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The Muslim Brotherhood controversy in the West

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi

Published: Updated:

In some Western countries, especially in the US and Britain, there is controversy over classifying the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. This debate should be followed up on and there must be work to develop it and to provide important information about it to everyone who participates in decision-making in the US and Britain.

The world should know that the war against terrorism will not end unless the Muslim Brotherhood is declared a terrorist organization. In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood is the main source of terrorism, the mother of all terror groups and organizations. It is the origin of all the branches of the modern terrorism that falsely associate themselves with Islam. If the Muslim Brotherhood is not classified as a terrorist organization, it will continue to produce more terrorism.

As the famous Arab proverb says: “The people of Mecca are the ones who know best the territory of Mecca.” The most important Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, have classified the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi

Different stances

According to Al Arabiya, the debate over classifying the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization was reopened in the US earlier this month and as usual there was a split between the Republicans and Democrats over the matter. The Republicans tend to move towards classifying the organization as terrorist, while the Democrats tend to move in an opposite direction.

It reflects the difference between the reasoning of President Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama. Trump pursues “America First” policy while Obama sought to ally with all the opponents of the US, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

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A similar controversy is raging in Britain. The issue of the Muslim Brotherhood is crucial for any state that is keen on combating terrorism and eliminating extremism. All files dealing with fighting terrorism, Al-Qaeda or ISIS would not be able to succeed unless the Muslim Brotherhood is classified a terrorist organization and unless the parent organization and all its branches around the world are eliminated.

Those who defend the terrorist group in both countries cling to weak excuses that do not deny the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood established religious violence and terrorism and historically practiced this across regions. Their argument is based on two claims. The first one is that the organization abandoned terrorism in the 1970s, while the second is that it is supported by some regional countries like Turkey and Qatar which may require strong policies to take on these two countries.

A terrorist organization

The first line of argument is an explicit admission that the Muslim Brotherhood established modern terrorism and it claims that it has stopped doing so but without any evidence to support it. In fact, all evidence proves that it never abandoned terrorism, ever since the days of the old “secret organization,” to Sayyid Qutb’s group in the 1960s, his protégés in the 1970s, the Arab Afghans in the 1980s and up until Al Qaeda and ISIS, the Hamas Movement in Palestine, the Hasm Movement in Egypt and many more.

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As for the second argument pertaining to countries that support terrorism, the West should take a serious stance to force these countries to reject terrorism, its groups and branches, keep away from it, renounce it and cut all ties with it. If this is not done, Western countries and the world will not be able to live peacefully.

As the famous Arab proverb says: “The people of Mecca are the ones who know best the territory of Mecca.” The most important Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, have classified the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

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Afterwards, they made decisions and adopted laws and policies against this group and its allies, and the most important decision was boycotting Qatar and dealing with extreme caution with branches of the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen. This is in addition to implementing strict laws against followers of the group in their own countries as well as adopting other important measures that reveal a clear vision and awareness towards this group.

Although it is difficult to influence the public opinion in the West, it does not mean one should give up and not work hard as it rather means one must seriously work and establish effective policies and influential institutions in all possible ways to ensure the right results and best outcomes.

Finally, it is good to clarify the extent and seriousness of the threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood to the public opinion and decision makers in Western countries that are currently engaged in the controversy about it as well in other countries that have not yet engaged in this debate.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher. He is a member of the board of advisors at Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center. He tweets under @abdullahbjad.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.