Barry Tigay
Follow Dr. Tigay @TigayBarry

We Must Hammer Islamism, but use other tools also.

To effectively counter Islamism, we need to use all of the tools available in our very large toolbox. While Israel fights Hamas in Gaza, others who have a stake in opposing the hegemonic movement are not doing all they can to stem this threat.

By recently (re)designating the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) and suspending funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) the United States is utilizing some of the tools it had abandoned with the inauguration of the Biden Administration. In fighting against Islamist jihad, being for it before you are against it and then being for it again is not a strategy we can afford. We must be clear in our goals and consistent in their application.

The United States and allies have several, potentially highly effective, non-military options that are not being used.

Designate the Muslim Brotherhood as an FTO:

This long overdue step has been discussed for years, but not implemented. The Biden Administration (and Western allies) should make this designation now.

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is the ideological and financial parent of Hamas, ISIS, Taliban, Al-Qaida, and numerous other violent and non-kinnetic or stealth jihadist organizations. There is ample evidence that these organizations have engaged in or supported terrorism.

MB has also spawned stealth jihad organizations such as The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim American Society, Students for Justice in Palestine, and others.

The designation as an FTO would allow for much stronger authority to limit visits, deport, and prevent immigration of individuals associated with the group. It would allow for the prosecution of anyone providing “material support” to the entity. It would enable the freezing of assets that individuals or organizations could use to help the FTO.

Several nations, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Russia, Bahrain, and others have designated MB as an FTO.

Designate Qatar as a state sponsor of terrorism (SST)

Qatar, the wealthy natural gas powerhouse and absolute monarchy has long been an Islamist, Muslim Brotherhood-aligned country. They provide a haven for jihadist leaders such as Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal of Hamas, leaders of the Taliban, Al-Qaida, and other Islamist terror groups.

The influence operations of Qatar in Western culture, politics, business, and education are vast. They use elaborate methods to maintain secrecy. The US must expose and oppose this dangerous exploitation.

Qatar-owned and managed Al-Jazeera media operations are a malign influence on Western culture. Qatar has fought to prevent its registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Qatar is the largest donor to educational institutions in the world and much of the education tilts Islamist, anti-American, anti-West and antisemitic. They fund many US university programs through the Qatar Foundation. They hide the funding by using elaborate cutouts, business partners, litigation, and denial. Universities have cooperated in maintaining this secrecy.

The US must designate Qatar as an SST, revoke its Major non-NATO ally status, move Al-Udeid Air Base (this can be done in stages by beginning to station assets elsewhere as soon as feasible), and stop US-designated terror financiers from operating with impunity in Qatar.

Qatar has played a double game of serving as an intermediary between the US and terror groups such as the Taliban and Hamas. It’s not worth the cost to continue enabling the terror-supporting Qataris.

The SST designation allows for financial sanctions and criminal penalties for those offering material support to Qatar. It would allow for denial of entry to the US and deportation.

Impose maximum sanctions on the Iranian regime and support the opposition:

The US and its allies have been too timid in applying sanctions to Iran and given too much sanction relief and too many exclusions. Maximum sanctions must be imposed on the Iranian mullah regime, the murdering, hostage-taking, extortion gang that is behind the destruction of moderate Muslim societies and kafirs (infidels) wherever they can find them. The recent easing of sanctions sends the wrong message to friends and foes alike.

The US is currently exchanging fire with Iran’s proxy, the Houthis, in Yemen. The higher risk and more costly kinetic action should be supplemented with the diplomatic and legal tools of sanctions and support for opposition forces.

Support for opposition forces can be enhanced by verbal messaging, an invitation for Reza Pahlavi, the leader of the opposition group National Council of Iran for a visit to the White House, the provision of communication technology support to protestors opposing the regime and stepped up covert operations.

Designate Turkey as an SST and remove it from NATO.

Turkey, under its bellicose, MB-affiliated leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has embarked on a genocidal campaign against the Kurds (who are often reliable allies in the fight against Islamism) and supported Hamas and other Islamists with a haven for its leaders. Its purchase of Russian weapons and support for Russia’s war against Ukraine make it an unreliable ally. It should be removed from NATO.

A strong, public message must be sent to allies, enemies, and frenemies such as Turkey that the US is serious about defending its interests. Designating Turkey as an SST opens up the powers discussed above.

Defund the UN and many of its agencies (UNRWA, UNESCO, WHO, ICRC):

The UN is made up of member states that are predominantly autocratic, totalitarian, and undemocratic. Powerful blocks such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Russia, China, Iran axis wield a disproportional and malign power. The US must lead in creating an alternative, organization of free, democratic states as an alternative to the UN. It must reduce and eventually eliminate funding to the UN. The UN makes a mockery of its charter that calls for peace and the promotion of human rights.

UNRWA has been exposed for supporting Hamas, and teaching hate of Jews, Israelis, Americans, and Western civilization. They perpetuate a false “refugee” status and the genocidal “right of return” strategy that has done so much damage. They are corrupt and incompetent. It’s time to (again) stop funding them permanently and find a replacement.

UNESCO has denied the legitimacy of Jewish history and historical sites in Israel and promoted false historical claims of Palestinian culture. WHO has become a mouthpiece for Hamas propaganda. According to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, “The World Health Organization criticizes Israel for attacking Palestinian ambulances but makes no mention of Hamas reportedly using those vehicles to ferry terrorists. The WHO is also silent regarding Hamas deliberately disabling Israeli ambulances on October 7 and murdering medical first responders to prevent Israelis from receiving life-saving care. The WHO has also not addressed Hamas’s use of Shifa Hospital and other healthcare facilities as command centers. Relatedly, the WHO holds Israel to an antisemitic double standard by maintaining an agenda item at its annual gatherings dedicated to scrutinizing Israel, something no other country faces. During the coronavirus pandemic, the WHO dedicated an entire day of an eight-day conference to examining Israel’s alleged violations of Palestinian health rights.”

The UN and its Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, have minimized the atrocities and war crimes of Hamas while doing everything in their power to impede Israel’s effort to fight Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza. The International Committee of the Red Cross has failed to defend Israeli hostages by demanding visits, providing medication and care, and being intimidated into silence or supporting the Hamas propaganda effort. UN Women has shamefully ignored the atrocities committed against Israeli women in the current conflict and failed to adequately address the plight of women in abusive Muslim and Arab societies.

None of these above steps are sufficient on their own to stop the jihadists, however, taken in concert and applied consistently over time,  they can have an important impact in the war against Islamism. It’s long past time for the US to proclaim the seriousness of its resolve to fight Islamism, and thereby rallying the opposition and deterring the enemies.

The Islamist machine runs on money. This savage, hate industry is funded by Islamist supremacists and useful idiots all over the world. We must stop funding our sworn enemies and use the financial tools available to impede their efforts.

We must pressure the Biden Administration and Western governments to use all the tools in their toolboxes and take these actions now. Islamists play a long game. They have infiltrated our educational and political systems and are having success in changing hearts and minds and gaining power. With logical arguments, steadfast opposition, and courage, their ideas can be refuted and defeated. Courageous and concerned people must take a stand now. There is no better time than the current campaign season. Ask those who seek your vote where they stand in this existential battle.

About the Author
Barry Tigay is a Ph.D., Retired Clinical Psychologist, and Zionist.