US House committee calls Muslim Brotherhood 'terror group'

US House Judiciary Committee defines Muslim Brotherhood as foreign terrorist group

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

The chamber of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The US House Judiciary Committee passed a bill on Wednesday to urge the US to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.

Congressman John Conyers, opposing the legislation, stated the measure was in consequence of an ongoing Islamophobia in the US.

Conyers said not enough research was made to call the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and added 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,” he said.

The bill, which passed easily by a 17-10 vote, also calls sanction on the Muslim Brotherhood.

"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.

Mongi Dhaouadi of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, a Washington think-tank, said "We don't know exactly who is behind this... But we definitely think that Sisi's lobbying [for] it, possibly the UAE is behind it."

The UAE defined the organization as a terrorist group in late 2014.

If the bill passes by a simple majority in the House, it will move to the Senate.

As soon as both chambers pass the bill, President Barack Obama will have 10 days to ratify or veto the legislation.

The State Department will evaluate the bill within 60 days whether to agree on it.

If it decides not to add it in the terrorist organization list, it will have to explain a "detailed justification as to which criteria have not been met," the bill said.

TRTWorld and agencies