How an obscure U.S. policy effort could hurt American Muslims

Source: The Washington Post

January 11
U.S. lawmakers have introduced a measure calling for the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the oldest Islamist organizations in the Middle East, to be designated a foreign terrorist organization, and for the first time in recent years they are optimistic it will get signed into law.

The Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act, introducedthis week by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) in both chambers of Congress, advocates for the designation on the grounds that the Muslim Brotherhood espouses “a violent Islamist ideology with a mission of destroying the West.”

It marks the fifth straight year that lawmakers have introduced legislation to this effect. Previous administrations — as well as counterterrorism analysts and political scientists who study the Brotherhood — have not viewed the group, which has held elected political offices across the Middle East, as a threat, preferring to engage it diplomatically.

President-elect Donald Trump, his supporters say, sees things differently.

Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, the person who would make such a designation, on Wednesday referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as an adversary during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but he stopped short of calling for a terrorist designation.

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