A Turkish news portal is reporting that a UK Muslim Brotherhood group has said that it will sue the British government if it attempts to place restrictions on the organization over its links to the Muslim Brotherhood. According to a Worldbulletin News report:
The Muslim Association of Britain has said it will take the British government to court if it attempts to place any restrictions on the organization over allegations it is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The declaration came on Thursday days after a British newspaper report – attributed to government officials leaking information – suggested that, although the Muslim Brotherhood, the transnational Islamic group founded in Egypt, would not be designated a terrorist organization, the government would ‘crack down’ on it.
According to the Telegraph newspaper, up to 60 organizations in the U.K. with alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood are to come under scrutiny, including charities, think tanks and even television channels.
Khalil Charles, spokesperson for the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), told Anadolu Agency: ‘There’s nothing in law that proscribes what we do or what we intend to do.’ ‘All of these things must happen within existing laws … anything else that they [government officials]chose to do, within my estimation, would be outside the law and therefore it would be challenged.’
Charles acknowledged the U.K. government could attempt to restrict what the Muslim Association of Britain does, but he said: ‘Yes, we expect that there will be different pathways and difficulties with things that we want to do but, because we are not doing anything illegal, we would challenge anything that stops our right to do what we need to do.’
The report goes on to cited the rather disingenuous statements by the MAB representative regarding both the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood itself and the role played by the MAB as part of the Brotherhood in the UK:
Khalil Charles told AA that, although the organisation shared ‘the main principles that the Muslim Brotherhood… including its commitment to uphold democracy, freedom of the individual, social justice and the creation of a civil society’ it was ‘not a branch or an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood’
The MAB confirmed that they had attended official meetings with a government inquiry group and outlined their position. MAB said it told the group its organisation was separate from the Muslim Brotherhood, but there could be MAB members who were also part of it, adding ‘that is entirely up to them [as individuals]’.
The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) had for many years been the most active organization in the U.K Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form the British Muslim Initiative (BMI). According to an Israeli think-tank report, the breakup appeared to be the result of a conflict between traditionalists in the MAB who were unhappy with the high level of involvement in U.K left-wing politics while those who who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue. Anas Al-Tikriti, the leader of the BMI, and former MAB official, is the son of Osama Al-Tikriti, one of the leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party representing the Muslim Brotherhood in that country.