Government report warns Muslim Brotherhood is ‘rite of passage for terror’


Muslim Brotherhood supporters use Britain as a base to support terrorist groups in the Palestinian territories, a government report into the Islamist organisation has found.

But while the Brotherhood's activities and ideology are contrary to national security, the group will not be banned in this country.

The review of the organisation was commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014 and was published last Thursday, more than a year after it was expected to be made public.

Mr Cameron said: "Parts of the Muslim Brotherhood have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism. 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."

An 11-page summary links a number of British Muslim groups and charities to the organisation, and repeatedly highlights the Brotherhood's support for Hamas.

The review, which covers issues and incidents up to July last year, considers a number of groups loosely connected to the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain.

"Though never publicly acknowledged by the Muslim Brotherhood, charities in the UK are an important part of the Hamas and Brotherhood infrastructure in this country," it states.

"Muslim Brotherhood-related organisations and individuals in the UK have openly supported the activities of Hamas. People associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK have applauded suicide bombing by Hamas, in some cases against civilians.

"Hamas terrorist activities have not been publicly disowned or condemned."

The Muslim Association of Britain, was, the report said, "dominated" by the Brotherhood in the 1990s.

The Cordoba Foundation, a think-tank associated with the Brotherhood but not affiliated to it, featured now-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a guest speaker at an event in London in February. Mr Corbyn took part in a panel session on political Islam and secularism.

The Muslim Council of Britain – one of the organisations said to have been run after its foundation by the Brotherhood – said the report's assertions about its connections to the group were "untrue and without foundation".

In a statement the MCB said it "rejects entirely the insinuation" that it was soft on terrorism or had opposed government programmes aimed at preventing terrorism.

"Our record is clear. Since we were established we have initiated campaigns to encourage Muslim communities to cooperate with the police to confront terrorism," it said.

"All of our affiliates are encouraged to seek the common good and help our society be a better place for all faiths and none."

In August 2014, the Board of Deputies published an unprecedented joint statement with the MCB calling for stronger collaboration between their communities in the wake of the Gaza conflict

The Board said this week that it would not comment on the review, but president Jonathan Arkush said of relations with the MCB: "Summer 2014 was a highly special situation when it was necessary to take effective steps to clamp down on antisemitism.

"We said at the time that the Board had no links with the MCB but that unusual times called for unusual measures.

"The position generally is that the Board has no formal relationship with the MCB but maintains contacts with individuals where a positive impact can be achieved."

The Muslim Brotherhood was established in Egypt in the 1920s and promotes Islamist ideology with a view to creating a global Caliphate.

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