An Egyptian court has banned the Muslim Brotherhood from operating and ordered that all its assets be seized.
Because the ruling applies to “any organisation derived from it,” the order also could affect the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party. Brotherhood officials promise to appeal the ruling.
The Brotherhood has been outlawed in Egypt for most of its 85-year existence. That prohibition failed to stop it from becoming Egypt’s largest and best organized political movement, however, as the group swept into power in the first elections after President Hosni Mubarak was forced from power in 2011.
But new President Mohamed Morsi quickly alienated the public by appearing to focus more on consolidating Brotherhood political power than on addressing critical socio-economic issues in Egypt. He was forced from office July 3 after historic popular protests.
Since then, thousands of Brotherhood officials – including Morsi – have been arrested and hundreds killed in clashes with the Egyptian army.
Meanwhile, Iranian news agencies are reporting that Brotherhood spiritual guide Yusuf al-Qaradawi faces certain arrest if he tries to return to Egypt. Qaradawi’s harsh criticism of Morsi’s ouster prompted officials to seek his arrest for inciting violence against the Egyptian military.
Less than two ago, Qaradawi triumphantly returned to Cairo’s Tahrir Square to speak at Friday prayers after President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation.