Turkey: U.S. Labeling Muslim Brotherhood a Terror Group Will Boost ‘Islamophobia’

Turkey: U.S. Labeling Muslim Brotherhood a Terror Group Will Boost ‘Islamophobia’ by Edwin Mora for Breitbart

A top Turkish politician this week argued that the potential decision by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to list the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) as a foreign terrorist organization along with the likes of al-Qaeda would “increase Islamophobia” in America and Europe.

“This move also will increase Islamophobia in Europe and America and will strengthen the hands of extreme rightists and Islam’s enemies in another part of the World,” Omer Celik, the leader of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), declared on Tuesday, the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) reports.

Celik also alleged that a U.S. terrorist designation would “deal a major blow to democratization demands in several Middle East nations.”

Some analysts and critics of the designation argue that given the group’s wide range of support across various countries like Turkey and its presence within some of those governments, designating MB a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) would undermine the U.S. relationship with various countries in the Middle East that support the group.

Such designation would “pave the way for American sanctions on the transnational movement, which has supporters throughout the Arab and wider Muslim world,” AA alleges.

The non-governmental Countering Extremism Project (CEP) reports on the relationship between MB and Turkey’s ruling AKP party:

Some members of the leading Justice and Development Party (AKP), however—including Turkish President Recep Erdoğan—have provided various forms of support to the Brotherhood, including granting asylum to wanted Brotherhood members and equipping them with satellite television and radio stations. Despite being charged in absentia by the Egyptian government, some Brotherhood fugitives have been allowed to openly congregate in Turkey and organize against the Egyptian government.

“It is not an armed group, but … an ideological organization,” Erdogan argued in February 2017 in response to international pressure against MB, according to CEP. “There would be no tolerance for the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey if they had to do with terrorism, and we have not seen or observed any action [from them] that indicates this.”

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