US Senator Cruz re-introduces legislation to label Muslim Brotherhood as terror group

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US Senator Ted Cruz has re-introduced legislation that would designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization if passed.

US lawmakers have previously tried to pass similar laws against the Brotherhood, a transnational religious-political organization founded in Egypt in 1928. While the US government has designated some violent affiliates over the past few years, it has so far refrained from designating the Muslim Brotherhood itself.

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“Many of our closest allies in the Arab world have long ago concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group that seeks to sow chaos across the Middle East, and I will continue working with my colleagues to take action against groups that finance terrorism,” Senator Cruz said in a statement published on his website about the legislation introduced last week.

The bill put forth by US Senator Cruz, a Republican from Texas, was first introduced in 2017 by a group of Republican senators. But even before 2017, legislation to have the group branded as terrorist had been introduced each year in the prior five years. Cruz notably introduced legislation in 2015, which was shelved, that would’ve barred Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations in the US.

The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt more than 90 years ago, has been designated as a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates – all who have called on the US to designate the group as a terrorist organization. Jordan has also cracked down on the group.

While the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi won Egypt’s first free presidential elections in 2012, he was toppled a little over a year later by the military following widespread protests.

Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have outlawed the group.

Some of the group’s offshoots, including the Palestinian militant group Hamas, have been designated by the US.

The 2017 legislation was coupled with a plan to have Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps designated, a move the Trump administration made in mid-2019.

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