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Diplomatic sources: Britain re-opening 'review' of Muslim Brotherhood activities

The move follows concerns regarding radicalisation allegedly promoted in UK mosques, schools and charities [AFP]

Date of publication: 1 October, 2015

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Analysis: The British government is thought to intend to reopen a 2014 review into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, reportedly following requests from Arab diplomats.
British diplomatic sources have revealed that the government of Prime Minister David Cameron is in the process of revisiting the "Muslim Brotherhood review", submitted by a committee chaired by Britain's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sir John Jenkins, in July 2014.

The sources told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the move followed appeals made by the embassies of a number of Arab countries that the sources did not name.

"What has been cited is unrelated to any direct involvement by the Muslim Brotherhood in acts of violence and terrorism, but rather quotes from the group's literature and theoretical references used by extremist groups to justify terrorist acts," said the source.

Mohammed Sudan, head of foreign relations in the Broitherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party, told al-Araby that he had no new information regarding the review. He did, however, stress that the group's activity in Britain continued as normal.

Sudan also said Britain had recently approved asylum requests from Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
Mohammed Sudan said Britain has recently approved asylum requests by Muslim Brotherhood leaders

The Jenkins committee interviewed several experts on Islamism and officials in countries where the Muslim Brotherhood is known to operate, in addition to senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

Ibrahim Munir, Mahmoud Hussein, as well as the leader of the Tunisian Islamist Ennahdha party, Rached Ghannouchi, are all thought to have given expert evidence.

In addition, the committee interviewed former general comptroller of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, Hammam bin Said, and his deputy Zaki bin Arshid, as well as Saad Eddine Othmani, a leading figure of the Morrocan Islamist Justice and Development Party.

The "review" - officials have been careful not to refer to it as an "inquiry" - into the Muslim Brotherhood's "philosophy and values and alleged connections with extremism and violence" was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron back in April 2014. The British government has yet to declare the findings of the committee conducting the review more than a year later.

The move is reportedly taking place amid British efforts to counter terrorism, extremism and radicalisation, including related acts allegedly promoted in schools, places of worship and religious charity groups.

British official sources had revealed earlier to al-Araby al-Jadeed that the Cameron government would announce the results of the Jenkins review before the end of this year.

If true, the new British move follows months of silence regarding the review, the publication of which has been postponed several times by London.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

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