Egypt Bans Muslim Brotherhood, Seizes Assets

In the latest crackdown move since the July coup, the Egyptian government has banned Muslim Brotherhood:

CAIRO — An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the Muslim Brotherhood to be banned and its assets confiscated in a dramatic escalation of a crackdown by the military-backed government against supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

The ruling opens the door for a wider crackdown on the vast network of the Brotherhood, which includes social organizations that have been key for building the group’s grassroots support and helping its election victories. The verdict banned the group itself — including the official association it registered under earlier this year — as well as “any institution branching out of it or … receiving financial support from it,” according to the court ruling, made public on Egypt’s state official news agency MENA.

The judge at the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters also ordered the “confiscation of all the group’s money, assets, and buildings” and said that an independent committee should be formed by the Cabinet to manage the money until final court orders are issued. The verdict can be appealed.

The Brotherhood was outlawed for most of its 85 years in existence. But after the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, it was allowed to work openly, formed a political party and rose to power in a string of post-Mubarak elections. In March, it registered as a recognized non-governmental organization.

“This is totalitarian decision,” leading group member Ibrahim Moneir said in an interview with Qatari-based Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr TV. “You are losers and it (the Brotherhood) will remain with God’s help, not by the orders by the judiciary of el-Sissi,” he added, referring to military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the overthrow of Morsi on July 3.

On the whole, it strikes me that forcing the Brotherhood back underground may not be the smartest move in the long run. Denied a place in the public square, they may well turn to other, more violent, means to advance their agenda.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    The ruling also apparently applies to the MB’s political wing, the FJP, and its NGO. Still waiting for the next shoe to fall.

  2. Moosebreath says:

    “On the whole, it strikes me that forcing the Brotherhood back underground may not be the smartest move in the long run. Denied a place in the public square, they may well turn to other, more violent, means to advance their agenda.”

    Got to agree with this. All this does is ensure another generation of violence.

  3. Rob in CT says:

    On the whole, it strikes me that forcing the Brotherhood back underground may not be the smartest move in the long run. Denied a place in the public square, they may well turn to other, more violent, means to advance their agenda.

    Hasn’t this exact thing happened in the past?

    What a lovely situation. Authoritarian assholes (military) carry out a coup to depose democratically elected religionistas.

    As much as I hate our politics sometimes, at least we’re not Egypt (yay, fistbump, USA! USA! USA!).

  4. al-Ameda says:

    As much as I hate our politics sometimes, at least we’re not Egypt (yay, fistbump, USA! USA! USA!).

    I agree, however I do hope that this causes Ted Cruz a few moments of anxiety.

  5. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    When the Brotherhood was legalized, they hijacked an election, kicked out the other elements, and started working to convert Egypt into an Islamist tyranny, complete with reign of terror against their Christian minority.

    So sure, let’s try that again!

  6. Gustopher says:

    This will not go well.

    Our government at the very least tacitly supported this coup. We need to do more to reign in their abuses, and their staggeringly stupid decisions.

    We should be sending state department officials over there on a regular basis to harass and complain (ineffectual though that may be), and we should be tailoring a set of sanctions aimed at the ruling class to give us some leverage (wealthy Egyptians like sending their kids to American colleges, so that’s one possible point of leverage).

  7. DC Loser says:

    All one has to do is look at what happened after Algerian military staged the coup to prevent the Islamist FIS coming to power after winning a fair election in 1992. The movement went underground, and the more radical elements began to wage a bloody civil war against the government that lasted years and hundreds of thousands of lives lost. Egypt is probably going down that path now.

  8. Pinky says:

    The government has been shooting random protestors in the streets. The victims are low-level Islamists or innocents. If the new approach gets rid of the senior MB members and breaks their organization, this could be a good thing.

    It’s not a matter of creating a next generation of violence. The MB will do that anyway. Egypt’s only way forward is through relative stability, and while the best path to that is with genuine democratic reform, the second-best path is suppression of the Islamists.

  9. Moosebreath says:

    @Pinky:

    “If the new approach gets rid of the senior MB members and breaks their organization, this could be a good thing.”

    And if this approach convinces the roughly 40% of the Egyptian public who supports the Muslim Brotherhood that they are never going to be permitted to hold power and thus have nothing to lose by fomenting violence, this could be a bad thing. I’d say this is far more likely to occur than your scenario.

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Gustopher: Our government at the very least tacitly supported this coup. We need to do more to reign in their abuses, and their staggeringly stupid decisions.

    Prior to that, we openly supported the Muslim Brotherhood. And that was one of the stupidest moves we could have made.

    There’s a lot of competition for The Stupidest Move, but this one is a serious contender for the title.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Geeee, what was it Osama bin Laden said? Oh yeah, democracy will never work for Islamists, therefor violence is the only way to get what they want. Quite a prophecy.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Prior to that, we openly supported the Muslim Brotherhood.

    You f’n idiot. We openly supported the democratically elected government of a sovereign nation.

  13. Pinky says:

    @Moosebreath: There’s no shortage of reasons to be pessimistic about Egypt. For decades, they’ve had machine-gunners at every intersection – partly because it was a thugocracy, but partly because it was the only way to keep things from falling apart. The people were rightly sick of it, and voted against it the first chance they got. Then they met the new boss, actually worse than the old boss. And everything’s worse when you’re hungry. I’d like to think that with the right amount of cash, force, and genuine reform that the government can walk the nearly-impossible tightrope forward. I didn’t see Morsi’s people able to do that. I have as little or less influence on these things as you, so my hopes don’t matter, but I do have hopes that the military plus reformers can form a coalition – not a coalition government, but a coalition of secular leadership.

  14. Just Me says:

    The Muslim Brotherhood had already resorted to violence or did you miss all the stories about Christian Churches being burned/bombed/destroyed and Christians being attacked and nuns dragged through the streets?

    Not sure the new government is going to be any better but let’s not pretend that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood weren’t exercising their own violent agenda against the Copts and other Christian sects.

  15. grumpy realist says:

    @Pinky: That’s what the real fallout of this act is. The Brotherhood provided the only safety net for a high percentage of the poor population. So unless the government immediately provides something similar, they’re setting up a total cycle of fail. And revolution, probably.

    (Why is it that people NEVER learn from history…?)

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You f’n idiot. We openly supported the democratically elected government of a sovereign nation.

    You talk as if there’s some kind of contradiction between your statement and mine.

  17. Pinky says:

    @grumpy realist: Actually, I think they failed to provide a safety net.