The tone was plaintive, almost bewildered. “We work tirelessly for the good of British society on several fronts,” Anas Altikriti protested before calling a press conference to refute the government’s charge that he and other like-minded Muslim leaders are doing the opposite.
A classified government review by two of Britain’s leading civil servants, expert in the Arab world and Islamist ideology, has concluded that organisations like the one Altikriti heads are, in effect, fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood — a charge they categorically deny.
The Ikhwan al-Muslimeen, as it is known in Arabic, was established in 1928 in Egypt and its goal was — and remains — the step-by-step Islamisation of Muslim communities with the ultimate aim of creating a global Caliphate ruled by holy law. “Allah is our objective” is the Brotherhood’s motto, “The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our constitution. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
With Altikriti on the platform was Omer El-Hamdoon, president of the Muslim Association of Britain, and Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, North London, where the press conference was held. “We are not enemies of the state,” said the gently-spoken Hamdoon. All three say they “totally reject the allegation” that they are “in any way linked to the Muslim Brotherhood”.