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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs