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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Arab governments pressure David Cameron to crack down on Islamists while he sits on controversial Muslim Brotherhood report

Don't hold your breath if you are waiting to read the British government's controversial review of the Muslim Brotherhood. It could be months yet before this sees the light of day — a reflection of difficulties over how to handle an extremely sensitive topic as well as wider confusion about the role of political Islam after the disappointments of the Arab spring.
Downing Street is still refusing to say when or how it will release the review, which was ordered by David Cameron in April amidst accusations that he had bowed to pressure from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt —all viscerally hostile to Islamists as well as heavyweight allies and trading partners for the UK. But the word in Whitehall is that it is still not imminent. And if it has not appeared by March it may then be too close for constitutional comfort to May's general election - which means it might never surface at all.
The project, entrusted to Sir John Jenkins, Britain's widely-respected ambassador to Riyadh, was to look at the Brotherhood given its role in Egypt until the overthrow of the democratically-elected but hugely unpopular Mohamed Morsi by the army — as well as its Arab and international network. Brotherhood involvement in Britain was examined by Charles Farr, head of security and counter-terrorism at the Home Office. The brief was to examine "the philosophy, activities, impact and influence on UK national interests, at home and abroad, of the Muslim Brotherhood and of government policy towards the organization."...

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