David Cameron has branded members of the Muslim Brotherhood as “possible extremists” but stopped short of immediately banning the group following a long-delayed official inquiry into its activities in Britain.
The prime minister said the review found the Islamist organisation to have had significant influence in groups claiming to speak for British Muslims. And he added the brotherhood characterised the UK as fundamentally hostile to Muslim faith and identity and had expressed support for terrorist attacks by Hamas.
“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,” Cameron said in a written ministerial statement to MPs. “Parts of the Muslim Brotherhood have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism.”
Muslim Brotherhood will legally challenge UK government report
A critical report calling for greater oversight of the Muslim Brotherhood is expected to be subject to a legal challenge by the Islamist movement after it is published on Thursday by the government.
The long-awaited inquiry, ordered by David Cameron, into the Brotherhood’s operation in the UK is expected to include new curbs on the group and its associates in a move that will be presented by ministers as a crackdown on Islamism.
Lawyers for the Muslim Brotherhood said that any “undue” criticism of the group will be challenged in the courts. Tayab Ali of ITN solicitors, who is acting for the Brotherhood, said: “We await the report’s publication but in the event of unwarranted or excessive negative criticism we will challenge it in legal proceedings.”