Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (Photo: Reuters)
There’s growing pressure on the British government to ban Muslim brotherhood activities in the UK.
Calls from a bipartisan group of MPs and a parliamentary committee urging engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood were also rejected by UK governmental officials.
Citing the group’s “high ambiguous relationship with violence extremism,” officials said that since the time of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi (from the Brotherhood party) and up until the present, the Brotherhood had not done enough to demonstrate political moderation or a commitment to democratic values.
In a document released late last week, the government responded to calls to begin “discreet relations” with exiled members from Morsi’s government, which was ousted in a popularly-supported military coup in 2013 after just one year in power.
The report cited not only the Brotherhood’s use of violence, but noted that since the Brotherhood’s party lost power in Egypt, the Islamist organization fueled sectarianism with its comments about Pope Francis and denied the involvement of ISIS in terror attacks on the country’s Coptic Christians (despite claims by ISIS that it was indeed behind the attacks).
Further, the report noted, the Brotherhood accused Egypt’s current government of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of “organizing or facilitating the attacks” against the Christians.
The report stated that before any engagement could take place with the Brotherhood, there is a “fundamental requirement for any organization to reject violence unambiguously, confront violent extremism and commit to constitutional politics,” conditions clearly not met by the Brotherhood.
Meanwhile, the UK government is denying visas to Brotherhood members and their associates who have a record of making extremist comments. In addition, they are keeping close tabs on Islamic charities that have known links to the Brotherhood.
At the same time, members of the Conservative (ruling) party launched an active campaign to convince government officials, including Prime Minister Theresa May, to impose a ban on all Brotherhood activities in the UK.
The campaign was put in motion during the party’s annual convention which is currently underway in Manchester.
Dan Large, one of the leaders of the campaign, told Sky News Arabic, “The Muslim Brotherhood organization totally contradicts the values of our society because it uses violence as a means to achieve its goals.”
He said that in the coming months, activists will conduct “meetings with the main officials of the British government in order to legally ban the Brotherhood and discuss an effective mechanism to permanently stop the group’s activity.”
Hugh Colver, previous director of communications for the Conservative Party who has held a variety of senior governmental posts for a number of decades, spoke of the recent terror attacks in the UK, noting that based on compelling evidence, “the security forces have no doubt that [the perpetrators had] clear ideological connections with the Brotherhood.”