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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More