The publication of a British government report into whether the Muslim Brotherhood should be classified “a terrorist organisation” has been delayed, while government ministers seek to calm any discontent that a negative response may cause among Arab allies.
The Financial Times reported yesterday that it had been informed by government officials that the report has found the group should not be labelled “terrorist”.
It added that little evidence had been found that its members are involved in any “terrorist activities” – a result which could upset relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have both banned the organisation.
The report was instigated by Prime Minister David Cameron in April. Cameron asked Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sir John Jenkins to carry out the investigation into the Brotherhood and its “philosophy, activities, impact and influence on UK national interests, at home and abroad.”
Concerns were immediately raised that Jenkins was not the right person to conduct the inquiry, as the Saudis are not just raucous opponents of the Brotherhood they also supported the military coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi – the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate and the country’s first civilian president.
Since Morsi’s removal, the country’s military-backed government has designated the Brotherhood a “terrorist organisation”, a court sentencing 529 of its members to death.
The review was due to be published at the end of last month, but the Financial Times reported that ministers were still discussing how they would present the findings.
The Anadolu news agency contacted Cameron’s office one week ago regarding the results of the inquiry and has still not received a response.