Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation charity advisors 'linked to Muslim Brotherhood' – a group he himself condemned as pursuing ‘values that contradict everything we stand for’

Apparent hypocrisy ‘brings into question Blair’s judgement and his work’, watchdog claims

Tony Blair has been accused of an embarrassing hypocrisy after reports emerged that his high-profile multi-faith charity has links to an international Islamist group which he himself dismissed earlier this year.

According to one international watchdog organisation, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation has two senior advisors with close links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood is a pan-Islamic organisation that takes different forms in different countries, yet Mr Blair himself slammed the group in general, comparing it to the Russian Bolshevik party and saying it was “the will of the people” that its democratically-elected Egyptian president was overthrown by the military last year.

Then, the former British prime minister accused the Brotherhood of being in “pursuit of values that contradict everything we stand for”, and “taking the country away from its basic values of hope and progress”.

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation says it exists to “help prevent religious prejudice, conflict and extremism”, and Mr Blair will be embarrassed by the link between its council members and a group he has been so critical of, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

According to the newspaper, Dr Ismail Khudr Al-Shatti, an adviser to the Kuwaiti government and a member of Mr Blair’s advisory council, is a leading member of the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM), the Kuwaiti branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Another adviser, the former Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina Mustafa Ceric, was reportedly tied to the Brotherhood through his membership of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), headed by Youssef Qaradawi, considered the Brotherhood’s intellectual leader, and whose extremist views led to his ban from Britain in 2008.

The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW), a self-appointed watchdog which claims to have monitored the development of the Brotherhood over the past 13 years, said Mr Blair’s ties to the Brotherhood in light of his own comments cast a shadow over his judgment and work.

Steven Merley, who runs GMBDW, said: “Many groups don’t call themselves Muslim Brotherhood but they are linked to what I call the 'Global Muslim Brotherhood’.

“These individuals have fooled a lot of politicians, like Blair, who should know better. The very presence of people like Shatti and Ceric in the same room as him is a judgment on Blair.”

A spokesperson for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation said it had no knowledge of any link between its advisers and the Brotherhood, and said: “We are grateful for the contribution to our work of Dr Ismail Khudr Al-Shatti and Dr Mustafa Ceric.

“They are great supporters of both the foundation and interfaith dialogue, with long records of commitment to peaceful coexistence.”

The Brotherhood is currently the subject of a controversial British Government review, called for personally by David Cameron, during which its practices and influence in the UK will be investigated by MI5, MI6 and some of the country’s most senior diplomats.

The organisation denies any links to extremism, and the Prime Minister’s probe has been slammed in the Lords as a Saudi-influenced attempted to discredit a lawful international movement.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Sport
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
boxing
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living