Eric Trager was the Esther K. Wagner Fellow at The Washington Institute.
Articles & Testimony
The idea of formally designating the group as a terrorist organization raises technical and legal issues that could bolster already-marginalized Brotherhood members in unintended ways if handled improperly.
The Muslim Brotherhood preaches a violent, exclusivist ideology. Its websites and social media accounts are chock-full of anti-Christian and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Its affiliated networks in Istanbul have threatened foreign nationals in Egypt. Its leading figures and platforms have embraced violence and martyrdom explicitly. And its motto -- which concludes with "jihad is our way, death for the sake of Allah is our highest aspiration" -- leaves little doubt regarding the length to which its members are willing to go in pursuit of the Brotherhood's ultimate goal, which is to establish a chain of Islamic theocracies and, in the long run, a "global Islamic state."
The Trump administration is therefore right to be concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood and the extent to which it encourages terrorism. But if it moves forward with its reported plan to designate the group as a terrorist organization, it will face two technical, but nonetheless significant, hurdles...