US: Muslim Brotherhood terror org, says US House committee

25th Feb 2016
US: Muslim Brotherhood terror org, says US House committee

By Esra Kaymak Avci

 

WASHINGTON (AA) — The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill Wednesday to urge the U.S. to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.

Opposing the legislation, congressman John Conyers said the measure was a result of an ongoing Islamophobia in the U.S.

Not enough research was made to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, Conyers said, adding that the committee put forth the bill “without holding a single hearing and without considering the serious diplomatic and foreign policy ramifications of our action”.

“I fear that this bill appeals to our base fears. Islamophobia may be good politics – time will tell – but it is certainly not good policy. It does not serve our national security or foreign policy interests.

And it will not make us safer,” he said. The bill, which calls on the State Department to recognize and sanction the Muslim Brotherhood as a “foreign terrorist organization,” passed easily by a 17-10 vote.

“The United States must recognize and sanction the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization as part of our national security strategy,” Rep. Diaz-Balart, who sponsored the bill.

Republican presidential contender Sen. Ted Cruz also introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte commended Diaz-Balart for introducing the legislation, saying the designation would make it “less likely that the Muslim Brotherhood will be able to further infiltrate the United States.”

If the bill passes a full House vote, it will then move to the Senate.

Once both chambers pass the bill, it is presented to President Barack Obama who will have 10 days to sign or veto the legislation.

The State Department will consider within 60 days whether to agree to the bill.

If it decides not to list the group as a terrorist organization, it will have to provide a “detailed justification as to which criteria have not been met,” the bill said.

 

[Photo: Congressman John Conyers says designation of Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organisation is Islamophobic. Photograph: US Congress]

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