Earn­ing its ter­ror­ist des­ig­na­tion

Yes, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By Cyn­thia Fara­hat Cyn­thia Fara­hat is an au­thor and a fel­low at the Mid­dle East Fo­rum.

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 them as a For­eign Ter­ror­ist Or­ga­ni­za­tion,” and that Pres­i­dent Trump’s ad­vi­sors were en­list­ing Amer­i­cans in what Mr. Hamid’s calls, “civ­i­liza­tion strug­gle.”

First, there is over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence that 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, “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 mul­ti­lin­gual 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 95 Bri­gade en­gaged in the ab­duc­tion, beat­ing, and tor­ture of “thugs” and threw Molo­tov cock­tails at their op­po­nents. The bri­gade 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.

Un­der Mr. Morsi’s lead­er­ship, cur­rent Broth­er­hood lead­ers were per­son­ally in­volved in tor­ture. Dur­ing an in­ter­view with al-Jazeera TV, in 2011, Broth­er­hood leader Safwat Hegazy, bragged about his in­volve­ment in tor­tur­ing a man whom he sus­pected was a po­lice of­fi­cer.

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.

Third, Mr. Hamid claimed that, “This lan­guage works to en­list Amer­i­cans to join the “civ­i­liza­tional strug­gle” — an idea once re­served for those from the far­thest fringes of the far right in the United States, now held by peo­ple in the very cen­ter of Amer­i­can power: the White House.”

Mr. Hamid may have bor­rowed the term, “civ­i­liza­tion strug­gle,” or “A’mali Ji­ha­dia Hadaria,” (civ­i­liza­tion ji­had op­er­a­tion) from the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s In­ter­na­tional Ap­pa­ra­tus. The ni­hilis­tic term first ap­peared in a 1991 doc­u­ment ti­tled “The Ex­plana­tory Mem­o­ran­dum,” which out­lined the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s strate­gic goals for North Amer­ica. This mem­o­ran­dum was en­tered as ev­i­dence in the Holy Land Foun­da­tion ter­ror fund­ing trial in 2008, the largest ter­ror fi­nanc­ing case in U.S. his­tory.

This wouldn’t be the first time the Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion en­gaged in mis­lead­ing dis­in­for­ma­tion on be­half of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. For ex­am­ple, a Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion ar­ti­cle stated that the fourth of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s 10 Thawa­bet (pre­cepts) in their by­laws, specified that “dur­ing the process of es­tab­lish­ing democ­racy and rel­a­tive po­lit­i­cal free­dom, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is com­mit­ted to abide by the rules of democ­racy and its in­sti­tu­tions.”

This is a bold mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the fourth pre­cept. Ac­cord­ing to the Broth­er­hood’s own stan­dards and in­ter­nal by­laws, the fourth pre­cept is vi­o­lent ji­had and mar­tyr­dom, which the Broth­er­hood states is an obli­ga­tion of ev­ery in­di­vid­ual Mus­lim, as well as the col­lec­tive obli­ga­tion of their or­ga­ni­za­tion.

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 if the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion, the an­swer is yes, in­deed they are 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.


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