Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Says It Meets Regularly With EU MP's


The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has reported that it holds “regular meetings” with unidentified EU MP’s and “prospects for dialogue with the EU are increasing since the EU is less biased towards Arab and Islamic issues compared to the US.” According to an article posted on the Egyptian Brotherhood website:

The Muslim Brotherhood places more hope on EU rather than U.S. in its efforts to promote understanding and dialogue between the Arab and Muslim worlds and the West, said MB Deputy Chairman Dr. Mohamed Habib.In his meeting with several European think tanks, Habib emphasized that the MB is keen on effective and fruitful communication with European or American think tanks so as to address and correct any misconceptions about the MB and its ideology. Habib hoped dialogue will produce a more healthy relationship between the EU and the Arab and Muslim world in general and improve relations between Muslim minorities with their local communities in the West. “Cooperation of this kind will definitely have its positive impact on the general policies of the EU at large or individual member states,” he added. Habib emphasized that prospects for dialogue with the EU are increasing since the EU is less biased towards Arab and Islamic issues compared to the US. And although these prospects are sometimes undermined by certain calculations; the MB hopes that the margin of engagement will increase. However, Habib criticized the relatively similar policies of EU and US in propping up authoritarian regimes in the region despite their undemocratic practices. “These double-standard policies are ought to be revised by the EU to enhance its credibility in the region,” he said. When Habib was asked about the form of communication that the MB holds with the EU, he said that the Muslim Brotherhood abides by official protocols in this respect. “The Muslim Brotherhood is not a state within a state. We respect the State”s institutions; therefore we would not hold any communications with foreign governments without the approval of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry”. Habib said that MB MPs hold regular meetings with EU MPs as part of the routine and customary activities between Egyptian Parliament and its European counterpart. The focus of these meetings usually revolve around development projects, in addition to general freedoms in Egypt”

Numerous previous posts have discussed the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the umbrella group for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe which recently re-located its headquarters to Brussels in order to more efficiently focus its efforts on the EU. In March 2008, European MP Paulo Casaca sponsored a presentation on FIOE and the European Muslim Brotherhood given by Steve Merley, a Senior Analyst at the NEFA Foundation. Notes on the presentation indicate that Mr. Merley discussed reasons for concern about the increasing presence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe including its unhealthy social impact, hindering of integration, and association with terrorism.

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