The Egyptian Minister of Education, Mahmoud Abo El-Nasr, visited the city of Minya in Upper Egypt on Tuesday, to personally verify that administrative posts in public education are not occupied by jihadists linked to Islamist groups.
This latest purge of extremist elements reflects the stated intentions of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who came to power in opposition to his disgraced predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, who had close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Last June, former army general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected to the presidency with an incredible 96% of the popular vote, following the arrest of sitting President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
The government of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has reversed course, banning the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement, and designating it a terrorist organization last December. Since taking office, el-Sisi has cracked down on the Brotherhood, killing hundreds and arresting thousands of its supporters.
Education Ministry spokesman Hani Kamal has stated that since the beginning of the school year more than 200 teachers have been relieved of their duties for their membership in the Muslim Brotherhood.
Kamal said that teaching “is a sensitive position that requires isolation from any affiliation with politics, not to mention terrorism.”
Despite el-Sisi’s opposition to Muslim extremism, he has steadily consolidated his own power since his election, to a degree not seen since the rule of Mohamed Ali Pasha, the early 19th-century founder of the modern Egyptian state, some analysts say.