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

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

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