The news about British Prime Minister James Cameron order to investigate Muslim Brotherhood investigations couldn’t have came at a better timing for Egyptians who are fighting the brotherhood militants and terrorist allies all over the country. However, before many would get their hopes too high, the chances of Britain of completely banning the Muslim Brotherhood are very low. The reason is that most big countries don’t change their foreign or domestic policies overnight unless a force majeure or a war takes place like in the case of 9/11 attacks for example on the USA in 2011. Britain decision will be based on finding it much more costly to keep hosting the Muslim Brotherhood leaders, businesses and associations than not having them at all in order to fully ban the terrorist group.
Under pressure from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE who banned the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, British government declared on April 1st 2014 that they will investigate the “Activities and Philosophies” of the Muslim Brotherhood group in United Kingdom. This statement may indicate a shift of the policies of the United Kingdom after the pressures by the likes of Saudi Arabia and UAE who possess substantial investments in the United Kingdom. But let that not fool anyone because opening investigations maybe an act of saving face as Britain is currently facing a huge wave of criticism as a result for the numerous
The Muslim Brotherhood still find a safe haven in London which represents to them both financial and administrative center. London being the biggest financial center in the world as well as its relative proximity to the Middle East as well the lenient laws throughout the past decades served it to be the perfect getaway for most outlaws and fugitives in the Middle East.
Many of the current Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt especially those who are jailed for orchestrating violence and terrorist attacks against citizens, army, and the state have been living London for at least a part of their lives. That includes the likes of Essam AL Haddad and his son Gehad Al Haddad. The former was the defacto Foreign Minister of Egypt despite he was just an international relations consultant and the later was the Göbbels or the Propagandist of the Muslim Brother in British and USA Media outlets.
Moreover, not only the Brotherhood leaders found shelter in Britain but also other Jihadists, Salafists and extremists were hosted and given the status of Political refugees for long years and even decades. The names like Jihadists and Egyptian fugitives Hany Al Sebei , Abu Hamza Al Masry were among the Hall of shame names that were allowed to operate on British Soil against Egypt and other Middle East countries till the latter was arrested by the very British authorities in August 2004 on charges of instigating acts of terrorism. Al Masry was sentenced to 7 years in prison only to be followed by an extradition request from the USA government facing similar terrorism charges which was granted in 2012. It’s noteworthy to mention that Egypt has been requesting that the notorious hate preacher for Al Masri among other terrorist leaders to be handed back to Egypt to face trials but request denied by British government on grounds of human rights protection.
Other terrorist leaders like Jordanian Born Al Qaeda affiliated Abu Qatada have spent over 20 years in London protected from Middle Eastern Law enforcement before escaping the country after becoming a person of interest to the British security forces.
For decades, British citizens have been paying huge amounts of their tax money to support the terrorist leaders and their families’ residence in Britain while other social services and health care programs are deteriorating during the current bad economy. According to article by Conservative politician Boris Johnson Abu Qatada’s residence in Britain is estimated to have cost the British taxpayer at least £500,000 in benefit payments to his family and other expenses by early 2012. Other British papers like Daily Telegraph cited the number to be as high as 3 Million Sterling pounds as expenses.
Such news instigates British citizens against Muslim immigrants who have nothing to do with the likes of Abu Qatada and get to pay the price of getting stereotyped and discriminated against thanks to the terrorists’ activities of such criminals. Also it emboldens hate groups like English Defense League to have a higher voice and claim credibility that they don’t deserve among common citizens who get fed up of the government patterns towards these criminals.
Egyptian authorities while welcoming Britain’s decision to investigate the so called “Activities and Philosophies” they are not holding their breath out of anxiety to the outcome. The reason is that United Kingdom has endorsed the Muslim Brotherhood since their inception in 1928 in the Egyptian City of Ismailia and donated even 500 Sterling Pounds (substantial amount of money at that time) toward building their first headquarters there back in the day. Despite being back-stabbed by them during World War II with their founder Hassan Al Banna being an admirer of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler himself, they continued cooperation with the group after WWII. Till December 2013 when British Home office spokeswoman said that the United Kingdom will not automatically follow Egypt’s decision on December 25th 2012 and designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. Accordingly many in Egypt believe that Britain may not ban the Muslim Brotherhood and if they do they will probably do it with some sort of compromise that will allow British Authorities to still host some Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Even of Secretary the International Muslim Brotherhood Ibrahim Mounir mentioned on 1st of April that the group is confident about the results of the British investigation as they are “Law-Abiding” citizens according to his own statements.
Regardless of the motives, intentions and what these investigations will lead to, it’s the first signs of acknowledgement by British authorities that the Muslim Brotherhood is a menace to the British society domestically and political interests internationally. That menace that was nurtured under British sponsorship and security apparatus for many decades and it is better late than never to change that for the high interest of the United Kingdom.