Some members of the U.S. Congress are trying proscribe the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group as the new administration prepares to fight "Islamic terrorism." The legislation, tabled by Republican senators Ted Cruz and Mario Diaz-Balart and supported by the Trump administration has been criticized by rights groups as the Muslim Brotherhood has thousands of sympathizers across the world. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) said outlawing the organization may lead to a witch hunt. Despite the U.S.'s support for the military coup that overthrew Egypt's first democratically elected President Mohammad Morsi in 2013 by the former top general and the incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, Cruz said, "This potent threat to our civilization intensified under the Obama administration due to the willful blindness of politically correct policies that hamper our safety and security." The bill, which likens the Muslim Brotherhood to al-Qaida and finds them equally dangerous, said the organization espoused "a violent Islamist ideology with the mission of destroying the West." Rex Tillerson, who proposed the bill, recently became the new secretary of state and obtained the power to impose the bill's outcome.
In the last week, several pro-Trump U.S. media outlets claimed the Brotherhood shared the same ideology as Daesh, is helping al-Qaida and has been involved in several terror attacks. The photos they used did not belong to the Brotherhood. Citing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have been centers of the radical religious interpretation of Salafism and eagerly supported the Egyptian coup, banning of the group, the media outlets claimed the Brotherhood had millions of dollars in the U.S. If the bill passes, all the assets will be confiscated, the Brotherhood-related institutions will be closed and its members will be either arrested or deported.
It is currently a question of what makes a group a terrorist organization and how the group can be outlawed. Another question is whether all Islamic groups will be outlawed. For instance, will the U.S. ban Egypt's political Salafi party Al-Nour? The Muslim Brotherhood's Islamic perspective is comprehensive; to explain the Quran, to increase the wealth of the people, to unify Muslims, to combat ignorance, to free Islamic lands from foreigners and their allies and to promote peace across the world. The struggle is pervasive and includes every aspect of daily life. In order to achieve these goals, the Muslim Brotherhood has not avoided being pragmatic and making alliances in politics. The Salafi approach to Islamism is different. For Salafis, it is more important to strictly stick to the Quran and hadith. In the first years of the Salafi movement, the scope of the organizations was limited to charitable activities and calling people to "true Islam." They continued holding this stance until the last elections by claiming that there was no position for religion in the current political sphere. They criticized the Muslim Brotherhood because of their role in politics. In principle, Salafis refused to even discuss democracy, as they consider it to be a Western system and in democracies legitimacy comes from people rather than God.
Outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood, which has had a significant social and political impact in the region and is subject to thousands of academic research projects, will bring about new questions.
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