Muslim Brotherhood officially registered as NGO
Ahram Online, Thursday 21 Mar 2013
Following formal request by the Islamist group on Tuesday, Egypt's Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs officially registers Muslim Brotherhood as NGO

Egypt's largest Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, has been officially registered as a non-governmental organisation by the ministry of social security.

The move came after a 'comprehensive' request submitted by the group on Tuesday, Minister of Social Security Nagwa Khalil told state news agency MENA on Thursday.

The Islamist group met all the requirements of law 84/2002 regulating non-governmental organisations, Khalil said.

The ministry would oversee the group's funding now it is officially registered as an NGO, asserted the minister.

The announcement of the group's status came shortly after the State Commissioners Board recommended the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) reject the Brotherhood's longstanding appeal against a 1954 decision by the then-ruling Revolutionary Command Council declaring the group illegal and ordering its dissolution.

Some analysts argue that the abrupt registration is in breach of the law 84/2002 that forbids NGOs from taking part in political activities, raising doubts about the transparency of the process.

In a statement on Thursday, the Egyptian Patriotic Movement, led by ex-presidential hopeful and Mubarak-era PM Ahmed Shafiq, argued the move would open the door for Egyptian NGOs (around 40,000) to undertake political activities, in violation of their traditional role defined by international law.

The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, was formally outlawed amid a wide-ranging crackdown on group members during the reign of president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, following an assassination attempt on the latter for which the Brotherhood was blamed.