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New Senate Bill Could Punish Arab and Muslim Organizations

posted on: Feb 8, 2017

New Senate Bill Could Punish Arab and Muslim Organizations
Senator Ted Cruz introduces The Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act

BY: Diego Reyes/Contributing Writer

Since the inauguration of Donald Trump, Muslim politics and Islamophobia have quickly become two of the most discussed topics in the nation. A perceived war between the West and the Muslim world have been moved to the forefront of American consciousness, prompting the nation’s leaders to respond.

In his attempt to fight against “radical Islamic terrorism,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced The Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act. The legislation would designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization by the State Department. The Muslim Brotherhood, a political party of Egypt has been blamed for assisting and supporting terrorist organizations with the ultimate goal of eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within. These accusations have prompted American Senators to label it a violent extremist group. The bill has gained some support, especially from the Republican Party. Both Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Florida) believe that this will be the best way to fight against the spread of terrorism. The bill has been introduced before by Sen. Cruz, but never gained enough traction under the Obama administration. Many argued that the bill would do more harm than good, but all that changed when President Trump took office.

The bill has gained some support, especially from the Republican Party. Both Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Florida) believe that this will be the best way to fight against the spread of terrorism. The bill has been introduced before by Sen. Cruz, but never gained enough traction under the Obama administration. Many argued that the bill would do more harm than good, but all that changed when President Trump took office.

Reintroduced on January 10, 2017, the bill would also allow the government to declare other groups that have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations, even if there is no evidence of a connection. It would act as a tool to not only isolate, but also intimidate the Muslim American community.

Not only that, but the government will also be able to use the bill to legally discriminate against Muslim American organizations and their supporters, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Muslim Students Association (MSA)- just two organizations that have been falsely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in the past.This legislation will also impact Arab Americans because it can trigger more discrimination and increase

This legislation will also impact Arab Americans because it can trigger more discrimination and increase the difficulty of traveling for those who are part of a group “affiliated” with the Muslim Brotherhood, such as Students for Justice in Palestine.

However, the most concerning aspect of the bill is that it is not backed up by facts whatsoever, but by the sheer hatred these Senators have toward an ideology. The government is not the only entity that will be empowered to act against Arab and Muslims Americans; the bill may also influence citizens to act discriminatory and hostile towards the Muslim community, regardless of the fact that there are no connections to terrorism. Eventually, this will generalize and incite more bigotry towards Muslims, and those perceived as Muslim, no matter the background or affiliation to any group, leading to further segregation, hate crimes, and an “us” versus “them” mentality.It is important to recognize what this legislation is capable of doing, which is to put all Muslims under the same spectrum of “anti-West”. Fueled by hatred, this legislation would act as another excuse to marginalize the Muslim American community. This will not only further divide the nation in two, but will also spread ignorance that will lead to more irrational fear of the Muslim world.

It is important to recognize what this legislation is capable of doing, which is to put all Muslims under the same spectrum of “anti-West”. Fueled by hatred, this legislation would act as another excuse to marginalize the Muslim American community. This will not only further divide the nation in two, but will also spread ignorance that will lead to more irrational fear of the Muslim world.

Sen. Cruz has already taken a stance on his views and hopes to push his legislation through. “We have an incoming president who appreciates the threat of terrorism and has vowed to defeat it. Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization is an important step in defeating violent extremists.”