Finsbury Park Mosque, The Cordoba Foundation and the Muslim Association of Britain have denied having links to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The organisations held a press conference at Finsbury Park Mosque yesterday to rebut the accusations in the light of a government review into the Muslim Brotherhood which found that having links to the Brotherhood was an indicator of extremism.
But the three organisations said they did believe that the Muslim Brotherhood was “the most important democratic Islamic political actor of our time.”
In a joint statement they said: “Published 18 months late and merely hours before Parliament’s Christmas recess, the Prime Minister named a number of British organisations, including the undersigned, as having links to the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Whilst falling short of calling for a ban thereof, the statement makes sweeping generalisations and negative characterisation of the MB and the British organisations allegedly linked to it, as a threat to national security.
“The undersigned organisations totally reject the allegation that they are in any way linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Despite believing the MB to be the most important democratic Islamic political actor of our time, which counters the nihilistic rhetoric of the likes of ISIS, the undersigned are British organisations which operate under and are regulated by British laws and regulations exclusively.
“None have ever previously received any caution or notice of wrong doing throughout their respective years of service. Indeed, all three organisations have been commended for their efforts in serving various causes and upholding values of community, charity, democracy, dialogue, outreach and transparency.
“The undersigned are shocked to find a clear correlation between the findings announced by the Prime Minister, and the revelations made in a number of British newspapers over the past few months, regarding untoward influence and pressure exercised by a foreign government regarding this review in particular, in exchange for contracts.
“Such revelations are cause for even more concern given the fact that this foreign government has been exposed for its gross human rights abuses and its brutal punishment of any democratic voices within its midst.
“At a time when the Government claims that its main concern is to counter extremism of all kinds, and commits resources to fighting terrorism abroad, it is astonishing that it published findings which allude to parity between law-abiding and outstandingly performing British organisations which believe in and promote democracy, equality, freedom and human rights, with those who do not.
“The undersigned demand a complete review of the poorly-structured and mistake-ridden ‘Main Findings’ published by the Government, the full and transparent publication of the John Jenkins Review which cost British taxpayers millions of pounds and the opening of channels of serious dialogue on confronting the challenge of extremism facing our society.”
Muslim Brotherhood review
In December a government review found that membership of, association with or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism. However, the government announced that the organisation would not be banned in the UK.
In a statement to parliament David Cameron said the worldwide Islamic movement was “deliberately opaque, and habitually secretive.”
He said the Brotherhood desired political unification in a Caliphate under Sharia law and to this day “characterises Western societies and liberal Muslims as decadent and immoral.”
He continued: “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.
“It has stated its opposition to al-Qaida (AQ) but it has never credibly denounced the use made by terrorist organisations of the work of Sayyid Qutb, one of the Brotherhood’s most prominent ideologues.
“Individuals closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK have supported suicide bombing and other attacks in Israel by Hamas, an organisation whose military wing has been proscribed in the UK since 2001 as a terrorist organisation, and which describes itself as the Palestinian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Moreover, despite the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s public condemnation of violence in 2012/13 and afterwards, some of their supporters have been involved in violent exchanges with the security forces and other groups.”
The Prime Minister said the government would keep under review the views that are promoted and activities that are undertaken by Muslim Brotherhood associates in the UK, in Arabic as well as English.
He also pledged to:
- Refuse visas to members and associates of the Muslim Brotherhood who are on record as having made extremist comments.
- Seek to ensure charities that have links to the Muslim Brotherhood are not misused to support or finance the Muslim Brotherhood instead of their lawful charitable purpose.
- Enforce the EU asset freeze on Hamas.