Leading UK Muslim group assured Brotherhood won't be banned

Ahram Online , Thursday 4 Dec 2014

According to the president of the Muslim Association of Britain, the British government has given assurances that it will not proscribe the Muslim Brotherhood on the basis of its review into the movement, its ideas and policies

The UK government will not ban the Muslim Brotherhood movement as a result of its review into the Islamist group, a leading British Muslim group has said.

The UK prime ministerial review was ordered by David Cameron in April into all activities, ideology and policies of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While the review team, led by Sir John Jenkins, UK ambassador to Saudi Arabia, completed the task and handed over its final report in July, the government has not yet published the results.

The British media has speculated that the results could be controversial.

“The government confirmed to us that it will not designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation,” Dr Omar Al-Hamdoon, president of Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), told Ahram Online.

It is understood that many Muslim organisations had been asked to submit statements and evidence to the review team, which collected and reviewed information from a number of sources, including secret intelligence and diplomatic and other security bodies.

“We have submitted evidence to the review. We have not been asked specifically to do so, but we submitted evidence,” Al-Hamdoon said.

“We met with Home Office officials to discuss the review and they confirmed to us that the aim of the review is not to ban the Muslim Brotherhood or any other Muslim organisation in the UK that may share the values of the group,” he added.

“We are an independent organisation and we have nothing to do with other organisations, apart from being affiliated to the Muslim Council of Britain in the UK,” Al-Hamdoon said.

Last Saturday, the United Arab Emirates designated MAB as a terrorist organisation..

The MAB is widely perceived in the UK to be affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood. The association insists it only believes in the same values and principles.  

Al-Hamdoon stated the UK review was “definitely very thorough.” “What is disappointing to us is the results of the review have not been published yet,” Al-Hamdoon added. He asked the British government to hasten publication of the results in order not to leave people in the dark on its opinion.

Al-Hamdoon seemed assured that the final result would not condemn the Muslim Brotherhood or its affiliates.

“We were also told by the British government that this is not a move to proscribe the Muslim Brotherhood or any other organisations,” he said.

Al-Hamdoon claimed that “people with British official roles even confirmed that it (the review) is an opportunity for mainstream organisations to promote its values, and not being looked as a threat.”

It has been reported the British government delayed issuing the review results under pressure from Gulf States, mainly Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, which banned the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

While he did not rule out the impact of such pressure, Al-Hamdoon believed the UK would not comply.  

“We have confidence that our British government is not going be dictated to by any countries that do not have track record in democracy, as the UK government is not naïve to take any stance imposed by such countries," Al-Hamdoon said.

Short link: