onislam.net/UK Refrains from Banning Brotherhood

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SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-Long months after launching an investigation into the group, Britain is set to curtail activities of Muslim Brotherhood and block activists from coming to London, following leaks that the government report has found ties with “armed groups” in the Middle East and elsewhere.

“We won’t ban the Muslim Brotherhood,” a Foreign Office diplomat told The Telegraph on Monday, September 15.

“There are other things that can be done but not a ban.”

The investigation, led by Sir John Jenkins, the British ambassador in Riyadh, followed pressures from Gulf allies to curtail the movement’s London-based operations.

The review is supposed to include assessment by MI6, the foreign intelligence service, as well as MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency.

Following removal of Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Egypt and Saudi Arabia spearheaded diplomatic pressure on host governments to shut down Muslim Brotherhood operations in Qatar, London and Istanbul.

According to initial leaks from the report, to be released in a statement before the end of this year, Britain is set to curtail Muslim Brotherhood activities in the European country.

It also accepts that some of the movement’s activity amounts to complicity with “armed groups” and “extremists” in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Moreover, Sir John raised concerns about British-based Muslim Brotherhood charities, opening inquiry into alleged suspicions over funding to overseas terrorist organizations

Broader political activities, including media and propaganda branches, also face tighter regulation.

Not for Publish

A senior British official involved in the process said parts of the report are too sensitive to publish.

“It’s a very comprehensive look at the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in many countries,” he said.

“There have been submissions that have been given to us that are very sensitive. We couldn’t go back to those places again if some of this information was put in the public domain.”

Other predominantly Muslim countries allow Muslim Brotherhood operations, including Tunisia, Libya and Kuwait.

“It’s a nonsense to say we could ring fence a ban that punished the Brotherhood in one country but allowed us to keep good ties elsewhere,” said the British official.

“The report is thorough in pointing out the pitfalls of the Muslim Brotherhood but also its mainstream appeal and continuing role in the region.”

Established in 1928 in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is the most powerful opposition force in the country.

For years, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned and its leaders were repressed by governments since the 1950s.

The group’s political arm, Freedom and Justice party, has won in five consecutive elections since 2011 revolution before being removed from power by Egypt’s former Defense Minister Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

The Brotherhood has an overwhelmingly lay leadership of professionals with modern educations — engineers, doctors, lawyers, academics and teachers.

The core membership is middle-class or lower middle-class.

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