CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood will engage with the British government’s investigation into its work, but will challenge any “improper attempt to restrict their activities,” the group said in a Wednesday statement published on the site of the ITN law firm in London.
The statement follows a Tuesday announcement by the Cameron government to commission “an internal government review into the philosophy and activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and the government’s policy towards the organization.” The Egyptian Foreign Ministry also issued a statement Tuesday to welcome the U.K. announcement.
The Brotherhood asserted that they “welcome all opportunities to engage with governments in order to bring a better understanding about the aims and methods of the Muslim Brotherhood and how it intends to return Egypt to a democratic and civil society.”
The statement added that they are ready to help the British government, adding that they contacted the former director of Public Prosecutions, Lord Macdonald of River Glaven for advice.
The U.K. decision to investigate the Brotherhood activities is a result of “pressure by the Gulf countries and the Egyptian regime on Britain,” said Magdy Qurqur, a member of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy , which rejects the legitimacy of the interim government and has called for the re-instatement of Mohamed Morsi.
The British investigation into the Brotherhood activities in Britain “will prove that the group’s activity is political and that the group has nothing to do with violent acts, whether in Egypt or any other place,” Ihab Sheha, head of Al-Asala party, which is the political arm of radical Islamist party Gamaa Islamiyya, told al-Masry al-Youm on Wednesday.
Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization on Dec. 25, 2013, and other regional countries have since followed suit; Saudi Arabia also labeled the group as terrorist on March 7.
The Brotherhood stated its concern regarding Britain’s decision to assigning the British ambassador in Saudi Arabia to lead the investigation, and called for them to be “conducted fairly.”
“Assigning the British ambassador in Saudi Arabia to lead such investigations is questionable,” Qurqur told The Cairo Post.
Amnesty International U.K.’s head of policy and government affairs Allan Hogarth stated on the organization’s website Tuesday, “It is of course perfectly legitimate for the UK to review security arrangements over the Muslim Brotherhood, but the U.K. must not let this distract from the fact that human rights abuses are being inflicted on large swathes of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt by the country’s increasingly repressive security services.”