Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Egypt Brands the Brotherhood Terrorists: Will the U.S. Follow Suit?

Egypt Brands the Brotherhood Terrorists: Will the U.S. Follow Suit?

The interim Egyptian government formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization on Dec. 25, 2013. The decision, which came as little shock to most seasoned observers of Egypt, was made just days after a suicide bombing was allegedly carried out by a group called Ansar Bait al Maqdis – believed to have ties to Palestinian militants in Gaza – at a police headquarters in the Nile Delta region. Though the two groups are not tied, the event served as the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, following months of public outrage and regime ire aimed at the 85 year old Brotherhood (for inciting and carrying out public violence). Since the Egyptian military ousted former president and Brotherhood member, Mohamed Morsi, the country has been plagued by violence, sectarian strife, and instability. The dominant narrative to emerge from this toxic mix – albeit carefully crafted by the military’s top brass – is one of a war on terror. And in this narrative, the Muslim Brotherhood has become public enemy number one, with the regime zeroing in on statements made by Brotherhood members following the coup promising martyrdom in defense of their cause.

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أما الكاتبة الأميركية تالي هلفونت فتحدثت بإسهاب عن طبيعة موقف الإدارة الأميركية من جماعة الإخوان المسلمين بعد أن صنفتها مصر كـ«تنظيم إرهابي»، في ظل تأكيد الرئيس الأميركي حرص أميركا على علاقات بناءة مع الحكومة الانتقالية المصرية، وتتساءل الكاتبة: «هل ستؤيد أميركا قرار الحكومة المصرية بشأن الإخوان، والأهم هل ستحذو حذوها؟».

Read a version of this article in Arabic, أميركا والجماعة,as published in the February issue of al-Majalla (المجلة), here.