Trump drops plan to designate Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organisation

The Trump administration has abandoned plans to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation, according to US officials who spoke to the Washington Times on condition of anonymity.

The White House has not publicly commented on the issue but officials reported a heated debate on the issue as well as an internal State Department memorandum last month that advised against designating the Brotherhood, which the administration followed.

Washington Times argued that Jordan, where the Brotherhood movement holds 16 seats in parliament, might have pressured Trump to ditch the plan.

The Egyptian government has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood since the military coup in 2013, a year after Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi became the country’s first ever public-elected leader.

The Muslim Brotherhood was born in Egypt in the late 1920s and is said to be the first modern political organisation based on an Islamic fundamentalist agenda.

The Brotherhood has a wide spectrum of factions engaged all around the Muslim world. Hamas was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood’s branch in Palestine and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey is considered to be from the same genealogy as the Brotherhood in Turkey.

After the fall of the Egyptian President Morsi, Turkey became the regional hub for the Muslim Brotherhood’s International Organisation, experts say.