QATAR AND THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
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.