Egypt Brotherhood ban opens way to wider crackdown


100% recycled karma
CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the banning of the Muslim Brotherhood and the confiscation of its assets, opening the door for authorities to dramatically accelerate a crackdown on the extensive network of schools, hospitals, charities and other social institutions that was the foundation of the group's political power.

Security forces have already been moving against the Brotherhood's social networks, raiding schools and hospitals run by the group since the military's July 3 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The sweep points to the ambitions of Egypt's new leaders to go beyond the arrests of top Brotherhood figures to strike a long-term, even mortal, blow to the group by hitting the pillars of its grassroots organization. Doing so could cripple the group's political prospects far into the future.

"The plan is to drain the sources of funding, break the joints of the group, and the dismantle podiums from which they deliver their message," said one senior security official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss security agencies' intentions.

Blurring its political and religious nature, the Brotherhood vaulted to election dominance in large part because of its multiple business interests that provide funding, as well as schools, mosques and powerful social institutions providing cheap medical care and services to millions of impoverished Egyptians.
As a result, after the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood swept parliament elections and lifted Morsi into office as the country's first freely elected leader

Outlawed for most of 85-year existence — with successive regimes alternating between repression and tolerance — the Brotherhood built its networks largely underground. That made it difficult for authorities to track, since many institutions were registered under individuals' names.

After Mubarak's ouster, the group emerged to work openly, opening a formal headquarters and forming a political party. Ironically, that made parts of its structure more visible.
The senior security official said intelligence and the National Security agency have been working through banks, oversight agencies and state records to compile a database of Brotherhood members and assets.
An earlier court ruling froze the assets of 24 senior figures, including deputy head Khairat el-Shater, a wealthy businessman seen as the group's top financier and strongman
Monday's court ruling, if upheld over any appeals, gives authorities a legal basis to move against those assets

sweeping verdict banned the group as well as "any institution branching out of it or ... receiving financial support from it," which legal experts said could also force the disbanding of the Freedom and Justice Party. It also ordered the group's assets and property confiscated.

The court's explanation gave few specific legal grounds, beyond saying the group used Islam "as a cover" while it "violated citizen's rights." It gave a broad political denunciation, saying that during Morsi's year in office, "Egyptians found only repression and arrogance."

One leading Brotherhood member, Ibrahim Moneir, called the verdict "totalitarian." The Brotherhood "will remain — with God's help, not by the orders by the judiciary of (military chief Abdel-Fattah) el-Sissi," he told Qatari-based Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr TV.

The ruling means any member risks arrest, a return to Mubarak's days when the typical charge for arresting Brothers was "belonging to a banned group."

Already some 2,000 senior and mid-ranking Brotherhood figures have been arrested. Morsi, the Brotherhood's top leader Mohammed Badie and two of Badie's deputies face trials on charges of inciting deadly violence. Officials and sympathetic media accuse the group of fomenting violence in retaliation for the coup.

The interim government is also tightening its grip over mosques, another key resource for the Brotherhood. One former member, Sameh Eid, said the group collected alms from mosques in absence of state oversight, on top of the 8 percent of their incomes that members pay.

Last week, the Religious Endowments Ministry cancelled licenses for thousands of preachers and ordered the closure of thousands of small mosques.

At the same time, businesses believed — rightly or wrongly — to be Brotherhood-linked have faced boycotts encouraged by youth movements and anti-Islamist TV stations. That has led a string of businessmen to publicly deny links to the group. (more)
the interim gov't is not playing games here -this is widespead attack on the foundation of the E.Muslim Brotherhood - their core functions in society -
which give them the platform to be a political party also.

Closing the hospitals (link) mosques, etc. is rooting out "breaking the joints" andd effectively going back to where they are banned.

Not sure how the court is influenced by the regime....but it looks to be symbiotic.
ya. I can't get too upset either, the "peaceful demonstrators" (and the criticism by Obama et all) had rifles in coffins, and burned down Coptic Churches, used mosques as forts -all this is untenable in a society.

It's a microcosm of the Islamist roles in secular states ( though I think Eqypt is officially a Sharia state -in practice it is the most secular of the Arab states).

Anyways, this is far from over - but the gov't had to do something -now is this too much??
Too fast, perhaps? I personally think, and this is probably not informed, that Egypt having its neighbor Israel has done it loads of goods.
Too fast, perhaps? I personally think, and this is probably not informed, that Egypt having its neighbor Israel has done it loads of goods.
well, the Sinai Accord probably a roadmap for the region. But just that, everything is dicey there now; "realignment" in so many ways.