On Wednesday, Egypt’s military-backed interim government declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist group. This declaration criminalizes the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities, financing and membership, including the countries former president Mohamed Morsi.
The Associated Press reports:
The announcement is a dramatic escalation of the fight between the government and group, which has waged near-daily protests since the July 3 popularly backed military coup that toppled President Mohammed Morsi.
Hossam Eissa, the Minister of Higher Education, read out the Cabinet statement after long meeting, saying: “The Cabinet has declared the Muslim Brotherhood group and its organization as a terrorist organization.”
He said that the decision was in response to Tuesday’s deadly bombing targeting a police headquarters in a Nile Delta city which killed 16 people and wounded more than 100. The Brotherhood has denied being responsible for Mansoura attack and an al-Qaida inspired group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing on Wednesday.
“Egypt was horrified from north to south by the hideous crime committed by the Muslim Brotherhood group,” Eissa said. “This was in context of dangerous escalation to violence against Egypt and Egyptians (and) a clear declaration by the Muslim Brotherhood group that it is still knows nothing but violence.”
“It’s not possible for Egypt the state nor Egypt the people to submit to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorism,” he added.
According to the New York Times, “Analysts said the designation opened the door to the most severe crackdown on the movement in decades, requiring hundreds of thousands of Brotherhood members to abandon the group or face prison, and granting the military and the police new authority to violently suppress protests. The decision makes it a crime to promote the Brotherhood “by words” and could also outlaw hundreds of social and charity organizations run by Brotherhood members.”
Khalil al-Anani, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington who studies the Brotherhood, called the designation “a turning point,” claiming that it could lead Egypt toward a civil conflict. “This is a big miscalculation from the government,” he said. “It is a massive social movement, whose supporters might retaliate or fight back.”
One Muslim Brotherhood member, Ahmed al-Arainy, who has already been arrested once following the ousting of Morsi said that the terrorist designation “makes no difference to us.”
“Our problem with them is on the ground and not related to their labels,” he said of Egypt’s current leaders. “They killed us in the street yesterday, and today they’re trying to legalize the crime they had already committed.”
While the Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem Al Beblawi would not confirm the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists, following the explosion on, he did condemn the attack as an act of terrorism. However, Cabinet spokesman Sherif Shawki spoke out ahead of the official declaration of the Muslim Brotherhood as revealing its “ugly face as a terrorist organization shedding blood and messing with Egypt’s security,” according to Middle East News Agency.
The 85-year-old Islamist movement was banned by Egypt’s military rulers in 1954, but registered an NGO called the Muslim Brotherhood Association in March this year in response to a court case bought by opponents who contested its legal status.
It is amazing that Egypt is willing to do what Washington DC will not. They are willing to openly declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group. I would imagine that would be a problem for Washington considering that Barack Obama’s brother, Malik Obama, is directly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and helps in their finances. He also received tax-exempt status from the former Internal Revenue Service hack Lois Lerner.
Furthermore, his Homeland Security advisor, Mohamed Elibiary is a Muslim Brotherhood member, who showed his support for the terrorist organization on his Twitter account back in October, only to cave to pressure and remove it just days later. Not only that, but Elibiary apparently has a voice when it comes to whether or not our government considers the Muslim Brotherhood a terror group, at least according to his October 1, 2013 tweet:
The question now arises as to who in the federal government, elected or merely employed, is willing to step up with Egypt and call out these savages for who they really are and remove them from the powers they hold in our government?