Islamophobia Rears its Ugly Head Following Foreign Office Visit to MB
Triggering again the face of Islamophobia was the recent visit Thursday by a delegation from the British Foreign Office, to the Muslim Brotherhood’s administrative office in Alexandria.
The visit led by Consul-General Marie- Louise Archer and Foreign Office Relations Coordinator Martin Hetringen was slammed by the Quilliam Foundation think tank in London which was based to allegedly counter- terrorism.
The meeting which was amiable according to Archer was part of British efforts to increase cooperation and accepting cultural differences with Egypt’s political and intellectual trends after the January 25 revolution. It obviously worried trends who opposed the MB participating in the political arena
According to James Brandon, head of research at Quilliam admittedly the Brotherhood is a major player in Egypt and it is not unreasonable for the British government to meet with its representatives. Demonstrating a model example of both Islamophobia and Ikhwanophobia however he continued, accusing the MB of masterminding the engagement ’to further its own anti-Western agenda and to sideline more liberal Muslim voices adding the efforts were to whitewash its own extremist beliefs.
It has been repeatedly reiterated by the MB and those who understand the group that it has and always will promote nothing but peace and does not nor will resort to violence hence it is a moderate group and the fears are unfounded. Furthermore MB leader Hamdy Hassan said the meeting had been a good opportunity to exchange views and discuss the group’s view on the forthcoming elections indicating there are neither hidden agendas nor plans. He told the delegation that the MB does not discriminate among presidential candidates and discussed the group’s party platform and position with regard to women and Copts. He asserted the group seeks to participate not dominate and it is from the people and for the people.
Although Brandon denounced the British government stressing it had no idea on how to engage critically with the group regarding it as the authentic voice of the Arab street a spokesman for the Foreign Office has confirmed that it will continue to have contact with the MB who are a very likely to be part of the current political dialogue in Egypt.