The Muslim Brotherhood and Trump’s terror list

Source: Aljazeera

Outlawing the Brotherhood reflects a total failure to understand the historical complexities of the group’s evolution.

Previous attempts to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation were largely limited to the most vociferously anti-Muslim voices in Washington [Reuters]


Abdullah Al-Arian is assistant professor of history at Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service in Qatar and author of Answering the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Sadat’s Egypt.

During his short but impassioned inauguration address, Donald Trump listed just one specific foreign policy objective for his incoming administration: The battle against “radical Islamic terrorism”, which he pledged to “eradicate from the face of the Earth”.

To be sure, since George W Bush launched the War on Terror in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, US foreign policy has been largely shaped by the determination to confront militant violence across the Middle East and beyond.

In his last year in office, Barack Obama dropped more than 26,000 bombs – the vast majority of them over Muslim-majority countries.

However, what distinguishes the newly installed Trump team from past administrations is its empowerment of extremist figures who wish to expand the ideological component of this conflict by blurring the lines between militant groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, ostensibly the targets of the American anti-terror offensive, and more mainline Islamic movements that have attempted to influence their governments through non-violent means, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its regional offshoots.

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