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Muslim Brotherhood denies UK govt donation

A London-based Muslim Brotherhood leader on Wednesday denied reports that his group had received a donation from the British government.

Mohamed Soudan, foreign relations chief for the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, said his movement did not have any links with a charity coalition known as the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF).

“Reports in this regard have nothing to do with reality,” Soudan told Anadolu Agency. “We have nothing to do with the MCF.”

British daily The Telegraph on Tuesday reported that a British government department had donated £18,000 to MCF, an umbrella group for several prominent Islamist charities.

It attributed the information to a spending report by the U.K.’s Department for Communities and Local Government, reporting that the British government had donated £18,397 to MCF earlier this year.

Soudan, however, insisted that the Brotherhood had not received any donations from the British government.

“We participate in many charity activities in light of the fact that there is a large Islamic community in the U.K.,” he said.

Soudan said the Brotherhood had not been subject to any harassment by the British government, noting that a controversial government report on the Brotherhood and its ideology had yet to be issued.

The MCF, meanwhile, said it was shocked by the press report, noting that it had received a British government grant – not a donation – for the charities working under its auspices.

“We would like to clarify that the funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government was a grant and not – as wrongly described – a ‘donation’ to the MCF,” the forum said in an online statement.

“This funding actively encourages integration by promoting inter-faith work; promoting the role of women in faith; tackling youth crime; and providing training in child protection,” it added.

The MCF stressed its devotion to promoting pluralism, integration and better community relations, and working to reduce youth crime.

In April, British authorities announced that they would reassess the Brotherhood’s philosophy and activities. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron instructed authorities that the reassessment should also include the Brotherhood’s activities inside Britain and the movement’s impact on British national security.

In March, the Brotherhood was labeled a “terrorist” group by Saudi Arabia after Egypt – the country from which the Brotherhood hails – did the same late last year.

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