USA Today reported this morning that an Egyptian Court has banned the Muslim Brotherhood as a political organization and as a community organization. Authorities will be expected to seize all of its assets in an upcoming crackdown against Islamists in Egypt.
The language of the court is clear: “any institution branching out of it [The Muslim Brotherhood] or … receiving financial support from it” is banned along with it, and the judge called for “confiscation of all the group’s money, assets, and buildings” accompanied by an independent committee to manage the money and assets seized until final court orders are released.
Although the Muslim Brotherhood has been a prominent political force in Egypt, it was only recently made a legal political party in 2011 when President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in the Arab Spring revolution. Until then, it was an outlawed organization.
The courts now rely on authorities to dismantle the Muslim Brotherhood’s intricate social networks. The Islamist group had constructed a networked series of grassroots supporters and community activists, not unlike a real presidential campaign.
The differences may not even be all that striking; the court’s ruling came about because the leftist opposition Tagammu party labeled the Muslim Brotherhood as “terrorists” who “exploit religion [for] political slogans.”
The group’s reaction, as reported by the AP, came from leading member Ibrahim Moneir in an interview with Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr TV: “This is totalitarian decision! You are losers and it [The Muslim Brotherhood] will remain with God’s help, not by the orders by the judiciary of el-Sissi [the general who overthrew Morsi].”
Haaretz speculated that the court’s decision will have a double-edged result: that while the Muslim Brotherhood may disappear from the mainstream political discourse in Egypt, they may return to encouraging impressionable young people to wage guerrilla war against the state.[Image via a YouTube video about Egypt’s interim president calling for the ban]