Media Confused About European Muslim Brotherhood Groups


A recent Economist article displays the difficulty the media often has in understanding the complexity of the global Muslim Brotherhood. In an article about global Muslim Networks, the article makes the following statement about the European Brotherhood:

And it remains true that in every Western country (including the United States) where Muslims are politically active, the influence of the brotherhood’”or at least of movements that grew out it’”is palpable. Among the brotherhood’s ideological affiliates is the biggest Muslim group in France; a federation that aims to co-ordinate Muslim activities all over Europe; and a ‘fatwa council’ that offers moral guidance to European Muslims. In Britain, the pro-brotherhood camp has split between a pietist wing and a more political one, known as the British Muslim Initiative, which is now busy organising protests against Israeli actions in Gaza.

The French muslim group is likely the Union des organizations islamiques de France (UOIF) which the author seems to be confusing with the umbrella group known as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE). The UOIF seeks only to represent the Muslims of France but it is a member organization of FIOE which does have aspirations to represent European Muslims. As far the “pro-brotherhood camp” in the U.K., the split between the British Muslim Initiative (BMI) and the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) was not about piety but, according to sources in the U.K., rather resulted from disagreements about the advisability of close cooperation with domestic left-wing groups.

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