Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Banned

The government had been headed this way for some time, but now the Muslim Brotherhood has been effectively banned in Egypt:
An Egyptian court on Monday issued an injunction dissolving the Muslim Brotherhood and confiscating its assets, escalating a broad crackdown on the group less than three months since the military ousted its ally, President Mohamed Morsi.
The ruling, by the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters, amounts to a preliminary injunction shutting down the Brotherhood until a higher court renders a more permanent verdict. The leftist party Tagammu had sought the immediate action, accusing the Brotherhood of “terrorism” and of exploiting religion for political gain. The court ordered the Brotherhood’s assets to be held in trust until a final decision. 
If confirmed, the ban on the Brotherhood — Egypt’s mainstream Islamist group — would further diminish hopes of the new government’s fulfilling its promise to restart a democratic political process that would include Mr. Morsi’s Islamist supporters. For now, though, it effectively formalizes the suppression of the Brotherhood that is already well under way. 
Since Mr. Morsi’s ouster, the new government appointed by Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi has killed more than 1,000 Brotherhood members in mass shootings at protests against the takeover and arrested thousands more, including almost all of the group’s leaders. Security services have closed offices of the group and its political party in cities around the country. Members are now sometimes afraid to speak publicly by name for fear of reprisals.
As I've said before, this seems like a replay of the 1950's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood by the Free Officers.  The Muslim Brotherhood was formally banned under Mubarak, but allowed to operate in part as a safety valve for Islamist sentiment in the population and in part to have as the main political alternative one that would scare lots of people into supporting the regime.



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