A late wakeup call has been made on February 24th 2016 by the United States bipartisan but Republicans led House Judiciary Committee which has approved called upon the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood organization a foreign terrorist organization. The highly anticipated vote resulted in a vote by 17-10 in favour of enlisting the group as a foreign terrorist group.
If the Bill introduced by the Judiciary committee gets passed by the congress, it will be the game changer that the world has been waiting for decades to take place. For nine decades, the terrorist group has masked itself in Western societies and even Islamic ones as a moderate Islamist group that endorses peace and revokes violence.
While maintaining that façade, the group has managed to establish franchises in about 80 different countries with the Muslim Brotherhood as a title or under fronts such as CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations), ISNA (Islamic Society of North America), CSID(Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy)and NAIT (North America Islamic Trust) in the United States.These facades have enabled the brotherhood to infiltrate many societies as a disguised NGOs& charities without carrying the notorious Muslim Brotherhood banner.
Throughout the past decades, the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood was revealed to the world as being the mother of all terrorists groups, who could be held directly responsible for the death of thousands of innocents’ lives worldwide. For a couple of decades, the United States had declared war on terrorism but failed to recognize the source of the danger and its roots.
These roots are simply found in the teachings of the Muslim Brotherhood group that was established in Egypt in 1928. Since December 1948, the group has been banned and resurfaced multiple times in Egypt , where the group had always found a way out of its seclusion until its final ban in December 2013. The last ban was a reaction to a major terrorist attack orchestrated by the group on Al Mansoura City Security Directorate Headquarters. Ever since June 2013, the terrorist group has caused the deaths of thousands of Egyptian citizens, soldiers, policemen and judges alike. Similar terrorist attacks by the Muslim Brotherhood agents were reported all across the Middle East in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen.
The Supporters of the new congress bill mention that if the measure is signed into a law, the U.S. would have the power to deny admittance to individuals who are tied to the Brotherhood but aren’t U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals. Also, Individuals who provide material support to the group would face criminal penalties.
The bill would allow the U.S. Treasury Department to require U.S banks and financial institutions to block transactions involving assets held by the Brotherhood which are numerous and very complicated.
Ever since the inception the Muslim Brotherhood, they kept claiming on being a peaceful and a charitable political group. Nevertheless, the group is considered a terrorist organization by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Syria and Russia.
As a reaction, the Muslim Brotherhood leadership and their proxies in the West utilized their well known victimization techniques. They labeled the ban on their group by the American Congress as a war against Islam and claimed that it will increase radicalization among Muslims in the USA. In their English language website the Muslim Brotherhood stated:
“This bill is unjust and purely political. It reflects the rising tide of hatred and hostility with which right-wing extremist Republicans, lobbyists and politicians are trying to drag the American people into ideological war with the Muslim world, at the heart of it is the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest and most popular Islamic movement,”
“The attempt to accuse the peaceful Muslim Brotherhood of terrorism goes without the presence of a single shred of evidence, and will fail – just like previous desperate attempts by hardliners and extremists in the US and its despotic allies in the Middle East.”
Ironically, the terrorist group used the same rhetoric as an implicit threat against the USA government as they did with the British government in 2015 and it was successful in keeping the group from being banned. The scare tactic worked in most Western countries where the influential Islamist group utilizes sympathy rhetoric that gets endorsed by leftists media. The Muslim Brotherhood was usually successful in maintaining the lie that they are legitimate representative of moderate Islam which couldn’t be further from the truth. Many western politicians and media outlets have believed and still believe that lie.
Subsequently, if the bill passes the senate and the Muslim Brotherhood is enlisted in the terrorist groups Black list, a similar action is expected to be taken by the European Union (EU) member countries especially the United Kingdom government who came very close to banning the group in 2015 only to be retract due to narrow political calculations. Britain was always the favourite center of operations of the Muslim Brotherhood for decades and a significant portion of the group financing and activities are done in Britain.
Other United States allies will likely to follow suit in order to keep themselves aligned with the US counterterrorism measures. Many countries such as Germany and United Kingdom have allowed the Muslim Brotherhood great freedoms of activity under the banner of charitable activities as well as policies of diversity.
Not only will the bill restrict the financing of the terrorist group but also the travelling of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders and known members of the group all across the world which will lead to multiple arrests for the group leaders worldwide should the law comes into effect.
Furthermore, Should the senate vote for banning the Muslim Brotherhood group , it will leave the Obama administration into a very vulnerable position since it is for long have openly supported the Muslim Brotherhood and their politicians in the Middle East and worldwide and considered them as a viable substitute to some of the dictatorship regimes in the Middle East.
The predicament imposed by such a ban is that the recent foreign policies of the United States and consequently its European allies will have to be altered after years of treating the Muslim Brotherhood as political partners of the United States in the Middle East. The United States administration will have to refrain from supporting any Islamist opposition or group such as the Syrian case which will narrow the options of the United States in case of regime change.
