News / Middle East

    Egyptian Court Bans Muslim Brotherhood Activities

    A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi holds onto barbed wire as he shouts slogans against the military and interior ministry near El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo, Sept. 20, 2013.
    A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi holds onto barbed wire as he shouts slogans against the military and interior ministry near El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo, Sept. 20, 2013.
    Elizabeth Arrott
    An Egyptian court has ordered a ban on all activities by the Muslim Brotherhood, driving the group that gave the country its first freely-elected president further from the national stage.

    The ban encompasses all the Islamist group's activities, including demonstrations, institutions and associations, and orders a seizure of the group's assets.

    The case, brought by the leftist political party Tagammu, centered on the Brotherhood's non-governmental organization status, its role in politics and whether it posed a threat to national safety.  

    It did not address the issue of an outright ban on the group itself. A second, pending lawsuit against the Brotherhood seeks to take that step.

    Monday's ruling could be appealed.

    Still, the move marks a further blow to the organization which, since the beginning of July, went from influence in the highest offices of the land to outcasts.

    In addition to political activities, the court order targets the Brotherhood's extensive network of hospitals, schools and social services, the kind of basic care lacking in the impoverished country and that brought the group millions of supporters over the decades.

    Some, including prominent pro-democracy activist and blogger Wael Khalil, thinks the ruling will be unenforceable.

    “It's a useless, meaningless verdict. We've seen many like it before. The Brotherhood has been working for years while being illegal, so it doesn't change much,” said Khalil.

    President Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the Brotherhood, was ousted July 3 by the military following mass demonstrations against his rule. In mid-August, government forces moved against protests camps set up by Morsi's supporters. An estimated 1,000 people were killed in the crackdown.

    Much of the Brotherhood's leadership is now in custody or in hiding, part of what state media and officials have called a “war on terror” that has received broad popular support.

    Yet Brotherhood-led protests continued in the weeks that followed.  For the most part, police and security forces have let demonstrations go forward.  

    Monday's ruling would likely change that.

    The Brotherhood, formed 85 years ago, was banned in 1954. After Egypt's 2011 revolution, it was allowed to take part in politics and dominated a series of parliamentary elections, culminating in Mr. Morsi's ascension to the presidency last year. After questions about its legal status, the movement applied for NGO status earlier this year.

    Activist Khalil, who protested against Morsi and the Brotherhood, nonetheless argues that trying to crack down on its activities is counterproductive.

    “The Brotherhood has never lost such support than the year they spent above ground and in power because this is how you deal with politics. You expose, you deal with it as a concrete alternative, but by banning it and attacking it, you are really creating martyrs out of them which is something they really, really don't deserve,” he said.

    He said he hopes the government will not follow through on what he considers such “a stupid option,” and warns that the rest of the country could suffer dire consequences if it pushes the more extreme elements toward violence.

    You May Like

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Nielsen's, Sina Weibo Team Up for Closer Look at Chinese Social Media

    US-based rating agency reaches deal with China's Twitter-like service to gauge marketing effectiveness on platform which has more than 200 million users

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    September 23, 2013 11:13 AM
    This is the best news to come out of Egypt in recent weeks. Kudos to the interim administration in Cairo. Nobody said there was not going to be consequences, but they are not going to be different from what they have been in the past - terrorism! In line with this, Egypt should spearhead a legislation in the ME to outlaw any terrorist or banned group from establishing office in a neighboring country. They should also draw a red line (not too low to be tripped over) to deter member states from engaging with terrorists. That way, the menace of terrorism in the world will be curbed, and the Middle East will be the biggest beneficiary.

    by: Dr. Abbass Al Masri from: Egypt
    September 23, 2013 10:44 AM
    Thank God for that...!!! MB is Al Qaeda...!!! MB is Hamas...!!! why does it take so long for the Obama administration to recognize the MB depravity...??? WHY...!?!
    Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization!!!
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    September 23, 2013 12:16 PM
    It didn't take America that long to know the Muslim Brotherhood; it was only a thank-you gift to Mr. Morsi by his classmate in USA's White House for his contribution to his own election victory against the Republicans. However, it's only unfortunate it backfired.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora