Egypt Bans the Muslim Brotherhood, but the Islamists Are Not Finished

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Mahmud Khaled / AFP / Getty Images

An Egyptian supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Morsi joins a protest in Cairo on July 5, 2013

When President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in February 2011, it kicked off an extended (and some would argue well-deserved) victory lap for the Muslim Brotherhood. After decades in the shadows — alternately tolerated and oppressed by a string of military-backed rulers — the venerable Islamist group could finally step into the political sunshine.

If it seemed at the time almost Cinderella-like, it was. The Muslim Brotherhood is now facing its witching hour. The group’s return to a fugitive existence accelerated further on Monday with a court ruling that opens the door to a complete purge of the Islamist group.

Given the wave of anti-Islamist sentiment gripping the nation since Egyptian President — and longtime Brotherhood official — Mohamed Morsi was forced from power by the military in early July, the ruling from the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters isn’t much of a surprise. Authorities have been treating the Brotherhood as an illegal organization for two months now; at least 1,000 Brotherhood supporters have been killed in a series of police and military crackdowns, and most of the organization’s senior officials have already been arrested.

But the specific wording of the ruling hints at an impending crackdown the likes of which the Brotherhood hasn’t witnessed since 1954, when it was driven underground by postrevolutionary leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Now, the court banned “all activities” by the Brotherhood and noted that this ban extends to “any institution branching out of it or … receiving financial support from it.” That language suggests a ban that could apply not only to the Brotherhood and its affiliated Freedom and Justice Party, but also to the group’s vast network of charitable organizations, medical clinics and mosque-based educational and outreach programs.

What’s more, the judges ordered the “confiscation of all the group’s money, assets and buildings” belonging to the Brotherhood — treating the institution as if it’s a full-fledged criminal enterprise. That possibility opens the door to a public exploration of the Brotherhood’s true finances and funding streams, something the group’s opponents have been advocating for years.

Brotherhood officials reacted with defiance. “This is a totalitarian decision,” Ibrahim Moneir told al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr TV. Then addressing the military and its chief Major General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi directly, Moneir said, “You are losers, and [the Brotherhood] will remain with God’s help, not by the orders by the judiciary of al-Sisi.”

Opponents of the Brotherhood and backers of Morsi’s ouster see the ban as the inevitable result of Morsi’s disastrous year in power and policies that convinced much of the country that the Islamists were an active threat to Egypt. Mohammed Sherdi, a veteran politician with the Wafd Party and harsh Brotherhood critic, says the group has only themselves to blame and predicts no short-term future in Egyptian politics for the Brotherhood.

“The Brothers have put themselves in a situation — I think their only way out now is a new generation and new image. All their big top leaders of course have to go away. They have to come more into the light. I need to know where their money is coming from. I need to know who’s sending it. I also need those who have blood on their hands punished,” he says. “My problem is no longer to protect Egypt from the Muslim Brotherhood. My problem is to protect the Brotherhood from the wrath of the Egyptians.”

The remaining Brotherhood leaders haven’t given many concrete hints about where the organization could go from here. Public sentiment has turned hard against the Brotherhood, and that antipathy was heightened by a recent wave of attacks on Egyptian churches. Most Brotherhood communiqués now simply call for a continuation of the group’s ongoing campaign of public protests and civil disobedience.

But the wave of church attacks — which began in earnest after security forces staged a bloody Aug. 14 raid on a large Brotherhood protest sit-in that may have led to more than 600 deaths in one day — hints at a darker possibility: a shift toward violent militancy either by mainstream Brotherhood cadres or affiliated Islamist groups operating outside the Brotherhood’s control. The group, in its public statements and protests, has sought to prove its nonviolent credentials and has focused on drawing non-Islamist supporters who also oppose the military-backed government.

At a nighttime protest in the Cairo suburb of Maadi on Sunday night, about 500 demonstrators chanted antimilitary slogans, and one man held up a sign that read, “I am not a terrorist and I am against the burning of churches.”

