It is not important whether the British government comes up with an answer that designates the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group or as a democratic one. The massive moral damage has already been done by merely asking the question in the first place. The countries that pressure Britain have accomplished an objective that no one thought would one day be accomplished, namely the use of Gulf financial leverage in order to shake the moral and intellectual foundations upon which the West was established and to intervene in the West’s domestic as well as foreign policies in a manner that has done a great deal of harm to democracy and human rights in Britain as well as in the countries from which the immigrants hail.
Britain, that country which one day colonised Egypt and draw the maps of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the entire region, should present its own view of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially during the formative and launch years, in the thirties of the last century all the way up to the years of banishment and exile in the eighties and nineties of the same century when Britain become the refuge for the wanted leader and members of the (Muslim Brotherhood) in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Iraq as well as the wanted leaders of Hamas.
On top of that, Britain, who contributed to humanity the Magna Carta documents – which considered one of the most ancient texts on democracy, should offer its historical expertise to the countries that are democratically stumbling. Even on terrorism, assuming that the Brotherhood is designated as such, Britain fought us that the IRA, which used to bomb and kill, was transformed through negotiations into a political party. In other words, sensible countries are those that turn “the terrorist” into a politician and not vice versa.
What is being said in meetings held inside the British embassies warrants ridicule more than it does debate. The ambassador in charge of the inquiry, who happens to be the ambassador of Britain to Saudi Arabia, says in absolute openness that what he has been asked to do is the outcome of pressures.
It is important too that the British tell us something about the manufacturing of terrorism. It has been made clear in the trial of Abu Hamza Al-Masir that he had been an agent working for MI5, the British internal intelligence apparatus. It is worth noting that Al-Masri and his current consider the Brotherhood to have blasphemed because they take part in blasphemous legislative assemblies and they declare the Brotherhood to be traitors because they adopt a peaceful methodology.
Britain knows that the Brotherhood did carry arms against it in the Suez Canal as they did too in South Iraq because it was an occupying power. But the Brotherhood, at the same, do not forget that this is the country that provided them with abode when their own countries forced them out, and in which they lived as good citizens benefiting from it and benefiting it. And that did not happen out of the generosity of a certain government or a certain ambassador but thanks to the democratic system whose roots have been consolidated over hundreds of years and in whose cause so much blood was shed.
The Brotherhood distinguish well between the Western legacy of democracy and human rights, a legacy they consider to be a human gain in general, and the British policies. The Brotherhood youth stood hand in hand with the leftists and the liberals and all those who opposed the war on Gaza when they marched the streets of London. The same happened before that when they protested against the war on Iraq. In Britain too, people such as Ghannouchi, Bayanouni and Issam Al-Haddad lived and there too many Brotherhood families lived integrated in Western life while preserving their own civlisational identity.
What is truly ludicrous and regrettable at the same time is that the Britain government knows all of this but it seeks to evade the truth. The answer (to the question) is to be found in the global financial crisis and not in the political crisis we have at home.
Translated from Arabi21, 11 May, 2014
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.