Until the revolt which overthrew Hosni Mubarak, The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was considered terrorist group and banned from participating in Egyptian politics. In the two years since it was allowed to return to the mainstream, the Brotherhood was elected into power and then overthrown by the military at the request of the people.
Today things have returned full circle as Egypt’s interim government on Wednesday declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, criminalizing all its activities, its financing and even membership to the group from which the country’s ousted president hails.
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.
The declaration means that anybody who participates in the group’s activities directly or in writing, or donating to the group will be facing punishment according to the law. The interim government has notified other Arab countries about its decision.
The Brotherhood has organizations and political parties in other nations for example HAMAS is a sister group of the brotherhood, so is CAIR in the United States.
Ahmed el-Borai, the Minister of Social Solidarity, told reporters in a news conference that the decision means “all activities of the Muslim Brotherhood group are — banned including the demonstrations.”
The declaration gives the armed forces and the police the right to enter universities and prevent protests, as “protection to the students,” el-Borai said.
The more things change, the more things stay the same. It just demonstrates how far off the Obama administration was when it declared that the Muslim Brotherhood was a non-radical secular organization.