Texas Senator Ted Cruz is trying to force the Obama administration’s hand to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, reports The Hill.
Along with Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), the Republican presidential candidate introduced legislation Tuesday calling on the Obama administration to designate the Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.
Called the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act, the bill comes in the wake of a string of evidence that the group supports terrorism, and after recent, similar moves from a handful of foreign countries. The bill notes for example that Egypt, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, among other nations, have described the group as a terrorist organization over the last four decades.
In a statement yesterday, Cruz declared,
“As this bill details, the Brotherhood’s stated goal is to wage violent jihad against its enemies, and our legislation is a reality check that the United States is on that list as well."
Some members of the Brotherhood are already on a terror list, but Cruz wants to go to the source:
“Now we can reject the fantasy that their parent institution is a political entity that is somehow separate from these violent activities."
The legislation would not automatically label the Brotherhood a terrorist group, as The Hill notes. Instead, it would express a “sense of Congress” that the Brotherhood meets the criteria of a terrorist group, and the State Department has 60 days to explain whether or not it agrees. If the State Department does not agree, it then would have to provide a “detailed justification as to which criteria have not been met," the bill states.
The Muslim Brotherhood in recent years has been a target of conservatives as a breeding ground for Islamic terrorism. In 2014, former Rep. Michele Bachmann spearheaded a similar effort which failed to reach President Obama.