UK breaks with U.S. on Muslim Brotherhood

“Aspects of the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology and activities … run counter to British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, equality and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs,” Cameron said in a statement.
(AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

The United Kingdom broke from the largely complacent U.S. position on radical Islamists in a startling indictment of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).

“Aspects of the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology and activities … run counter to British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, equality and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement. Cameron further states that “association with, or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism.”

As the West attempts to pinpoint potential terrorists, the Brits tell us where to look, and that is to the MB and its associates.

The new account — resulting from an 18-month-long exhaustive investigation by respected foreign policy experts — presents a brutally honest examination of the movement. In breaking from the U.S., the UK has shifted closer to Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia in identifying it as a terrorist organization.

The UK position sharply contrasts with that of the Obama administration, which sought to strengthen ties to the Brotherhood. Just a few years ago Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the MB as “largely secular…” and “which has eschewed violence.”

The Obama administration quickly condemned the UK report in an email to the IPT, citing the MB's stated commitment to nonviolence and that pushing back against the organization would lead to the radicalization of a minority of its followers.

We're not sure that they even read the report. Since founding the group in 1928, former schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna, “accepted the political utility of violence, and the Brotherhood conducted attacks, including political assassinations and attempted assassinations against Egypt state targets and both British and Jewish interests during his lifetime,” it says.

Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb furthermore promoted the stigmatization of other Muslims as infidels and their states as unIslamic. He advocated extreme brutality in pursuing the perfect Islamic society.

The MB never officially disowned Qutb's doctrine — known as “takfir” — and the organization remains composed of those who support it and want to overthrow the West.

The British address the Brotherhood's international network and how it promotes its ideology, raises funds and provides safe haven for members who left their home countries to support its activities.

From its foundation, it “organised itself into a secretive 'cell' structure, with an elaborate induction and education programme for new members … This clandestine, centralised and hierarchical structure persists to this day.”

The UK report describes the MB's shadowy and secretive front groups in its home country. It “shaped the new Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), dominated the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and played an important role in establishing and then running the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).”

Their peer in the U.S. is the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The IPT has extensively documented its ties to the MB and its Palestinian affiliate Hamas, still the White House continues to welcome CAIR as a participant in discussing policy. It recently invited a CAIR official who accused the FBI of killing two men in cold blood in separate incidents to a meeting on religious discrimination.

The Obama administration, in its engagement of Islamist regimes in the Middle East and Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas front groups in our homeland, has severely damaged U.S. national security and left us more vulnerable to Islamic terrorism than in any previous generation.

The U.S. needs to step back and seriously consider the British study and identify America's friends and enemies.

This administration fundamentally changed who it perceives as allies and partners. This change resulted — by the Brits' analysis — in the U.S. joining the radical Islamist enemy rather than fighting it.

The failed states, rise of the nihilistic and genocidal ISIS army, and the humanitarian crises of the past few years bear that out. America stands increasingly isolated in its embrace of the MB. The U.S. might consider absorbing the lessons from the UK's new findings and rethink its strategy.

Steve Emerson is the Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Pete Hoekstra is the Shillman Senior Fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

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