Innuendos against Muslims need to stop

26th Feb 2016
Innuendos against Muslims need to stop

[Photo:Demonstration against Egyptian President Al Sisi’s visit to UK by Muslim Brotherhood supporters of former elected President Morsi on July 4 2015. Photographer: Inci Gundag/AA]



When Prime Minister, David Cameron, launched a review of the Muslim Brotherhood it coincided with the arrest of its leaders in Egypt and the removal of the country’s only democratically elected President, Mohamed Morsi, in a military coup. Many have since been either sentenced to death or given life imprisonment in a series of summary trials.

Strange as it may seem, Cameron chose not to condemn the military overthrow. Last November he instead invited to London the head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who had ousted and replaced Morsi. Britain, he insisted, would “continue our close security cooperation, including on tackling the scourge of violent Islamist extremism.”

A month after the controversial visit, the Government published its long-awaited review into the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain but only as a summary of what were said to be the “main findings”. The Review was timed just ahead of Parliament going into recess for the Christmas break on December 17 to limit any backlash.

Many newspapers have cynically linked the review with demands made by conservative Arab rulers like in the United Arab Emirates, dominated by the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi, and in Saudi Arabia. The appointment of former British Ambassador in Riyadh, John Jenkins, gives this view credence as did the threats to cut off billions of pounds of arms deals by the Arab states.

The trio of Britain’s closest Arab allies, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have all outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood and smeared it with accusations of being linked to terrorism. They see the group as a real political threat as was proved when the Muslim Brotherhood won the only free elections ever held in Egypt.

While the British premier has temporarily ruled out banning the Brotherhood, all that has been exposed is the Government’s hypocrisy. Elections are fine as long as the winners are acceptable. The same approach was taken with Hamas in Palestine and the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria. The UK supports democracy and the Arab Spring but only to the extent that they agreed with the future governments.

In Britain, none of the organisations linked to the Muslim Brotherhood by the review have ever previously received any caution or notice of wrong doing throughout their respective years of service. They reject the smears and allegations made, including the pernicious claims that they are ‘soft on terrorism’ or ‘have consistently opposed programmes by successive Governments to prevent terrorism’.

In the so-called war on terrorism, there have already been too many myths and false accusations made against Muslims without the need to resort to innuendos and insinuations particularly without any evidence. The review needs to be published in full to prevent new threats being made to ban groups who are maliciously and unjustifiably claimed to be disloyal to the country.


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