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Declaring Brotherhood a terrorist group draws praise from liberal political groups

Groups that are supportive of the interim authorities welcomed the decision to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group; some Islamists and rights lawyers critical

Ahram Online , Thursday 26 Dec 2013
Brotherhood
File photo: The Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi fire flares and stones at anti-Morsi protesters and riot police during clashes along a road at The Ramsis square which leads to Tahrir Square during a celebration commemorating Egypt's 1973 war with Israel in Cairo October 6, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
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The decision of the Egyptian government to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation on Wednesday has been met with support from government allies.

Many pro-government groups have for months demanded the action from the government, accusing the Brotherhood of mounting various terrorist attacks on the government since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July, including a deadly bomb attack in Mansoura on Tuesday which killed at least 16 people and injured 135.

The Brotherhood denied on Tuesday any link to the Mansoura or other terrorist attacks.

The Sinai-based jihadist group Ansar Beit Al-Maqadis on Wednesday claimed responsibility for the Mansoura attack.

The Rebel (Tamarod) group which had lobbied for the ouster of Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, said that labelling the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation was delayed but "better late than never."

"We believe that the great Egyptian people will conquer terrorism; the 14 and 15 January will be the greatest evidence on how the Egyptians support the roadmap and revolution's constitution," read a statement on the group's official Facebook page, referring to a referendum to be held on the recently-amended constitution in January.

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party also welcomed the decision of the government. "This decision calmed the Egyptian people, especially after the terrorist attacks this group has been doing in the Egyptian street," said the party's head, Mohamed Abul-Ghar, on Al-Hayat TV channel on Wednesday.

The liberal Free Egyptians Party issued a statement on Thursday welcoming the "historic decision" that puts an end to "one of the most horrible fascist and racist groups." The Brotherhood has utilised religion as a cover and threatened not only Egypt but also "the modern civil state and human civilisation in general," claimed the statement.

The party also called the Egyptian people to participate in the upcoming constitution referendum and the Egyptian government to communicate with the General Assembly of the United Nations and Interpol in order to track down members of the group internationally.  

Officials of the liberal Wafd Party also welcomed the decision, but echoed the sentiment that it should have been taken earlier. In TV statements on Wednesday Hossam El-Kholy, the secretary-general of the Wafd Party, stated that the Egyptian people rejected the Muslim Brotherhood regardless of any bombings that had taken place or were yet to come.

In a press statement Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Hossam Eissa said the cabinet declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group, making it subject to Article 86 of the Egyptian penal code, which defines terrorism and the penalties for engaging in it.

Eissa said the deadly bombing in the Delta city of Mansoura Tuesday, as well as recent attacks on churches and other violent incidents attributed to members of the group, led to the decision.

International law expert Ayman Salama said the government's decision to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group could not be reviewed by the judiciary, as the decision was a "sovereign decision" taken by the executive power to preserve the safety of the country. He said Article 17 of the judicial powers law stipulated that courts can't look directly or indirectly into "sovereign decisions," because of their highly political nature.

Islamists, some rights activists critical

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, the ultra-conservative Islamist group, issued a statement Thursday calling the decision of Egypt's interim government declaring the Muslim Brotherhood as a "terrorist group" unfair.

The Islamist group, which is a member of the Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, said the government's move was especially unwarranted after another group claimed responsibility for the blast that killed 16 in Mansoura Tuesday, reported MENA.

The statement of the Islamist Group said that the cabinet decision is "unjust," and warned "it will affect the social, political, economic and security situation of the country."

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya is one of the Islamist groups that re-emerged as a prominent player on the Egyptian political scene since Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power in February 2011 and after its prominent leaders, Aboud and Tarek El-Zomor, were released. The Zomor cousins were sentenced to life inprisonment for their role in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Malek Adly told Ahram Online the decision " is problematic. This is an administrative decision and not a legislative one, as only the interim president has a legislative right to issue decisions and laws, not the cabinet,"

"I highly doubt that those who took the decision thought about its legal basis thoroughly; it was a political decision not a legal one," Adly added.

