A British government review into Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood published on Thursday concluded that membership and links to the political group should be considered a possible indicator of extremism but stopped short of recommending a ban.Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement: “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”.
The long-delayed review into the organization was first commissioned in April 2014 by David Cameron with an aim to examine whether the group put British national security at risk. Cameron said the government would keep a close watch on the views promoted by Brotherhood associates in Britain in Arabic and English, as well as their activities, and that it would monitor the views and activities of Muslim Brotherhood associates in Britain and whether the group met the legal test for proscription as a terrorist organization.
The Brotherhood criticized the review as being unacceptable and politically motivated. The Spokesman Muhammad Muntasir said in a statement, that the British position suggested it backed the military coup in Egypt, adding that the organization is committed to peaceful activism.
He added: “If Britain sees peaceful protests and activities that reject the military coup, the killing of civilians and the detentions and disappearances as extremist then certainly Britain has a defect it needs to remedy”.
Later that day, the Muslim Brotherhood released a statement assuring that its lawyers were putting together a case to take the government to court.
From his part, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said the review was an important step in combating terrorism. The report shows that the international community must support Egypt in confronting terrorism and extremist ideology, Abu Zeid added.