Muslim Brotherhood membership ‘indicator of extremism’ – David Cameron

Cairo University students who are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood shout slogans during a protest against the military and interior ministry at the university's campus in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, April 19, 2015. © Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Prime Minister David Cameron has branded members of the Muslim Brotherhood “possible extremists,” but ruled out banning the group.

A long-awaited review, first commissioned in April 2014 by Cameron and led by Britain’s former ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sir John Jenkins, examined whether the Muslim Brotherhood puts British national security at risk. 

It found that some of the group’s members have a “highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism” and support terror attacks.

Cameron said the Muslim Brotherhood views Western society as “decadent and immoral,” but he ruled out introducing an immediate ban on the group.

The government will “keep under review whether the views of activities of the Muslim Brotherhood meet the legal test for proscription,” the PM said.

Visas will be refused to members and associates of the group who are on record as having made extremist comments, the review said.

In a written statement to Parliament, Cameron said: “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.”

He further described the group as “deliberately opaque, and habitually secretive.”

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.

One member of Muslim Brotherhood told BuzzFeed News the group does not support violence, and accused the UK of “taking sides with the Egyptian regime.

The review was completed last summer amid calls from Saudi Arabia for the UK to ban the group.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the Middle East’s oldest Islamist movement and Egypt’s main political opposition. It insists it is committed to peaceful activism.