The Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers, who are living in the United Kingdom, are facing a new challenge that further weakens the already falling structure of their organization. The British Home Office is currently working to ban the Hamas movement as a terrorist organization. Outlawing Hamas will, consequently, raise questions about the Muslim Brotherhood’s voiced support for Hamas, as well as the British deep state’s generous support to the Muslim Brotherhood organization. How the Muslim Brotherhood organization chose to handle the British decision will determine the future of the group.
Last week, Conservative Member of Parliament, Priti Patel, announced that, in her capacity as the Secretary of the British Home Office, she has “taken action to proscribe Hamas in its entirety.” Patel justified the move as integral to the British government’s commitment to tackling extremism and terrorism wherever it occurs. “Hamas has significant terrorist capability, including access to extensive and sophisticated weaponry, as well as terrorist facilities, and it has long been involved in significant terrorist violence. Hamas commits, participates, prepares for promotes, and encourages terrorism;" she stated.
While the final decision to outlaw Hamas is pending the voting of the Parliament, this week, it is highly likely that the decision will eventually be passed. Already, Hamas is partially designated as a terrorist organization in the UK. In 2001, the British government outlawed Al-Qassam Brigades, one of the most famous armed militias of Hamas. Also, Hamas as a whole has been designated on the United States’ list of foreign terrorist organizations, since 1995. Even, the European Union labeled Hamas as a terrorist organization in 2001.
Patel rightfully defended her position to ban the entirety of Hamas, under the Terrorism Act 2000, by highlighting that “it is not possible to distinguish between Hamas' political and military wings.” Ironically, the same thing could be said about the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the parent organization of Hamas. However, the UK is, allegedly, the only country in the world where the Muslim Brotherhood is operating openly without disguise, thanks to the unconditional support of the UK government and the intelligence of the group. Even, when former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, proved through government investigations, in 2015, that the Muslim Brotherhood deserves to be outlawed as a jihad-promoting organization, the intelligence bureau (MI6) and the deep state challenged him. As soon as Theresa May took the Prime Minister’s office, in 2016, she altered Cameron’s investigations and conclusions and made a law that allows Muslim Brotherhood members to unconditionally seek asylum in the UK.
Hamas is one of the militia wings of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been operating in Gaza for more than three decades. Hamas has a shameful record of violent atrocities, not only against Israelis but also against the helpless Palestinians inside Gaza, where Hamas controls the highest political power. Cases of torture and detention of Palestinian individuals by Hamas have already been documented by several human rights organizations in the past.
Hamas, also, targeted the Egyptian civilians and military troops in Sinai. Following the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt, in 2011, Hamas militia leaked into Sinai via illegal tunnels to benefit from the turmoil. When the Muslim Brotherhood group took power, in 2012, Hamas was given the green light to form terrorist organizations in Sinai, which targeted the Egyptian civilians and military officers there, to avenge the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in 2013.
That is in addition to Hamas’ sponsoring of other violent jihadist organizations inside Gaza and in Sinai, such as the Islamic Jihad and Ansar Beit Al-Maqdes. The latter was the militia group that formed the branch of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Sinai, in late 2014.
When confirmed, the British Home's decision to outlaw Hamas will subject any person or organization, that shows support to Hamas, under legal penalty. According to the terrorism law, the punishment may include imprisonment for up to 14 years. That will be the new nightmare for the Muslim Brotherhood members and organizations that have been living and working safely, in the UK, for decades. This will also extend to the Muslim Brotherhood supporters, and Hamas’ apologists, inside the British Parliament. One of the prominent names that comes to mind, in this regard, is Jeremy Corbyn, the famous face of the leftist Labour Party. Corbyn is known for his controversial friendly attitude towards political Islamists, including those who practice violent jihad, such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Some of his patricians call him off as an anti-Semite.
The Muslim Brotherhood is already going through one of the most critical moments in its century-long history, due to the severe fractures between the group’s leaders, who are scattered between London and Istanbul. In that sense, the UK designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization and its consequent effects on the legitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood, in Britain and worldwide, may be the wrecking ball that accelerates the collapse of the waning political Islamist organization. Otherwise, it may be the wake alarm that forces the quarreling leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood to reunite again to deal with the many black days to come.
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