'Political Islam' and the Muslim Brotherhood Review Contents


‘Political Islam’ and UK policy

‘Political Islam’ is not a clearly defined phrase, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) uses it to describe a broad array of groups. These range from groups that the FCO describes as embracing “democratic principles and liberal values”, to those that it says hold “intolerant and extremist views”. The UK’s opposition to the latter is clear, but its commitment to the former must be clarified. The FCO should publish a clear set of standards for the political philosophies that the UK is committed to engaging with, and we suggest three criteria:

i)Participation in, and preservation of, democracy. Support for democratic culture, including a commitment to give up power after an election defeat.

ii)An interpretation of faith that protects the rights, freedoms, and social policies that are broadly congruent with UK values.

iii)Non-violence, as a fundamental and unambiguous commitment.

We used these three criteria to assess political Islamists, and to assess the policies of the FCO towards these groups. We found that:

The Muslim Brotherhood Review

Our scrutiny of the Muslim Brotherhood Review was hindered by the Government. Its published Main Findings had significant shortcomings that have damaged the UK’s reputation:

3 November 2016