Nothing much surprises me these days. It really is a mad, mad world where norms existing for decades, if not centuries, are being overturned, and taboos breached. But I must admit to doing a double take when I read that the UK Home Office is actually inviting senior Muslim Brotherhood members, activists and their propagandists masquerading as journalists to apply for asylum.
When the news initially trickled out via an alternative media site, I thought to myself ‘Impossible!’ I realised I was wrong when this headline appeared in Britain Daily Express: ‘Muslim Brotherhood members could seek asylum in UK, shocking Home Office memo reveals.’ It certainly is shocking when the long-awaited review into the Brotherhood’s activities, commissioned by former Prime Minister David Cameron, is damning.
For instance, it acknowledges that the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder Hassan Al Banna “accepted the political utility of violence and the Brotherhood conducted attacks, including political assassinations and attempted assassinations against Egyptian state targets and both British and Jewish interests during his lifetime . . .”
It further asserts that the Brotherhood’s “key ideologue,” Sayyid Qutb, promoted the doctrine of takfirism, permitting “the stigmatisation of other Muslims as infidel or apostate” [therefore worthy of being put to death], whose views have never been “institutionally disowned” by the Brotherhood.
The report mentions the Brotherhood’s support for suicide bombers, its claim that 9/11 was fabricated by the US as well as its clandestine activities and is summed up thus: “Aspects of Muslim Brotherhood ideology and tactics, in this country and overseas, are contrary to our values and have been contrary to our national interests and our national security.”
As if the report’s findings alone aren’t sufficient to deter London’s embrace of this international cult with offices in over 60 countries, including one in North London, Britain is showing absolutely no respect for the concerns of its partners, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which have branded the Muslim Brotherhood ‘terrorist.’
The memo suggests that prominent Muslim Brotherhood members are at risk of being persecuted in Egypt, regardless of the fact that in 2012 they ordered their following to embark on a violent spree involving attacks on soldiers, police, politicians, the general public and churches.
The Brotherhood’s crimes are too many to mention but include throwing young boys to their death off a rooftop in Alexandria, killing taxi drivers, slaughtering police officers and dismembering their bodies, and randomly shooting off a Cairo bridge. On January 27, 2015, the Brotherhood announced a jihad on its official website just days before there was an attack on military personnel, police officers, civilians (including children) in Al Arish. Brotherhood channels aired the videos minutes after the attack that left 59 dead and 70 wounded.
It’s no wonder the Egyptian foreign minister and parliamentarians have slammed the Home Office document as an affront to their country. “London, or Londonistan, has become Europe’s hotbed of Islamist extremists and a major base for spreading the jihadist ideology in the West and recruiting possible jihadists,” said Muslim Brotherhood researcher and MP Abdul Rehim-Ali.
“We must take all legal and diplomatic measures against the UK government’s pro-radical Islam policies that incite violence against Egypt and the Arab region,” said Mustafa Bakri, a prominent journalist and influential MP.
In spite of the report’s findings, Cameron stopped short of banning the Brotherhood, perhaps due to its threat that such a ban would trigger terror attacks, but he did say it warranted close monitoring. That was cowardly, but even he didn’t sanction sending out invitations to the group’s high echelons to make their home in the UK; ironic when the prime motivation of many of those who voted for Britain’s exit from the EU was to curtail immigration!
So Polish plumbers are a no-no, but members of an extremist organisation of which almost all Al Qaida leaders were members at one time, including Bin Laden, get a welcome mat.
Isn’t Britain home to enough Islamist radicals already with Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) recruiters handing out flyers in Oxford Street, black flags fluttering over Tower Hamlets and regularly seen at rallies, and the names of 3,000 on the ‘Jihadi John watch list.’
If the new government is so concerned about the fate of the Brothers, why isn’t it opening its arms to so-called Gulenist supporters evading Turkish prisons where, some could face the death penalty if Parliament rubber stamps the president’s call? Why is it keeping the door closed to Syrian refugees apart from a token handful? They can’t return to their country for fear of being bombed or starved. But, of course, morality doesn’t get a look-in.
I wish I could tell you what’s behind this madness but I can only speculate. The Brotherhood is heavily invested in the UK and enjoys every freedom to plot and propagandise, so may not be inclined to dirty its own doorstep. Alternatively, the government takes its orders from Washington on foreign policy. US President Barack Obama is known to be cosy with the Brotherhood and has attempted to undercut Egypt’s progress at every turn.
Linda S. Heard is an award-winning British specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She welcomes feedback and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.