by Francesco Bongarra, August 31, 2020

This article, written by Francesco Bongarra, is an interview with Dr. Lorenzo Vidino about his book, The Closed Circle. Vidino pointed out, “Defining the Brotherhood’s role in Europe is ‘very difficult’ because “unlike in the Middle East … there are no groups or individuals that openly identify themselves as (linked to the) Brotherhood in any European countries.” Starting in the 1960s, Middle Eastern individuals and groups with links to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) started creating highly influential networks thought out Europe, supported with funds from Qatar and Turkey. They used the “Arabs are the victims” ruse effectively to create a mindset in the European Arab community of “them against us.” Not only has this affected integration, the MB has helped convince some Arabs to become terrorists, joining MB or groups affiliated with MB. It is also important to understand that the MB wants to convince European administrations and media that it is representative of the Muslim communities in Europe. Note that the ECR Group (European Conservatives and Reformists) has published The Muslim Brotherhood in Europe October 2021. It is available at https://ecrgroup.eu/files/MuslimBrotherhood.pdf/. Its introduction begins, “Understanding the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe is complex. Indeed it has been made deliberately so by the secrecy surrounding the organisation, and its tendency to operate more as an ideal than a formally structured political organisation. This has obscured understanding by policy makers in Europe. Given the number of former activists now emerging from this milieu, greater understanding of the Ikhwan’s nature and long term aims is now available. The European Union needs to listen to these voices, and compare them to what has been said by some of the Muslim representative organisations in Europe.”

AUTHOR: Francesco Bongarra is a journalist who writes for Arab News.

This article was published August 31, 2020 by Arab News and is archived at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1727071/world/.

It is archived at Think-Israel at https://www.think-israel.org/bongarra.vidinoandeuropeanarabs.html