In an article entitled “The Tripartite Threat Of Radical Islam To Europe”, analyst Lorenzo Vidino provides a cogent summary of the relative threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. After presenting a pyramid comprise of the jihadists at the tip, followed by Hizb-ut-Tahrir which he calls the “Peaceful Revolutionaries”, Vidino describes the Brotherhood as follows:
At the bottom of the pyramid is the numerically most significant component of political Islam in Europe: the Muslim Brotherhood and other revivalist movements such as the Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami or the Turkish Milli Görü. Over the last half-century, these movements have established offshoots in numerous European countries, thanks to their activism and foreign funding. Revivalist organizations such the Muslim Council of Britain, the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, or the Islamic Society of Germany have become the de facto representatives of the Muslim communities of their countries. They control a large number of mosques and interact with government institutions as preferential partners. When dealing with the media and governments, these organizations present a moderate façade, publicly supporting integration and democracy. Yet in their mosques, revivalist organizations espouse a diametrically different rhetoric, still embracing the zealous ideology of the organizations of their origins. Their aim is the radicalization of European Muslim communities and the creation of Muslim separatists who seek separate social spaces (from schools to swimming pools) and separate jurisdiction. While they do not officially advocate the use of violence in the West (although they do so in Iraq and the Palestinian territories), it can be argued that these revivalist groups pose a challenge more insidious than that of other Islamists who openly challenge Western governments and values. Thanks to their public words of moderation, they often manage to establish preferential relationships with European elites. In some cases, they are even seen as partners in European governments’ fight against radicalization. The legitimization and power they acquire through these government endorsements allow them to augment their status within the Muslim community and, hence, their ability to radicalize it. Revivalist organizations concentrate their efforts in radicalizing European Muslim populations, while appeasing and penetrating the official governing system. Operating within the legal framework, and often with the support of European governments, their activities create the foundations on which other, more radical groups build. They represent the base of the pyramid and a problem that Europeans have been unable to address.
However, although writing for a Jewish publication, Vidino curiously neglects to mention the risk of increased anti-Semitism posed by the Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood groups, in both Europe and the United States, have exhibited a wide range of anti-Semitic activities including conspiracy theorizing, promotion of anti-Semitic speakers, support of anti-Semitic organizations, and distribution of anti-Semitic materials, while at the same time participating in “interfaith” activities with Jews and Jewish organizations