Muslim Brotherhood reviewed in UK

2014-04-02 05:45
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - The Muslim Brotherhood's activities in Britain will be reviewed over concerns about possible links to violence, Prime Minister David Cameron said, widening pressure on a veteran Islamist movement facing an intensifying crackdown in the Arab world.

The Brotherhood and affiliated organisations and parties are part of the political landscape in many Arab and Islamic states where they have placed deep roots in society thanks to their involvement in social and charitable works.

It also gained political power in some Arab nations after the 2011 uprisings that toppled long-entrenched autocratic regimes. But the Brotherhood has been crushed in Egypt after the military overthrew an elected Islamist president in July, declared a terrorist organisation in Saudi Arabia and subjected to a wave of prosecutions and jailings in Gulf Arab kingdoms leery of any spread of Islamist influence since the Arab Spring.

Britain, where many Brotherhood-influenced organisations are based, said its review would include looking at allegations made by authoritarian Arab leaders that the group was linked to violence, a charge it has repeatedly denied.

"What is important ... is to make sure we fully understand what this organisation is, what it stands for, what its links are, what its beliefs are in terms of both extremism and violent extremism, what its connections are with other groups, what its presence is here in the United Kingdom," Cameron told reporters.

A spokesperson for Cameron said the review would examine the philosophies and values of the Muslim Brotherhood and how it operated in different countries around the world, including in the UK, as well as its impact on Britain's national security.

Both the British domestic and foreign intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 would be consulted as part of the review, she added, which would focus on the activities of the Brotherhood in the wider region, not Egypt alone.

"There have been some concerns as well that have been raised about potential linkages to violent activity and some extremist groups of some of the organisations that tend to come together under the wider Muslim Brotherhood organisation," another spokesman said. Therefore the review would look at "alleged and reported links to extremist organisations".

The government hopes the review, being led by John Jenkins, its ambassador to Saudi Arabia, will report findings by July.

In Cairo, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdelatty said: "Egypt welcomes Britain's decision in carrying out urgent investigations into the role the Muslim Brotherhood group carries out from British soil and the extent of the relationship between the...Brotherhood and violent activities and extremism."

Pressure point

The Muslim Brotherhood Press Office in London, which has become the movement's main communication channel since July, said it would release a statement later on Monday.

"I think there's a definite linkage between Cameron's announcement of investigation of the Brotherhood in the UK to Saudi and other Gulf state perceptions of the Brotherhood as a threat," said Theodore Karasik, director of research and consultancy at the Gulf security and military think-tank INEGMA.

"The pressure point is related to the fact that an event [can] occur on the Arabian Peninsula that is tied to the Brotherhood and originates in the UK," he told Reuters.

Britain's move came amid increasing Arab repression of the Brotherhood especially in Egypt, where security forces have killed hundreds of Islamists and jailed thousands including almost all leaders of the movement since the army ousted President Mohammed Morsi after mass protests against his rule.

The military-backed authorities have banned the Brotherhood and more than 500 members have been sentenced to death for murder over deaths during clashes with security forces. Morsi faces charges that could lead to the death penalty.

The Brotherhood has reiterated a decades-long policy of non-violence, denying any connection with recent bloodshed.

Analysts say Morsi, a leading Brotherhood figure, alienated all but a hard-core constituency by devoting his energy to asserting Islamist control of Egypt's governing institutions rather than implementing civic-minded policies to revive its paralysed economy and heal political divisions.

Still, in the wake of Morsi's removal Britain's Foreign Office voiced concern over the collective round-up of Brotherhood members, warning that politicised arrests would hinder Egypt's post-2011 transition towards democracy.

Saudi Arabia, a staunch supporter of the military-buttressed governing authorities in Egypt, formally designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation last month.

Riyadh fears that the group, whose Sunni Islamist doctrines challenge the Saudi principle of dynastic rule, has tried to build support in the kingdom since the Arab Spring revolutions.

Read more on:    muslim brotherhood  |  saudi arabia  |  egypt  |  uk
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.