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Political Islam inquiry announced

3 March 2016

The Foreign Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into the characteristics of different forms of "political Islam" and how well the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has understood and engaged with it.

Terms of reference

The Committee would welcome written submissions which address in particular:

  • The characteristics of movements which fall within the definition of "political Islam", and how they vary; and how those characteristics engage with the UK's interests as promoted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (security, prosperity and support for British national overseas) including the promotion of democracy, rule of law and human rights
  • The relationship between Islamists and democracy, including the democratic record and current practice of electorally successful representatives of "political Islam", and the extent to which they have protected and reinforced the democratic system of their countries, including human rights and the rule of law, or undermined it
  • The relationship between democratic Islamists and secularists in the host countries and the extent to which they can form a positive or co-existent relationship with each other
  • The relationship between democratic Islamists and extremists in their own countries and abroad
  • The extent to which the UK understands and effectively engages with states or movements which might be described as espousing or having espoused “political Islam”, and the UK's approach so far in managing its bilateral relationships with such states or movements
  • How the UK has navigated the relationship between established regimes and emerging advocates of "political Islam"
  • The likelihood of further states espousing "political Islam" in the short, medium and long term, and current relationships between such states and regional trends
  • What principles should guide the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in its policy response to the future development of "political Islam", including guidance to political Islamist movements on principles that are consistent with UK values and those that are unacceptable to the UK
  • The analysis contained in the Government's Muslim Brotherhood Review (Main Findings) and the FCO's approach to this work

Deadline for submission

Written submissions are invited and should be received by the Committee no later than Thursday 28 April 2016.

Further information

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