In a May 3, 2019 piece for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Nine Reasons Why Declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization would be a Mistake,” POMED’s Deputy Director for Policy Andrew Miller and Michele Dunne, the director and a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program, argue that it would be unwise for the Trump administration to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.
There are legal, diplomatic, pragmatic, and civil rights reasons why such a designation would undermine efforts to keep Americans safe from terrorism.
1. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) does not fit the legal definition of a foreign terrorist organization. There is no credible evidence that, as an organization, it is using violence to pursue political aims, and it has not deliberately targeted Americans.
2. The few offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood that have become violent—Hamas, Hassm, Liwa al-Thawra—have already been designated as terrorist organizations. Designating the Muslim Brotherhood more broadly would not give the United States added tools to go after these groups.
3. Sweepingly targeting the Muslim Brotherhood would create a cascade of diplomatic problems because political parties with Brotherhood roots serve in parliaments and even governments in many countries. But even a narrower designation of a single Muslim Brotherhood chapter, such as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, would still do just as much damage to U.S. interests for all the reasons that follow.
4. U.S. law does not permit designation based only on ideology rather than violent actions. To do so would politicize the process.
5. By joining countries (for example, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E.) that designate groups as terrorist for political reasons, the United States would tarnish the international legitimacy of its other designations and erode the credibility of its counterterrorism efforts.
Read the full list here.
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