LONDON, (Xinhua) — Membership of the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as “a possible indicator of extremism,” but the group will not be banned altogether in Britain, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday.
In a written statement to the Parliament, Cameron said: “Parts of the Muslim Brotherhood have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism.”
He said that Britain will keep the group’s views and activities “under review,” but did not go as far as banning the movement completely in his country.
Cameron’s remarks came after the British government on Thursday published a long-awaited policy review on the Muslim Brotherhood and its links to extremism.
The review said: “People associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK have applauded suicide bombing by Hamas, in some cases against civilians.”
It stated that “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.”
Cameron said in his statement, “It is a complex subject. The Muslim Brotherhood comprises both a transnational network, with links in the UK, and national organizations in and outside the Islamic world.”
“The movement is deliberately opaque, and habitually secretive,” he said. “Aspects of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and activities therefore 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.”
“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,” Cameron concluded.
The prime minister said Britain “will keep under review the views that are promoted and activities that are undertaken by Muslim Brotherhood associates in the UK,” and “refuse visas to members and associates of the Muslim Brotherhood who are on record as having made extremist comments.”
In response to the review, the Muslim Brotherhood criticized the report in a statement, saying it is “deeply flawed” and the group will challenge the review and its findings through legal means.
“This review is deeply flawed… My client does not accept that the criticisms are credible; they are deeply misguided and wrong. We will be challenging the process of the review and its findings in Court,” said London based lawyer Tayab Ali, who was instructed to act for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Cameron in his statement did not ban the Muslim Brotherhood altogether in Britain. The group has been listed as a “terrorist organization” by a number of countries, including Russia, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.