The Muslim Brotherhood Has Earned Its Terrorist Designation

Originally published under the title “Muslim Brotherhood Earns Its Terrorist Designation.”

In an April 11 Brookings Institution report titled “Is the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization?” senior fellow Shadi Hamid states that the Trump administration’s proposed designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group “could have significant consequences for the U.S., the Middle East, and the world.”

Among many astounding claims in the report, the three most misleading among them begin with his statement that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “non-violent Islamist group,” that “there is not a single American expert on the Muslim Brotherhood who supports designating it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization,” and that President Trump’s advisors were enlisting Americans in what Mr. Hamid calls “civilization struggle.”

First, there is overwhelming evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood is indeed a violent terrorist organization. The Brotherhood’s slogan is “‘Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that nearly every Sunni terrorist group in the world was either fully or partially founded by active or former Brotherhood operatives.

Brotherhood-linked terrorist organizations include ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya.

Moreover, the Brotherhood also has active militias such as the “95 Brigade,” a Brotherhood terrorist group founded in 1995, which is currently operating under the direction of the Brotherhood Guidance office. The Brotherhood also has a well-funded transnational multi-lingual propaganda machine, which makes it more dangerous.

In a series of interviews with al-Jazeera TV, Osama Yassin, a minister in former President Mohammed Morsi’s cabinet, revealed that the 95 Brigade engaged in the abduction, beating, and torture of “thugs” and threw Molotov cocktails at its opponents.

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The brigade’s operatives were also implicated in the killing of anti-Brotherhood protestors. In March 2014, for example, two Brotherhood operatives were sentenced to death after an online video clip showed them killing a teenager by throwing him from a building.

Egyptian Ambassador to Venezuela Yehyia Najm is among the numerous victims of what is known in Egypt as the “Brotherhood’s Slaughterhouses.” Ambassador Najm stated that the room where he was held captive and tortured with 49 other people, was “like a Nazi camp.” This is Mr. Shadi Hamid’s idea of a “non-violent group.”

Second, Mr. Hamid’s claim that there are no American experts on the Muslim Brotherhood who support its designation as a terror group, is wrong. The Middle East Forum, one of the America’s most renowned think tanks that specializes in Middle East and Islamic terrorism studies, supports the Brotherhood’s terror designation. Also, Mr. Trump’s advisor, Walid Phares, one of America’s most respected experts on Islamic terrorism and the Middle East, supports the Brotherhood’s terror designation. Andrew C. McCarthy III, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and 11 others, also supports the Brotherhood terror designation. Yet, Mr. Hamid chooses to ignore them, as he also chooses to ignore other facts.

There is a civilization jihad or struggle as Mr. Hamid called it, but it’s waged against America and the Western world by the very people he is defending. To answer Mr. Hamid’s question as to whether the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization, the answer is yes, indeed it is a terrorist organization.

Mr. Trump’s administration needs to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terror group. Congress should also require think tanks to disclose any foreign funding received while lobbying Congress. These financial disclosures will help combat disinformation campaigns targeting lawmakers, including reports like Mr. Hamid’s.

Cynthia Farahat is a fellow at the Middle East Forum and a columnist for the Egyptian daily Al-Maqal.

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