Will Morocco’s PJD be affected by Trump’s Muslim Brotherhood terrorist designation ?

The Trump administration is looking into ways to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization. Will Morocco’s Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) be affected by the White House’s recent decision ?

Estimated read time: 2'
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his American counterpart Donald Trump. / Ph. DR

After an intense lobbying campaign conducted by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, US President Donald Trump announced that his administration is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization.

«The President has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process», White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Tuesday evening.

Reacting to the White House’s decision, a spokesman for Turkey’s Justice and Development Party, an Islamic party known also as AK, said that «the designation would hinder democratization efforts in the Middle East and provide a boost to other militant groups in the region», BBC reported.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Javad Zarif criticized Trump’s decision. «Trying to designate others as terrorists, the United States (is) not in a position, theoretically and practically, to start naming others as terrorist organizations», Zarif told reporters at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue in Doha.

Coming into force, the measure will allow the United States to impose sanctions on people and entities that are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Justice and Development Party’s commitment

Morocco’s Justice and Development Party (PDJ) is also concerned with this possible designation. In fact, closeness between PJD and the Muslim Brotherhood is endorsed by facts.

On August 18th, 2013, PJD members, including the wife of former Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, rallied in the streets of Rabat to denounce the way in which Egyptian security forces raided a protesters camp at the Rabaa Adawiya Square. In the Parliament, PJD MP Abdellah Bouanou urged other MPs at the House of Representatives to hold a special session to discuss the events in Egypt. His request, however, was ignored.

In March 2014, and during the sidelines of the 25th Arab League summit in Kuwait, Benkirane was almost going to create a diplomatic crisis with Egypt, when he left the conference room at the moment Egyptian acting President Adly Mansour was delivering his speech.

«Trump scares me», Benkirane said

But since then, Morocco’s Islamist party changed its «position» on the Muslim Brotherhood, adopting a more pragmatic one. «It is a phase that ended (…) and I do not want to address it», Benkirane said, answering a question asked by a reporter from American channel Al Hurra on former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

In November 2016, former head of Movement of Unity and Reform, the social movement branch of PJD Ahmad Raissouni told media that he was happy with Morsi’s fall. «I was happy because the presidency came in a bad timing, it was a mistake», he said.

For the record, Trump’s «new» decision is not really that «new». In November 2015, United States Senator for Texas Ted Cruz introduced a bill entitled «Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015». After taking office, Donald Trump endorsed the initiative of Ted Cruz. In January 2017, former United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson promised to consider the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

Interviewed by Al Hurra in October 2016, Abdelilah Benkirane said that «Donald Trump scares [him] a bit».

Be the first one to comment on our articles...