The Muslim Brotherhood was denounced as a terrorist organization on Wednesday by the current leaders of Egypt. The Egyptian military removed President Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected leader and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, from office in July.
The toppling of Morsi lead to massive protests. Since Morsi's removal the state security forces are blamed for hundreds of deaths. Hundreds more were jailed, with many engaged in a hunger strike. The prisoners say that since they've been incarcerated, they've been denied contact with family and even medical treatment.
As for the free members of the organization, they are being blamed for a car bombing incident. The suicide bombing of a police headquarters in the city of Mansoura took the lives of fifteen people. Over a hundred more were reportedly injured. Speaking out in condemnation of the bombing, Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi blamed the Muslim Brotherhood. In a statement read on state television he was quoted as calling them a terrorist organization.
Despite the label given by Egyptian authorities, leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood say the group will likely not be deterred and vow to keep protesting.
Says Ibrahim Munir, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood currently in exile in London, "This is an attempt to frame the Brotherhood. He also responded to the terrorist label as "illegitimate".
The interim government is seen by some as trying to socially isolate the movement ahead of the upcoming constitutional referendum. Since the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the decades old political and religious organization has been nationally popular and enduring. For opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood, this is worrying.
There are also concern that the turbulence will lead to yet another authoritarian government similar to what was disposed of only a few short years ago. As Egyptians wrestle politically and socially, onlookers wonder whether or not it is a sign the country is moving forward or simply headed backwards.
Image via Ikhwanweb Twitter