UK Position On Muslim Brotherhood Unchanged In Wake Of Parliamentary Report- GMBDW Evidence Only Partially Considered


A UK Islamist publication reported last month that the British position towards the Muslim Brotherhood remains unchanged in the wake of a new Parliamentary report critical of an earlier investigation. According to the Middle East Monitor report:

November 8, 2016 The British government said its position towards the Muslim Brotherhood remains unchanged despite a new report issued by parliament criticising it, a spokesman of the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

The Foreign Affairs Committee recently issued a report criticising the investigation carried out by Sir John Jenkins into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood.

MPs criticised the appointment of Jenkins, who was the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia until 2015, to lead a ‘secretive’ probe calling it ‘misguided’.

In the report, the British MPs said that it is impossible for a group the size of the Muslim Brotherhood to control all of its members, adding: ‘It is impossible to ignore the circumstances through which the group passed during the ouster of the group and the President Mohamed Morsi.’

UK foreign office spokesman said: ‘The Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) report is a helpful contribution to the broad debate as to how and whether to engage with different forms of political Islam in the Middle East and North Africa.’

‘We are grateful to the Committee for its support to the FCO’s nuanced approach to the broad phenomenon of political Islam. We will study the report in more detail and will respond to the FAC in due course.

‘There are many views on the MB in Britain and around the world, including various voices reflected in this latest document.’

However, he said: ‘But the British government’s position, based on an 18-month detailed review and a decision of the full [National Security Council] NSC, including the now prime minister, remains unchanged.

‘As the prime minister stated in December 2015, membership of the Muslim Brotherhood is a possible indicator of extremism, and our policy will take account of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ambiguity about violence and contradictions between Muslim Brotherhood ideology and actions and UK values and interests.’

Meanwhile, leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in London welcomed the report, which they considered an ‘important document’ they would depend on when they address the European governments and parliaments.

The also said that they would consider it one of the documents they use when they litigate the Egyptian government before a number of the European courts.

The MPs issued the report after holding meetings in parliament with a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and activists from Egypt, Tunisia and other countries.

The GMBDW editor was invited by the Foreign Affairs Committee to submit evidence for the inquiry. We note that while the Committee appeared to take into consideration our comments on deception and the Global Muslim Brotherhood, we could find no indication that our evidence on the Brotherhood and terrorism had been considered:

One analyst argued to us that the Muslim Brotherhood’s international presence is highly developed, but deliberately obscured by the group. Steven Merley, an investigator who has conducted research into what he calls “The Global Muslim Brotherhood”, told us that Brotherhood exiles had established like-minded organisations in their host countries. But Mr Merley told us that the Brotherhood made it difficult to ascertain the nature and extent of its international organisation:

The [Main Findings of the Muslim Brotherhood Review] underestimates the degree of global networking and deception employed by the worldwide networks of the Muslim Brotherhood…In depth investigation has shown that beyond secrecy, there appears to be a concerted effort to deceive and obscure the identity and activities of the Brotherhood network.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood issued its own statement on the Committee report which it says “exonerates” the Brotherhood.

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