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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/2/19

Trump working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a 'terror' group

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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After declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a foreign terrorist organization, the Trump administration is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign "terrorist" organization.

"The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday.

Tellingly, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps was declared a terrorist organization at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Donald Trump is likely to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terror group at the suggestion of Egyptian President Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

According to the New York Times, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had urged President Trump to take the step during an April 9 visit to the White House. After the meeting, Trump praised Sisi as a "great president," as a bipartisan group of US politicians raised concerns about el-Sisi's record on human rights.

Coup against Mohammed Morsi

Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Brotherhood is one of the oldest and most influential Islamic movements in the world. It came to power in Egypt's only free election in 2012, a year after long-serving President Hosni Mubarak resigned amid a popular uprising when Mohammed Morsi a Brotherhood member was elected President.

However, in July 2013, el-Sisi, who was commander-in-chief and Defense Minister, seized power in a military coup and imprisoned President Morsi.

Muslim Brotherhood was declared a "terror group" by Egypt in 2013 after the military coup.

In the aftermath of the coup, General el-Sisi, who later adopted the title of Field Marshal, launched a violent crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood, with thousands of the group's members arrested, and hundreds sentenced to death in what human rights groups have described as sham trials.

Human rights groups have also voiced concerns that el-Sisi might use it to justify an even harsher crackdown against his opponents.

Two of Egypt's closest allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have also banned the group.

Implications of the move

The New York Times said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton supported the idea of declaring the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

However, the Pentagon, career national security staff, government lawyers and diplomatic officials have voiced legal and policy objections, and have been scrambling to find a more limited step that would satisfy the White House.

The US State Department had previously advised against banning the movement because of its "loose-knit structure and far-flung political ties across the Middle East".

The Muslim Brotherhood is a network of loosely affiliated groups across the Islamic world. Several political parties in Turkey, Tunisia and Jordan consider themselves as part of the Muslim Brotherhood or have ties to it.

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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