Sometimes these disagreements lead Brotherhood chapters to leave the international organization, as Kuwait’s Brotherhood did after the body supported Saddam’s occupation of their country.
As one of America’s foremost scholars of the Muslim Brotherhood has written, the group’s international organization “most closely resembles today’s Socialist International: a tame framework for a group of loosely linked, ideologically similar movements that recognize each other, swap stories and experiences in occasional meetings, and happily subscribe to a formally international ideology without giving it much priority.” Chapters of the Brotherhood have sometimes engaged in terrorism and other forms of political violence.
Many more countries designate local chapters of the Brotherhood terrorist organizations when they engage in terrorism, as has been the case with Hamas. But that designation should be confined to the chapter engaging in violence and not extended to the other Brotherhood entities elsewhere in the world that might have nothing to do with terrorism.
We would never argue that designating a Brotherhood segment is inappropriate. If credible evidence of terrorist activity is not forthcoming, it would quite simply be illegal for the United States to designate the Brotherhood on purely ideological grounds.
The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood fought an insurgency against the Syrian government in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Egyptian Brotherhood conducted terror attacks against the Egyptian government in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s until its second leader forbade revolutionary violence.
The Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, represented by Hamas, routinely uses terror tactics against Israel, which is why it is designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U. That prohibition held even after the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brother, in 2013 and the subsequent massacre of nearly 1,000 Muslim Brother protestors at the Rabaa mosque.
Today, the group has chapters in dozens of countries that are nominally coordinated by an international organization helmed by the Supreme Guide of Egypt’s Brotherhood.
It is difficult to assess the strength of the ties between the international organization and the various Brotherhood chapters, because of the organization’s penchant for secrecy.
From the available evidence, it seems the international organization () is unable to coerce its members or even set their agendas.
Although every Brotherhood chapter wants their local governments to implement Islamic law, they have very different policies as to how that should be accomplished and they frequently disagree with one another.