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Muslim Brotherhood Curbs Draw Mixed Reaction

  • Elizabeth Arrott

Opponents of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood are reacting favorably to a ban on all activity by the Islamist group and the seizing of its assets.

“They made a lot of mistakes and this is the consequence of these mistakes," said Cairo resident Ahmed Tolba. "I support the decision and support the seizure.”

Monday's court decision is the latest turn in a stunning reversal for group.

A man looks at bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013.

A man looks at bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013.

From the overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, in early July, to the crackdown on supporters that left more than 1,000 dead and thousands more in custody or on the run, the brotherhood is enduring some of its darkest days since a previous ban in 1954.

And that's fine by some who believe the government's contention that the Islamist political group is closely allied, or in fact the same, as extremists carrying out attacks across the country.

“The group that sheds the blood of their fellow Egyptians or sheds the blood of anyone must become an illegitimate group and a terrorist group," said Cairo resident Sameh Samir. "They killed youths who were in their prime years in Sinai and took Egyptians' money and placed it in favor of their group.”

Key Dates in Egypt

  • February 11, 2011 - President Hosni Mubarak resigns after weeks of massive protests and clashes
  • January 21, 2012 - The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party wins almost half of Egypt's parliamentary seats
  • June 24, 2012 - Mohamed Morsi becomes Egypt's first freely elected president
  • November 22, 2012 - Morsi grants himself sweeping powers, sparking protests
  • July 3, 2013 - The army removes Morsi from power and suspends the constitution
Brotherhood leaders vow to appeal the court ruling, and supporters say they will continue their demonstrations, which have persisted despite a state of emergency throughout much of the country.

Rights activists also expressed dismay over what they fear may become an even greater polarization of the country.

“We've moved into a phase where there seems to be an overall political decision to exclude the brotherhood from Egypt's political future," said Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch. "And I think without some form of inclusion of the brotherhood, I don't see political stability occurring in Egypt's future.”

A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department said Secretary of State John Kerry has discussed the matter with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy.

"A transparent and inclusive political process that preserves the rights of all Egyptians to participate and leads back to a civilian-led government is critical to the success of Egypt's political and economic future," said Jen Psaki.

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