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It has been reported by the BBC that the Trump White House is working on designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organiz...

President Trump’s White House Moves To Crush The Muslim Brotherhood, Aims To Label Them A “Terrorist Organization”

It has been reported by the BBC that the Trump White House is working on designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. The announcement was made by the White House on Tuesday.

“The designation will bring economic and travel sanctions against Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement, with more than a million members across the Middle East,” the BBC reports.

The decision to designate the organization as a terrorist group came after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited the White House in April.

The media reported that Sisi requested that President Donald Trump make the move.

The Trump administration’s push for the group to be designated as a terrorist organization was made by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“The President has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process,” Huckabee Sanders explained in a statement.

The BBC reports:

The Trump administration first directed security and diplomatic officials to find a way to impose sanctions on the Brotherhood after a meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Sisi on 9 April, US media report.

Egypt already describes the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists. Mr Sisi overthrew President Mohammed Morsi in 2013, a former Brotherhood leader.

Once the US designation is announced, sanctions on companies and individuals who interact with the group will come into effect.

The Muslim Brotherhood released a statement on their webpage which said that they would continue to be committed to their cause, no matter what decision the Trump administration makes, reported Reuters.

“We will remain … steadfast in our work in accordance with our moderate and peaceful thinking and what we believe to be right, for honest and constructive cooperation to serve the communities in which we live, and humanity as a whole,” the statement reads.

The New York Times reported that the decision caused problems between Trump administration officials and Pentagon staff members.

United States National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are both in support of the move, however according to the BBC, “career national security staff, government lawyers and diplomatic officials have raised legal and policy objections. These concerns have been mirrored by other domestic and foreign actors.”

Via the BBC:

A spokesman for Turkey’s ruling AK Party said on Tuesday that the designation would hinder democratisation efforts in the Middle East and provide a boost to other militant groups in the region, according to US media.

The Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington DC, released a video featuring senior fellow Shadi Hamid in which Mr Hamid said the “unanimous position” among experts is that the designation is inaccurate.

“As a factual matter, the Muslim Brotherhood is not a terrorist organisation,” Hamid stated. (Hamid spends time working on Islamist movements at Brookings’ Center for Middle East Policy.)

“There is not a single American expert on the Muslim Brotherhood who supports designating them” as a terrorist organization, he stated.

The BBC reports:

The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, has influenced Islamist movements around the world with its model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work.

The movement was initially intended to spread Islamic morals and good works, but soon became involved in politics, particularly the fight to rid Egypt of British colonial control and cleanse it of all Western influence.

In the first parliamentary elections after President Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in February 2011, the political party associated with the Muslim Brotherhood ascended to power, winning nearly half the seats in Egypt’s parliament.

Since Mr Morsi’s ousting, thousands of Brotherhood members have been arrested.