Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas introduced a bill that would place a terrorist organization label on one of Egypt's most popular political groups, the Muslim Brotherhood.
Cruz also introduced a bill that would designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of that country's military, as a terrorist group.
“I am proud to reintroduce these bills that would codify needed reforms in America’s war against radical Islamic terrorism,” Cruz said in his official press release. “This potent threat to our civilization has intensified under the Obama administration due to the willful blindness of politically-correct policies that hamper our safety and security. A grand detente with the Muslim Brotherhood and a blind eye to the IRGC are not pathways to peace in this struggle; they guarantee the ultimate success of our enemy. It is time to call this enemy by its name and speak with clarity and moral authority.”
Cruz introduced the bills alongside Republican Reps. Michael McCaul of Texas and Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida.
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“I am proud to once again work with Senator Cruz to introduce this legislation in the 115th Congress,” Diaz-Balart said. “The Muslim Brotherhood continues to support terrorist organizations that are responsible for acts of violence around the world.”
He added, “This bill would impose tough sanctions on a hateful group that has spread violence and spawned extremist movements throughout the Middle East. This designation is long overdue, and I look forward to working with the incoming administration and the appropriate committees to ensure that this bill becomes law.”
During his confirmation hearing to be the next secretary of state, Rex Tillerson compared the Muslim Brotherhood to al-Qaida during testimony about how to handle ISIS.
“The demise of ISIS would also allow us to increase our attention on other agents of radical Islam like al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood and certain elements within Iran,” Tillerson said, according to published remarks from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
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The Muslim Brotherhood's popularity in Egypt allowed the group to win the country's presidency in 2012 with its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president.
That victory effectively ended U.S.-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak's 30-year grip on the country.
But in 2013, Morsi was overthrown in a military coup and courts subsequently sentenced him to life in prison. That sentence was eventually overturned in 2016, according to the BBC.
Since Morsi's ouster, Muslim Brotherhood members have been persecuted throughout Egypt, reports Al Jazeera.