What does the new U.S. administration’s focus on radical Islamist terrorism in its fight against violent extremism mean? How should the American Muslim community respond? What would it mean for Muslim organizations — moderate and otherwise — if the United States were to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization?
In this podcast, Kamran Bokhari, senior fellow with the Center for Global Policy, talks with CGP Fellow Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, an expert on Africa and countering violent extremism (CVE) at the United States Institute of Peace about the Trump Administration’s priorities, the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and its connections around the world, Islamist terrorism in Africa and the spread of ISIS.
Fraser-Rahim sheds light on the American Muslim community’s responses so far to CVE efforts. He also recommends that, although the American Muslim community is not a monolith, American Muslims should offer tangible recommendations on curbing radicalization to show they are willing to work with the Trump Administration, and that the administration be willing to work with Muslims as well. He also points out that in some other countries, the Muslim Brotherhood (and other groups like it) is allowed to operate because it gives a voice to populations that could easily turn to violence if they are not heard in the halls of government. However, some members of the Muslim Brotherhood have engaged in violence. Fraser-Rahim recommends that the Trump Administration be flexible in how it handles the Muslim Brotherhood and similar organizations.
Terrorist activities in Africa — from Boko Haram in Western Africa to Al-Shabaab in the east — also come under scrutiny in this podcast, as does the growing influence ISIS has across the continent.