63 comments
Edohiguma
Edohiguma

Within 10 years the Muslim Brotherhood will be in power. How's that "Arab Spring" working out so far? As planned? If the goal was more fascism, more religious insanity, then yeah, it's working out really well.

roxey56
roxey56

Why not make it a serious crime just to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood? Works for me.

rivers
rivers

the most urgent things for Egypt is to stop the conflict going on in Egypt, it stunt the recovery to peace environment and deter the economy grow, this conflict going on lead to a lot for social problem, nobody could focus on work. Morsi is an good guy, but apparently he hasnt show his ability to manage such an huge country, so many society problem , unemployment, fading economy.people cant focus who win this battle, people should care about which party con give more benefit to people, this realy matter

united_we_stand
united_we_stand

Normally America supports the extremist Muslims like the Al Queda's and the Wahabbi's. and hates on the moderates like Sadadmn.Why don't they like the Muslim brotherhood? 

Rukk7
Rukk7

@TIME Dis wll never deter them bcos they are d most organise people in Eygpt

valecolombo64
valecolombo64

@TIME @TIMEWorld in the past they were officially banned, but they kept on "working"... Let us wait and see. I am not optimistic

thembal31342624
thembal31342624

@TIME Egypt Military Government is unconstitutional and undemocratic banning ruling party=Muslim Brotherwood since 3/7/2013 is null and void

PatushkaGunn
PatushkaGunn

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mark.asuzu
mark.asuzu

Most Egyptians, including the military, are Moslems. The judge can say what he likes; but, he can never eliminate Isalm in Egypt. If an election is held today in Egypt, the Moslem party will win. 

The only way to keep the Moslem party out of government is through a military dictatorship, the like of what Egypt has now. It will NOT last forever. I will NOT trade positions with this As-Sisi man for al the money in the world.

lwwgaw
lwwgaw

Confirmed: Obama’s Brother In Bed With Terrorists

 It has been learned that the relationship between President Barack Obama’s half-brother Malik Obama and Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir is much closer than previously thought Malik is the Executive Secretary of the Islamic Da’wa Organization (IDO) as reported by all major Saudi press, including Okaz .. How significant is this?Very significant. The IDO has been created by the Sudanese Government, which is considered by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist state. This places Malik Obama in bed with terrorists and working as an official with a terrorist state.We have the evidence to prove it – meetings, photos, et. al.

lwwgaw
lwwgaw

Several prominent Egyptian media sources are reporting that Malik Obama, half-brother to President Barack Obama is quickly becoming a person of interest in that country relative to his role with the Islamic Da’wa Organization (IDO) – based in bordering Sudan – and the larger Muslim Brotherhood umbrella group. Complaints have been filed with Egypt’s Prosecutor General that call for Malik to be put on Egypt’s terror watch list and brought in for questioning about his role in financing terrorism.

MikeHarris
MikeHarris

So change the name of the organization, what are they going to do? ban the millions who voted for them? Shame on the US for not siding with democracy.

The US and the west is sending a clear message to the Muslim world, we prefer dictators over democracy. 

These Generals are working for Israel, that much is clear now, trust me, this is not over, the people of Egypt will defeat this new pharaoh.

JamesCornelius
JamesCornelius

This is great news. America should ban Tea Party activity. Extremism is bad for any nation.

sarmadka
sarmadka

It's very obvious that the Egyptian army wants to make an example of the Muslim Brotherhood. An example to any other political group that might dare to try to bring the corrupt generals to court, which is what the Muslim Brotherhood tried to do during Morsi's rule. The Egyptian army has only one option now which is to continue on this path of lawless actions, something that will eventually bring the army to a total collapse and with it Egypt itself.

greg_dekooters
greg_dekooters

Just imagine the US government intimidating the Likud government of Israel into arresting the leaders of the Shas or other religious parties, seize their bank accounts and ban their right of assembly. I smell a double standard. Of course it might hasten the possibility of a settlement on the West Bank.

Edohiguma
Edohiguma

@roxey56 When has this ever worked? The NSDAP was illegal in Austria. Didn't stop them from marching in the streets and killing a chancellor.

roxey56
roxey56

@AgusNizami To be honest, the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to take over the entire world. Then they can get rid of everyone who disagrees with them. 

roxey56
roxey56

@rivers Morsi is just another corrupt politician. They're all corrupt, but the Muslim Brotherhood has become so interwined with AlQaeda you can no longer tell where one ends & the other begins.

united_we_stand
united_we_stand

@rivers Beware of politicians promising you benefits. The benefits are nothing more then control.

