QATAR AND THE MUS­LIM BROTHER­HOOD

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD - Con­tact Bill Gertz on Twit­ter at @Bil­lGertz.

The Saudi Ara­bian-led ef­fort to iso­late the Per­sian Gulf state of Qatar high­lights the on­go­ing de­bate within the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion over whether to des­ig­nate the Mus­lim Brother­hood, an Is­lamic su­prem­a­cist or­ga­ni­za­tion, as a ter­ror­ist group.

A White House of­fi­cial said plans to des­ig­nate the Brother­hood as a ter­ror or­ga­ni­za­tion were put on hold ear­lier this year. The de­ci­sion was based on op­po­si­tion from gov­ern­ment bu­reau­crats who ar­gued the des­ig­na­tion would up­set diplo­matic, de­fense and law en­force­ment re­la­tions in the re­gion.

On Monday Saudi Ara­bia, Egypt, the United Arab Emi­rates and Bahrain sev­ered diplo­matic re­la­tions with Qatar for what they said was the Gulf state’s ties to ter­ror­ism.

Qatar has been linked to in­ter­na­tional fund­ing and sup­port for the Mus­lim Brother­hood, an an­tidemo­cratic group that seeks to im­pose po­lit­i­cal Is­lam un­der strict Shariah law, while also pre­serv­ing ties with Iran.

The Mus­lim Brother­hood’s op­er­at­ing motto is “Al­lah is our ob­jec­tive. The Prophet is our leader. Qu­ran is our law. Ji­had is our way. Dy­ing in the way of Al­lah is our high­est hope.”

One rea­son for the Pen­tagon’s op­po­si­tion to des­ig­nat­ing the Mus­lim Brother­hood was the con­cern that Qatar might ex­pel the 8,000 U.S. troops based in the small na­tion. Qatar’s Al Udeid air base is a cen­tral hub for U.S. airstrikes against Syria and Afghanistan.

Pro­po­nents of declar­ing the Mus­lim Brother­hood a ter­ror group say the des­ig­na­tion is ur­gently needed to as­sist the FBI and law en­force­ment in iden­ti­fy­ing Brother­hood net­works op­er­at­ing in­side the United States. Cur­rently, the group op­er­ates covertly through a num­ber of front or­ga­ni­za­tions.

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