David Cameron, Prime Minister, United Kingdom
British government concludes that Muslim Brotherhood is Radicalizing Force, Breaks All Contact with Radical Group
Should America Follow Suit?
Americans For Peace and Tolerance
The British government has published its review into the Muslim Brotherhood, following an inquiry first established in April 2014, which has concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist movement whose involvement with government interfaith and counter-extremism programs has likely served to encourage, not prevent, the radicalization of Muslim youth.
The inquiry found that: “The Muslim Brotherhood have been publicly committed to political engagement in this country. Engagement with Government has at times been facilitated by what appeared to be a common agenda against al Qaida and (at least in the UK) militant salafism. But this engagement did not take account of Muslim Brotherhood support for a proscribed terrorist group and its views about terrorism which, in reality, were quite different from our own."
The inquiry identified the Muslim Brotherhood’s primary operations in the form of political lobbying organizations and non-profit groups. Charities in particular, the review acknowledges, constitute a key part of Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in Britain.
Prime Minister David Cameron, announcing the report in Parliament, explained that, “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.”
Cameron further declared that although there will not be any ban imposed on the Muslim Brotherhood, it would no longer be a partner of public bodies, its activities would be more stringently monitored, and Muslim Brotherhood leaders who promoted extremism would longer be issued visas.
Sam Westrop, Research Director at Americans for Peace and Tolerance, worked closely with anti-Islamist Muslim groups and public officials, provided hundreds of pages of evidence to the inquiry, and has regularly briefed prominent British media on the reasons behind the inquiry, its implications for counter-extremism work, and the likely effect that the review will have on Muslim Brotherhood activities.
Westrop explained: “The findings of the review corroborate the idea that radicalization of young Muslims is a conveyor belt, in which non-violent extremists, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its South Asian cousin, Jamaat-e-Islami, persuade young Muslims that hatred of non-Muslims, opposition to democracy and liberalism, and support for terror are all ultimately justified. Among those radicalized by this message, a few will take their anger one step further, and commit a violent act or join a violent group. Muslim Brotherhood ideology turns radicals into terrorists.”
He continued: “Secondly, the review acknowledges one of the key arguments I submitted to the inquiry – that both Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas infrastructure comprise many of the same groups, persons and charities. They are, essentially, the same network. Just as federal prosecutors realized during the 2008 terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation, the British government now understands that organizations once treated as political representatives of Western Muslim communities are in fact lobbying groups for terror groups abroad and radical ideology at home.”
Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), working with a number of prominent anti-Islamist Muslim activists, has now turned its focus to the implications for the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood here in the United States. A number of prominent Muslim Brotherhood organizations in America are, today, partners of law enforcement and politicians; and, despite their lack of mandate from moderate American Muslims, are frequently cited by the media as representatives of the Muslim community.
For several years, APT has been reporting on the activities and teachings of Muslim Brotherhood institutions in New England. One of the trustees of the Islamic Society of Boston was Yusuf Al Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood. 12 worshippers, donors and officials of the Islamic Society of Boston are either in jail, dead, or are on the run from authorities, all in relation to terrorism activities. A new dossier, to be published in January, reveals the full extent of the mosque’s links to terrorism, extremism and a global Islamist network.