"It would have been better to wait for the court to issue a verdict to categorise the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation."

Salah Abdel-Maboud, a leading member of the Salafist Nour Party, has said that the decision of the government to declare the Brotherhood a terrorist group needed more time for deliberation.

"The country is unstable and any decision to exclude a political faction in the current stage can lead to bad reactions," Abdel-Maboud told Al-Ahram's Arabic website on Wednesday.

The Nour Party were at one time key allies of Morsi and the Brotherhood, although the group decided to support his ouster and have since backed interim authorities and their transitional roadmap.

Abdel-Maboud added that designating the Brotherhood a terrorist group would take the group underground once more, and that it was better to have a dialogue with the Brotherhood rather than excluding them from political life. 

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Jon
28-12-2013 04:35pm
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In which way is Tamarod "liberal"?
Tamarod, the civilian looking front organization for the military, that made a huge contribution to tearing down the Egyptian democracy and steering it into new decades of backwordness, stagnation and misery, is "liberal"? The Ku Klux Klan might be envious.
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Fazil
28-12-2013 05:54am
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MB
Can you please any one tell me how you describe Muslim brotherhood as terrorist organization. for all bomb attacks claimed responsibility by Sinai based group and MB totally criticized the attacks. every egyptian will suffer if this Bloodiest military junta continues CRACKDOWN in egyptian people who prefers freedom and justice. to destroy the freedom and justice Junta always Blam the MB without any justification. PEACEFULL PROTEST is a human rights. until today we all heard democratic alliance only organized peaceful protest. Junta only always turning it to violence and blam MB. This junta will be DEFEATED VERY RECENTLY !!
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edna david
27-12-2013 05:08am
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Convert to Christianity
The wonderful new government should be providing support now to the Christian missionary organizations who have been trying to help the poor there through the love of Jesus Christ- I am sure many Muslims there would convert if they were offered assistance from the missionaries..Make the country more equal with more Christians and less Muslim - In any case half the Muslims there are not really observant they are secular - so its better to bring some faith to the country- I agree with the liberals - no more Muslim based religious organizations..
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Ismail
28-12-2013 12:12am
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A voice of reason
Are you happy now Allen? There are outside forces that are using religious intolerance to tear Egypt apart. There are people that will not be happy until Muslims and Christians are fighting a war tearing Egypt down. Unless the volume of hatred and emotionalism is turned down and the volume of tolerance and understanding is turned up, the situation in Egypt will only get worse. Remember everything around you was created by God. We are all the children of Adam. If we do not learn to live together, we will never learn to build a better world together.
Dr.Feelgood
27-12-2013 09:00pm
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Convert to Christianity ?????
Edna David, you better send your advises to South Sudan where your brothers in faith are butchering each other instead of presenting brainless suggestions to Egyptians!
Allen
27-12-2013 07:06pm
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You must be clueless David
Islamists kill their own if converted.
Sam Enslow
27-12-2013 03:29pm
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This is what will destroy Egypt
This type of sectarian hatred is exactly what will destroy Egypt. It makes no difference if the hatred is Christian or Muslim based. People who use religion as a political tool or a tool to inspire hatred do a deservice to those they claim to follow. More than a few of Egypt's problems can be laid at the feet of hate filled, hate monegring clerics of all faiths who claim to represent the teachings of God, Mohamed (pbuh) ot Jesus. Jesus said, "By your deeds ye shall be known." - not by your public proclamations. As Gibran said, your religion is how you live your life. Concentrate on removing the plank from your eye. It is fine for politicians to ask themselves if they themselvesare acting in a manner fitting Jesus or Mohamed, but they cross a line, in politics and religion when they attempt to impose their understanding of God's Will on others. God alone is the judge - not your neighbors or government.
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Frastrated Egyptian
26-12-2013 07:49pm
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MB are TERORIST and who ever disagree is a TERORIST
Enough is enough. Egypt had enough distruction, week economy and instability only because of MB
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