Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, said that designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization — an authority held by the secretary of state — would be a “pro-Muslim” policy, offering his remarks in a Thursday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.
Jasser said he was “heartened” over governmental consideration of designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
“I think now it’s actually going to happen,” speculated Jasser, reflecting on the Trump administration’s decision to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Corps a foreign terrorist organization. “Obviously, there are a lot of technicalities over how our government declares an FTO — a foreign terrorist organization — and I testified to Congressman DeSantis at the House Oversight Committee last year, and said why I, as a Muslim, think there’s nothing more pro-Muslim than a global designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as an FTO, just like they declared the IRGC a terrorist group last month.”
Jasser added, “There’s no doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood, ideologically, has constantly over its over 90 years of existence reverted back to terrorism and radicalization, and there’s been tons of back and forth between al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“There needs to be some nuance to it,” warned Jasser of listing the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. “As much as I support a global designation, what does that mean? That means, to me, you start in Egypt, where the mother ship is.”
Muslim Brotherhood branches in Egypt, Kuwait, Syria, and Yemen should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations, advised Jasser.
“I would use the World War analogy,” recommended Jasser. “We declared the Soviet Union an evil empire and had a strategy against them, but we didn’t outlaw the American Communist Party and others that clearly and openly did not swear allegiance to the Soviets,” he recalled, cautioning against “running afoul of free speech issues and our constitutional laws.”
“The benefit of declaring the Muslim Brotherhood … a terror group is that other groups that are part of their global group — especially in the West — will begin to wither on the vine because it makes them and their ideas radioactive.”
Jasser noted that “Qatar-based groups” and the left-wing Democrat-aligned Brookings Institution mobilized in opposition to the aforementioned considerations.
Jasser recalled his genesis as an advocate for Islamic reform while examining Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
“As tough as it is to see these really pretty radical Islamists that are now in Congress, I think, and it’s always a blessing, this has been my world since I’ve been fighting political Islam since I was in high school and in college and learning about the Muslim Students’ Association. Then after 9/11, we formed an organization, and people said, ‘Why aren’t you guys just against terrorism? Why are you for the separation of mosque and state and working against political Islam?’ and we said, ‘The root cause, the conveyor belt of radicalization is not only the terror groups, but it is the Islamic republics of Iran, of Pakistan, of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism. All of these are cauldrons that are part of political Islam that needs reform.'”
Jasser added, “In America, now, we have two congresspeople that have worldviews that view America as the problem, that are just at their core just antisemitic and anti-Israel, where they see aid to Israel as problematic that needs sanctions, but yet, they want to help Maduro and other fascist dictators. The whole world is upside down, and these are the Islamists we’ve been dealing with in our mosques and elsewhere.”
Jasser continued, “Even on the right, people have said, ‘It’s not a big problem. Muslims are just two percent of the population.’ We’ve said, ‘Listen, we have opportunities to do reforms in America that could then change the world if we actually had tough love for our Muslim colleagues and held them accountable to the same values that we hold everybody else.'”
One benefit of the elections of Omar and Tlaib, assessed Jasser, is the increased public exposure of the ideology of America’s Islamic “establishment.”
Jasser remarked, “Now, since Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have been in Congress, people are like, ‘Oh, my God, they’re right. These are radical positions. What’s going on?’ We’re like, ‘Welcome to our world.’ These are the folks that are the establishment in the Muslim community that need to be exposed, and on a daily basis, people are getting an education into their worldview. I think in some ways, it’s a blessing. People are starting to get some exposure, and in other ways, you’re seeing a lot of dysfunction in dealing with it, and you’re starting to learn why [Ilhan Omar’s] district in Minnesota, for example, has the highest radicalization rate for Somali refugees going to fight jihad. It’s not a coincidence that exists. … People are starting to put the pieces together.”
“What you’re seeing in terms of progress [in Muslims speaking up against radicalization] is folks that are almost forced or necessitated to speak up,” assessed Jasser. “It’s not because they’ve actually begun to help our platforms of reform … looking to expose the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and legacy groups and to expose the influence of Islamists and ideologies that are not compatible with American law and American identity.”
Jasser called on American Muslims to mobilize and lead a global Islamic reform effort. “The next step is for American Muslims to realize that we have an opportunity to do things here that our families in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere cannot do because they don’t have the freedom to do it. … Americans, at some point, if they don’t see us [Muslims] embracing Americanism and pushing back against sharia supremacism, they’re going to get ticked off and really begin to make things really uncomfortable. It needs to be a genuine response.”
Jasser concluded, “Most Muslims say, ‘Well, this is not a Muslim country. It’s not like living in Syria, so we don’t have to do what’s necessary. We’re sort of happy going to work and doing our own thing.’ That’s not good enough. That’s not going to be the legacy that’s going to affect a quarter of the world’s population that is a constituency for political Islamist groups unless we start to push back and have an offense, like in the Cold War. … We need to have an offense in the Muslim community for reform against political Islam [and] the Muslim Brotherhood, and we really don’t have an offense yet.”
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