Bans on the Muslim Brotherhood in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Russia might lay the basis for the passing of the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act in the US. Saudi Arabia and the Emirates have taken a firm stance against the Brotherhood since its political success in Egypt in the wake of the Arab Spring. Egypt labeled the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in December and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain earlier this year recalled their ambassadors from Qatar to protest its support to groups that threaten the regional stability like the Brotherhood and other islamist outfits. However, the UAE took the additional step of designating two Muslim Brotherhood groups in the USA as terrorist organizations, the Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS).
In the text of the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act, CAIR is referred to as “a Brotherhood-controlled entity” and political pressure to blacklist the Brotherhood and its associated groups is constantly rising. The bill was introduced earlier this year by Michelle Bachmann, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, and would in fact outlaw the radical Muslim Brotherhood in the USA. In the meantime, it has attracted 19 Republican co-sponsors, the Republicans have gained the largest majority in the House since World War II, while taking control of the Senate. Thus, the act is expected to be dealt with much quicker. On the other hand, the Obama administration will probably veto the bill, because it regards the Brotherhood as a nonviolent political group.
However, if the bill passes through Congress, it would not only put the Muslim Brotherhood and its US-subsidiaries on the list of terrorist organizations but it would also crack down on anyone in the USA who provides support or funding to the Brotherhood and related groups. Furthermore, the act proposes the denial of visas to Brotherhood members while deporting foreign nationals associated with the Brotherhood from the USA. The law would also freeze Muslim Brotherhood assets and dry up financial means and recruiting for Brotherhood groups.
In a first reaction to the UAE’s ban, CAIR expressed its incomprehension and called upon the Emirates to reconsider its step.