A resolution introduced in the House of Representatives last October calling on the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization advanced Wednesday. The House Judiciary Committee approved the measure in a 17-10 partisan vote, and the resolution, introduced by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), now has 28 cosponsors.
Democrats on the committee voted against.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the resolution — H.R. 3892, the “Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015” — expresses that Congress believes: (1) the Muslim Brotherhood has met the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization, and (2) the Department of State should so designate it.
It would require the State Department to report to Congress within 60 days as to whether the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for foreign terrorist designation, and if not, which criteria have not been met.
The resolution’s findings note that the U.S. government has already designated branches, leaders, and charities of the international Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists.
A companion bill in the Senate, S. 2230, was introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and is cosponsored by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), President Pro Tempore of the Senate and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Both measures were introduced in early November.
After today’s vote, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) issued a statement in support of the resolution:
The Muslim Brotherhood’s embrace of terrorism and the very real threat it poses to American lives and the national security of the United States make it long overdue for designation. The bill passed by the House Judiciary Committee today calls the State Department to do the right thing and designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. This will make it less likely that members of the Muslim Brotherhood will be able to enter the United States. I thank Congressman Diaz-Balart for introducing this bill and urge the House of Representatives to consider it immediately.
As many outlets have recently reported, elements of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have increasingly taken up violence in numerous acts of terrorism targeting the Egyptian government. I noted here at PJ Media last June that the Muslim Brotherhood has effectively dropped its “non-violent” mask and adopted terrorism as a matter of policy, per the following examples and others:
- The official Muslim Brotherhood website published a statement in January 2015 calling for all-out jihad.
- An international group of Muslim Brotherhood clerics published a statement in May calling for the “complete elimination” of the current Egyptian government, including attacks on the media.
- A July 1 statement published on the official Muslim Brotherhood website called for their supporters to “come out in rebellion” against the Egyptian government.
- In Libya, Muslim Brotherhood militias have reportedly partnered with Ansar al-Sharia, the group accused of attacking the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in September 2012.
Countries such as Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Russia, and Saudi Arabia have already designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
During the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, federal prosecutors noted in court filings that virtually all elements of the Muslim Brotherhood around the world have established committees to support Hamas, the self-declared Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. President Bill Clinton designated Hamas a terrorist organization in 1995.
Prosecutors named several prominent U.S. Islamic organizations as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation case. A federal judge later ruled that there was “ample evidence” that those groups acted to support Hamas.
And yet Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee lined up against the resolution, including committee ranking member Rep. John Conyers (D-MI):
Rep. John Conyers accuses bill sponsors of Islamophobia. Sure sign there’s no good arguments against passage.
— Kyle Shideler (@ShidelerK) February 24, 2016
The Washington, D.C. foreign policy establishment — many of whom hailed the Muslim Brotherhood as moderates who were going to bring democracy to the Middle East, and cheered the Islamist group’s takeover in Egypt and Tunisia — have also panned the resolution:
I’m no fan of the MB, but this is a bad idea. Judiciary Comm Calls on Admin to List Muslim Brotherhood as Terror Org https://t.co/kO7ASnTTtl
— Matthew Levitt (@Levitt_Matt) February 24, 2016
The House bill may go next to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where several subcommittee chairs have already cosponsored the resolution. The Senate has not yet taken any action on the companion measure.