organization has used its resources to influence international intellectual institutions, charitable organizations, public relations firms, and numerous media outlets in the US and several European countries to indirectly promote the group and advance its ideology.

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About Dalia al-Aqidi

Dalia al-Aqidi is an award-winning international journalist and a commentator covering foreign affairs, terrorism, radical Islamism, and terrorist groups. She has spent over three decades reporting from the capital cities of the Middle East, Europe and Washington D.C. writing , producing and hosting live presentations on television and radio in English and Arabic. A Muslim born in Baghdad, Iraq, Dalia has been fighting terrorism and oppression through her entire adult life-whether it be through reporting, often putting her in war zones and terrorist attack locations, or through her collaboration with the U.S. Intelligence community.