Sep 24 2013

Egypt Bans Muslim Brotherhood, Rewrites Constitution

Egypt’s revolutionary experiment has taken another turn, with the outright ban this week of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, that former Prime Minister Mohammad Morsi was part of. In response to a lawsuit filed by a left wing party called Tagammu, which accused the Brotherhood of “exploiting religion in political slogans,” a court on Monday ordered the organization disbanded and all its assets frozen.

After Morsi’s ouster, Egypt’s interim government has rounded up and arrested about 2000 senior leaders from the Brotherhood and Morsi himself remains in a secret location. The court order also bans the Brotherhood’s related network of institutions like schools, charities, and hospitals.

Being banned is nothing new for the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been an underground organization for the vast majority of its 85-year history. Its followers number anywhere between a few hundred thousand to a million Egyptians. The Brotherhood remains fairly unpopular among the majority of the rest of the 85 million strong population.

The banning of the Muslim Brotherhood happens at the same time as a major political process is underway to re-write the constitution that was drafted and passed by Morsi’s government.

GUEST: Ghada Talhami, emeritus professor in the department of politics at Lake Forest College. Her books include The Mobilization of Muslim Women in Egypt and Palestine in the Egyptian Press.

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