By Dalia Aqidi
continue in Washington D.C. to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist
organization due to its global activities.
Fradkin, Director of the Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the
Muslim World at the Hudson Institute emphasized to Al Arabiya English that the
Muslim Brotherhood is a global threat, "It is true that it operates on a
global basis or as global as it can be. It has branches in various Muslim
countries, especially Arab countries, but also other regional countries, and it
has organizations that were founded by and directed by its members in other
places like France, England, US, and so forth,” he said.
expert highlighted that the Brotherhood founder, Egyptian, Hassan al Banna, was
aiming to establish his organization outside Egypt as well, not for his personal
ambitions, but to implement the agenda of the Brotherhood’s project.
who testified before the United States’ House of Representatives Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform, last July, to consider the proposition that
Washington should declare the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
argued against the suggestions that if the U.S. takes this step, it would
negatively affect Washington’s foreign relations with several Arab and Muslim
countries, “If you take the case of Egypt, we were understood to be favorably
disposed towards the Brotherhood, especially with former U.S. President Barak
Obama's Cairo speech and his embrace of the group through it.
afterward, there was a general understanding on the part of some part of the
Egyptian public that we were siding with the Brotherhood. Unfortunately, a lot
of Egyptians were hostile to the U.S. They weren't favorable to us.” the US
expert told Al Arabiya English.
Muslim Brotherhood’s experiment
Obama basically said let's try an experiment. Let's see if we engage with them,
if we show some accommodation to the Muslim Brotherhood, let's see if we get
something positive out of that" Fradkin pointed out, adding that while the
whole world was going through that experiment, the Egyptians were the ones who
had to live with it. “Once the Brotherhood was in power, it showed us that they
weren't moderate,” he said.
United States’ laws when it comes to designating a person or a group as terrorists
have a specific definition of what that means and require specifically violent
acts, according to the US expert who pointed out that; “One could say that
there are certainly branches of the Brotherhood, which have committed violent
acts and terrorist acts. The Egyptian Brotherhood, before it fell from power,
or at the time it was falling from power, certainly committed violence acts. So
too did the Syrian Brotherhood in its day, and so too does Hamas on a regular
basis, which is a branch of the Brotherhood.”
his testimony, Fradkin explained to the committee that the Banna’s
Brotherhood’s project was to apply to all Muslims and the forms of government
under which they lived, rejecting the nation-state as a legitimate form of
ultimate goal was to form a new Muslim state which would embrace all Muslims
and would restore the authentic Muslim way of life as well as restore Muslim
political powered, military power, and Muslim prestige. To use a term that has
recently become familiar it was to be an Islamic and not a national state, or
rather The Islamic State.
emphasized to Al Arabiya English that the larger issue that was not captured
was the degree to which the Brotherhood contributes through its ideology and
through its attempts to impart that ideology to the people, to create a basic
understanding, which as often as not does wind up in violent acts, “It is very
hard to part that in a very clear way as such that it comes under the American
laws which was the complication in the hearing,” he said.
noted that recently Ayman al-Zawahiri, the present leader of Al Qaeda, reached
out to the Brotherhood expressing nostalgic appreciation for the fact that Al
Qaeda had been born out of the Brotherhood project and welcomed its members to
join his own.
of the groups that gain attention in our American politics, and elsewhere, are
brotherhood groups. I mean Isis and Al Qaeda cannot come out into the open, but
the brotherhood can and does in the form of organizations. The Council on
American-Islamic Relations “CARE” in the United States is an example which the
majority of the moderate Muslims argue that those people don't represent us,”
What should be done?
US administration should not treat these organizations and their leaders as
representatives of the Muslim community of the United States. That's the
beginning point,” the Hudson’s expert emphasized.
stressed that the Washington should be firm in dealing with the Brotherhood and
the countries that support, finance, harbor, or provide a platform for the
group to freely promote its ideology, The thing is countries like Saudi Arabia,
UAE, and Egypt had banned the Muslim brotherhood movements, they considered it
or they listed it as a terror group. While some of the US allies did not, and
still work with the group, such as Qatar,” Fradkin concluded.