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Which Brotherhood does Trump want to designate as a ‘terrorist organisation’?

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Ever since late 2017 there have been behind-the-scenes discussions in the White House about designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terrorist organisation”. On 30 April, administration officials confirmed that it is only a matter of time before the movement is indeed designated. This will have legal ramifications and repercussions. Which Muslim Brotherhood does Washington want to designate, though? And how does that serve US interests?

Between its foundation in Egypt in 1928 and today, the Brotherhood has evolved hugely in both ideology and practice. The group’s hierarchy and decision-making processes might be the same as its founder Hassan Al-Banna envisioned it 91 years ago, but everything else has changed. It has, for example, developed extraordinary survival skills that helped it through its difficult years in Egypt from the 1960s and beyond. By creating different but affiliated organisations, each adapting itself to its own political and social environment while sharing the same ideology, the movement became one of the oldest Islamist political parties.

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, is a good example of how Brotherhood members mobilised their extensive popular base into charity work, before turning to resistance to the Zionist occupation. Hamas is essentially an offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood and is already designated as a “global terrorist entity” in its own right. It is also a political party and, regardless of the difficulties it might face as a result of the terrorist designation, it is part of any Palestinian equation in the immediate and long-term future.

READ: Hamas is worried and silent about Saudi Arabia’s policy towards it

Similarly, Ennahda Movement in Tunisia was banned under the ousted Ben Ali regime, but returned post-2011 revolution........

© Middle East Monitor