Chosun1
Chosun1

@united_we_stand -- Obama does like the Brotherhood.  Read statements he's made about them over the past few months.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@lwwgaw I have been saying that in at least 40 of my post in the last month. F-ing liberal moron put this racist muslim in the Oval office twice , what morons, just to vote along party lines and make history with a black president, along with the media ass holes. Obama is laughing at the stupid whites that put him office, he knew he would get 99% of the black vote but that would not put him in the white house. so he poured on the charm and fooled the youth of america as well and we get a muslim. 

roxey56
roxey56

@lwwgaw Think about this. Before the attack on Benghazi, Barack Obama gave the Muslim Brotherhood millions of dollars without the approval of Congress, after the attack he gave them millions more. Now think about it.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@MikeHarris You are a moron, Muslims dummy are very violent when they do not get there way, and the hate all non-Muslims, they are not to be trusted. 

lwwgaw
lwwgaw

@MikeHarris

The Muslim Brotherhood logo fits its motto:"Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way.
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar! [1]
·The Brotherhood’s goal is to turn the world into an Islamist empire. The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is a revolutionary fundamentalist movement to restore the caliphate and strict shariah (Islamist) law in Muslim lands and, ultimately, the world. Today, it has chapters in 80 countries.“It is in the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” —Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna[2]·The Brotherhood wants America to fall. It tells followers to be “patient” because America “is heading towards its demise.” The U.S. is an infidel that “does not champion moral and human values and cannot lead humanity.”Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi, Sept. 2010

cohort.seven
cohort.seven

@MikeHarris The people of Egypt have just thrown out the intolerant Nazi-like Brotherhood. Once they got a good taste of the rigid Sharia law oriented approach to government they realized their mistake. In that sense it's good that they got into office initially so that the people could see what they were really like. As for Israel, what rubbish is that? Actually, it would be better if the generals were more positively attuned toward Israel which has the only fair, just, and actually pro-American government in the Middle East. If you think that living in an Islamist Sharia controlled state go live in one.

roxey56
roxey56

@JamesCornelius Maybe you should go to a meeting of the Tea Party & spy on them. Just to see what they're really doing.

roxey56
roxey56

@sarmadka Muslim Brotherhood couldn't be anymore corrupt if they tried.

LeylaMaker
LeylaMaker

@sarmadka that is an idotic analysis. The Muslim Brotherhood showed its true face and Egyptians rejected it. 

roxey56
roxey56

@greg_dekooters I think we should just build a really big & thick wall between Israel & the Gaza strip. Dig a deep mote along the wall, & fill it with dragons.

GeorgeDouglas
GeorgeDouglas

@greg_dekooters Do you actually think Egypt is taking orders from Obama to get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood? You are having mental problems if you do. Obama is so pro-Muslim it makes most Americans sick. Egypt is doing the right thing. Ridding any country of Islamists is the right thing to do. The people of Egypt are too educated for the Al-Queda to take over and the Muslim Brotherhood was one of their supporters. Islamists only succeed in countries that are uneducated and primitive.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@Chosun1 @united_we_stand Obamas brother Malik is a member of the MB in kenya he works behind the scenes fund raising for them. And the dummy liberals in this country still do not get it Obama is a Muslim is dad was his step dad was his aunts are and 6 of his top white house staff that advise him are muslim. His wifes mentor works in the white house she is a muslim wake up people he has fooled most of you and the world.

TomBirmingham
TomBirmingham

@Chosun1 @united_we_stand  honestly, only reason the US gave a poop about Egypt throwing those bums out of power (the MB) was that we had already bribed those guys to give our corps and people sweet contracts.   Other than being peeved at having to bribe twice, we dont' really care.   I honestly feel the actions of the military in response to the protests of 45 million Egyptians and to the MB's ultra viraes actions was more in the service of democracy than anything else.  Now let us see if they properly return power to the people or if they hold it like tyrants.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@lwwgaw @MikeHarris And our F-ing President and his family are muslims, that is how well the MB has infiltrated the world they were able to put a muslim in the white house with help of the dummy liberals and media.

roxey56
roxey56

@cohort.seven @MikeHarris @GeorgeDouglas @greg_dekooters Since Obama is adding members of the Muslim Brotherhood to his administration daily, I suspect the US is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. That's just a hunch. The American people are supporting the Egyptian army, but Obama likes extremists.

cohort.seven
cohort.seven

@MikeHarris @GeorgeDouglas @greg_dekooters No,  I think that by "uneducated and primitive" he probably means those who believe that the "Generals are working for Israel" and that the US government is intimidating the Generals into doing what they are doing.