Canada concerned about Egypt’s Brotherhood

Speaking in Cairo, Canadian FM said Ottawa is ‘tremendously concerned’ about the Muslim Brotherhood

Shounaz Meky - Al Arabiya News
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Canada on Thursday said it was concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt following the military-backed ouster of President Mohamed Mursi last July.

“Canada has taken an aggressive stand when it comes to listings [of terror groups] ... but there is a certain process,” John Baird, Canada’s foreign minister, said at a news conference in Cairo.

“We are tremendously concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood ... but the listings are made on the basis of facts and intel.”

Ottawa’s standpoint comes weeks after Britain ordered a probe into the Muslim Brotherhood in a bid to investigate if the group has ties to extremist groups or violent acts.

Cairo listed the Brotherhood as a “terrorist organization” last December following a series of attacks which the state claims were orchestrated by the Islamist group in revenge for Mursi’s removal. The group was later blacklisted by Saudi Arabia.

Ammar Ali Hassan, an Egyptian political scientist, told Al Arabiya News that the Canadian minister’s statement on the Muslim Brotherhood implies that the West was beginning to share Cairo’s worries about the Islamist group.

“The foreign minister made a point that Canada cannot list the Muslim Brotherhood under its terror list unless clear evidence is available,” Hassan said.

The statements made by the minister “are hinting at the possibility of listing the group,” he added.

“The West is moving toward protecting itself from the Brotherhood rather than criticizing the Egyptian authorities for its stance on the Brotherhood.”

London ordered an investigation into the Islamist movement earlier this month over concerns that the group is planning radical activities in Britain.

A statement by David Cameron’s office read: “The Prime Minister has commissioned an internal government review into the philosophy and activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and the government’s policy toward the organization."

If a conclusion that the Brotherhood is linked to acts of violence in Western countries, Hassan said that could in the future limit the rights granted to Brotherhood members in those countries.

(with AFP)

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