A petition bearing more than 176,000 signatures — asking the Obama administration to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization — has been posted on the White House website.
Posted July 7 under the site's "We the People" outreach program, the petition and quickly garnered the 100,000-signature tghreshold for it to be considered for action by the White House.
was created by a resident of La Mesa, Calif., just days after the Egyptian military removed President Mohammed Morsi from power. Morsi was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood.
By 12.30 p.m. on Monday it had received 176,018 signatures.
Citing what it called the Muslim Brotherhood's "long history of violent killings and terrorizing opponents," and asserting that the group has "direct ties with most terrorist groups," the petition blamed the violent protests now taking place in Egypt in opposition to Morsi's removal on the group.
The Muslim Brotherhood, it said, "has shown in the past few days that it is willing to engage in violence and killing of innocent civilians in order to invoke fear in the hearts of its opponents. This is terrorism."
But Lawrence Haas, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, told Fox News
it's unclear whether the Brotherhood itself has engaged in specific activities. He added, however, that it has "surely inspired or spawned terrorist activities."
The organization, Haas noted, has "now involved itself fully" in the political process of its home nation, Egypt. "Rather than rule democratically, however, Morsi and the Brotherhood began to rule in an authoritarian manner, which was always the fear about this fundamentalist organization."
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