Moreover, one of the elements that may leave the senate hesitant to approve the full ban on the Muslim Brotherhood is the growing Anti-Muslim and Anti-Islamic rhetoric in the American media and politicians. Presidential candidates like Republican Donald Trump has vowed to ban Muslim immigrants to the United States should he win the presidency. Trump who ignorantly surrounds himself with anti-Muslim figures such as Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh has heightened the tense atmosphere against Muslims in the United States.
Consequently, this has led that many other key figures Republican and Democratic camp are fighting against the likes of Donald Trump sectarian and divisive rhetoric. The Muslim Brotherhood flourishes in such atmosphere and as they mentioned in their official statement and will continued claiming to be victims of such politicians. They might even successfully mask their true extremist and terrorist nature of the group.
Accordingly, the damage has already been done and the United States now has a fully fledged racist and bigot front runner for the Republican Presidential race. This may lead to increase the pressure on the congress members who may unfortunately be be reluctant before banning the Muslim Brotherhood group in the United States as an international. They will weigh the domestic pressure that can be caused of targeting the group should the ban takes effect. Traditionally, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups capitalize on such rhetoric and anti-Islamic campaigns to present themselves as victims.
Unfortunately, the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group may dodge the bullet of being banned again in the United States thanks to political compromises. However, the hope that the oldest and most notorious terrorist group in the world may find the doors shut in the United States where they drew a lot of power and used the country’s influence and economy to spread worldwide for decades.
It is unfathomable that the United States till this moment is still considers the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate organization when it has been already banned in many predominantly Muslim countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Syria. The case of United States, United Kingdom and EU countries remains a case of being more “Royal than a king”, as it remains illogical that westerners are still defending the group and still beguiled by its rhetoric.
The foreign policy repercussions of banning the Muslim Brotherhood will leave the USA in a quagmire dealing with allied countries where a government affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood is ruling such as Morocco and Turkey. Both countries are treated as allies or friends but according to the proposed Bill banning the Muslim Brotherhood, the members of such governments won’t be able to enter the United States should they be proven to be an active member of the international group , moreover their financial assets will be frozen similar to Al Qaeda , ISIL, Hamas, etc..
The question remains, if the United States is actually ready for such law to be implemented since the nation has invested a huge deal of efforts, finance and political fostering of the radical group worldwide which was perceived as the natural successor to the Arab dictators post the Arab Spring revolutions. In fact the Obama administration went a notch further and damaged its 4 decades of close relationship with one its biggest allies, Egypt just opposing the June 30th 2013 revolution that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi.
The new ban if affected will enforce a ban on the travels of the group leaders as well as the operation of many Islamists in the United States and also will open the door to arresting a number of them. The U.S. state department which used to conduct secretive and open meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood members will be forced to discontinue any form of cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood.
On the other hand, a lot of speculations have surfaced on the reason that the Congressional committee has raised this issue now and if diplomatic efforts and pressures from Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries such as UAE and Saudi Arabia.
These speculations may hold some truth in them as the Egyptian diplomacy has been scrambling to present all the civilized nations with its case against the Muslim Brotherhood since June30th. They have passed hundreds of case files and videos of the violence and terrorism committed by the Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt not only during the past 5 years but since their inception in 1928.
Nevertheless, it was highly unlikely that the committee has taken the decision based on the Egyptian case against the Muslim Brotherhood alone because the United States who are at work with ISIL and Al Qaida would know that the leader of Al Qaeda Ayman Al Zawahiri and ISIL leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi are both former Muslim Brotherhood members. A small research on the Muslim Brotherhood group activity will lead any objective committee to the same conclusion that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist franchise that has to be stopped and eliminated for a safer world.
The ban of the Muslim Brotherhood will be the biggest and most serious step the United States has taken since the country initiated its war against terrorism post the 9/11 attacks in 2001. It will have more important consequences than the war against ISIL and Al Qaeda combined. The simple reason is that these groups would have never seen the light of day without the existence of the Muslim Brotherhood and its lethal rhetoric along with recruitment techniques. Also, ISIL and Al Qaeda are likely to be defeated sooner than later but a new terrorist group will surface as long as the Global Muslim Brotherhood web of terrorism still operates efficiently under the nose of the United States and western governments.
The Muslim Brotherhood always worked as the shadow players for terrorists while maintain the facade of a charitable organization which they financed a huge number of them to serve their purpose of infiltrating societies worldwide. They have managed that successfully in most of the Middle Eastern Countries along with many of the western ones including USA, UK, Germany, Belgium, France, etc..
The ban will consequently force the European Union to issue a similar ban on the activities of the group and thus draining the group of both its political legitimacy and financial means to conduct further operations worldwide. Moreover, this will force government sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood and allowing their operations to revise their policies to avoid confrontations with the United States and avoid being labeled as a terrorists’ harboring or supporting nation.
In wars, there have always been great decisive battles that determine the victors and the vanquished such as the Battle of Alamein in Egypt and Normandy D-Day landing in France during WWII. Banning and eliminating the Muslim Brotherhood threat is the decisive battle the United States and the rest of the civilized world have to win to defeat terrorism.