UK: Muslim Brotherhood ties are ‘indicator of extremism’

Friday 18/12/2015
Cameron: Aspects of Broth­erhood’s ideology run counter to British val­ues

LONDON - British Prime Minister Da­vid Cameron said the findings of a review of Egypt’s Muslim Brother­hood support the view that membership in the Islamist organisation or association with it “should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism”.
The study could lead to the Broth­erhood being banned in the United Kingdom, the Guardian newspaper reported, although that step was not yet taken.
The long-delayed review into the organisation was commissioned in 2014 to examine whether the group put British national secu­rity at risk. Cameron ordered Britain’s intelligence agen­cies to investigate the phi­losophy and activities of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Parts of the Muslim Brother­hood have a highly ambiguous re­lationship with violent extremism,” Cameron said in a statement. “Both as an ideology and as a network it has been a rite of passage for some individuals and groups who have gone on to engage in violence and terrorism.”
“The main findings of the re­view support the conclusion that membership of, association with, or influence by, the Muslim Broth­erhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood after his Is­lamist predecessor Muhammad Morsi, a member of the group, was ousted in 2013. Egyptian au­thorities accused the movement of involvement in attacks on se­curity forces and of maintaining links with Islamic State-affiliated terrorist cells. The Brotherhood has denied involvement in terrorist ac­tivities in Egypt and elsewhere.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Unit­ed Arab Emirates have banned the Muslim Brotherhood, labelling it a “terrorist” organisation. Cameron did not immediately ban the group but did say members were “possible extremists”.
Cameron said Muslim Broth­erhood-associated and -influenced groups had sometimes characterised Britain as fundamentally hostile to the Muslim faith and identity and expressed support for attacks conducted by Pal­estinian Islamist group Hamas.
“Aspects of the Muslim Broth­erhood’s ideology and activities therefore run counter to British val­ues of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, equality and the mutual respect and tolerance of dif­ferent faiths and beliefs,” he said.
Cameron said the British gov­ernment would keep under review the views and activities of Muslim Brotherhood associates in Britain and whether the group met the le­gal test for proscription as a terror­ist organisation.
While not declaring an outright ban on the organisation, Cameron said Britain would continue to re­fuse visas to members and associ­ates of the group who have made extremist comments and it would intensify its scrutiny of the views and activities of Muslim Brother­hood members, associates and af­filiates overseas.