This week a South Florida Republican congressman once again paired up with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in urging the federal government to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
On Tuesday, Cruz and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., brought out the “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act.” While noting members of the Muslim Brotherhood are classified as terrorists, the organization as a whole is not. This not a new topic for the two Republicans who brought out a similar proposal back in November 2015.
“I am proud to once again work with Senator Cruz to introduce this legislation in the 115th Congress,” Diaz-Balart said on Tuesday as he brought out the bill “The Muslim Brotherhood continues to support terrorist organizations that are responsible for acts of violence around the world,” Congressman Diaz-Balart said. “This bill would impose tough sanctions on a hateful group that has spread violence and spawned extremist movements throughout the Middle East. This designation is long overdue, and I look forward to working with the incoming administration and the appropriate committees to ensure that this bill becomes law. We have an incoming president who appreciates the threat of terrorism and has vowed to defeat it. Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization is an important step in defeating violent extremists.”
“This bill recognizes the simple fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is a radical Islamic terrorist group,” Cruz said when he first introduced the bill. “For years, American presidents of both parties have correctly designated the Brotherhood’s various affiliates, such as Hamas and Ansar al-Sharia, as terrorist groups. They have designated individual Muslim Brotherhood leaders such as Shaykh Abd-al-Majd Al-Zindani, who was complicit in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, and Sami Al-Hajj, who was captured on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in 2001 running money and weapons for al Qaida, as terrorists. Now we can reject the fantasy that their parent institution is a political entity that is somehow separate from these violent activities.
“A number of our Muslim allies have taken this common-sense step, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” Cruz added. “As this bill details, the Brotherhood’s stated goal is to wage violent jihad against its enemies, and our legislation is a reality check that the United States is on that list as well.”
The Muslim Brotherhood claims it is a group fighting for democracy but it is classified by several governments, including Russia as well as the nations Cruz listed, as a terrorist group.
The U.S. has officially listed individual members, branches, and charities of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists, such as Hamas, al Qaeda, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but has not designated the organization as a whole. The intent of the Brotherhood is stated within its Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America; “The process of settlement is a Civilization-Jihad process…The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers…”
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