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After British minister’s statement: Why Her Majesty government should abandon Brotherhood?

Monday 28-08-2017 - 06:20 PM
British Minister
British Minister minister Alistair Burt

During his visit to Cairo last week, British Minister of State for the Middle East Affairs Alistair Burt said that Muslim Brotherhood should abandon its ambiguous tactics it employs to avoid too much scrutiny of its activities. The statement reflects notable change in the British assessment of the group which was increasingly defended by the latest government of former Prime Minister David Cameroon.

Cameroon’s government issued a report to assess the activities of Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, while the results of investigations conducted by the British government did not meet the aspirations of the people who realize the serious threat posed by the group. The report claimed that the available evidences did not meet the demands to ban the group’s activities.

Brotherhood launched
Brotherhood launched campaign to raise sectarianism during visit of Pope Francis to Cairo in April
Sectarian tensions

However, the statement of the British official comes to leave the impression of a potential change in the British policies towards the group especially after the recent attacks that targeted London and other European cities.

Egyptian Columnist Abdel-Latif El-Menawy said that the main reason behind the change of British tone towards the group is their attempt to fuel sectarian tensions in Egypt, clarifying that the group’s leaders in London were keen to described security personnel assigned to secure Vatican’s Pope Francis during his visit to Egypt in April as Christian militias. 

Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Extremist clerics

Also the latest terrorist attacks that hit London was one of the major reasons that pushed British Prime Minister Theresa May to take different approach towards Muslim Brotherhood. Many experts believe that the group’s clerics played a major role to recruit Muslim youth living in Britain for the extremist groups whether inside the country or in other places such as those Britons who joined ISIS in both Syria and Iraq.

Egyptian expert Saeed Al-Lawendi underlined the wave of criticism that targeted Muslim Brotherhood’s clerics, including Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, in the aftermath of the latest attacks in London. He added that many reports revealed that the terrorist who committed the attack was praying in a mosque related to Muslim Brotherhood and the mosque’s preacher was a student of Al-Qaradawi.

British ex-Prime
British ex-Prime Minister Toni Blair

Blair's statements

On the other hand, the change in British position towards Muslim Brotherhood may come in the framework of the internal political conflict. Ex-Prime Minister Toni Blair warned that a new wave of religious intolerance is originating in the West, where groups like the Muslim Brotherhood operate freely, proving a threat back in the Arab world.

Professor of Political Science Jihad Ouda underlined Blair’s ambitions to return to the political arena after years of retirement, saying that his statement against Muslim Brotherhood could increase his popularity among the British people. Ouda said that Burt’s statement comes to address the British people.

British PM Theresa
British PM Theresa May attended the summit of Gulf Cooperation Council in Manama in December
Unified Arab position

In the same context, the current position adopted by the Arab Countries combating terrorism against Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar pushed the international powers to take steps to change their position from the group and its supporters, including Qatar.

Al-Lawendi highlighted May’s position to strengthen relation with the Gulf States, as she was keen to hold two Gulf tours since the beginning of her term as a prime minister, the first was in Bahrain to open the British military base in Bahrain and to attend the Summit of Gulf Cooperation Council in Manama last December, and the second was to visit Saudi Arabia in April.

He stressed that the British government chose to sell the Muslim Brotherhood to restore its alliance with the Gulf States, saying that they also to take neutral position from the current diplomatic crisis with Qatar not to lose its relations with the major Gulf States.

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