After launching a coup that removed the democratically elected president, the Egyptian military has now labeled the former president’s entire political organization as a terrorist group.
The Muslim Brotherhood, one of the largest political groups in Egypt and backers of deposed President Morsi, are now official enemies of the Egyptian state. A state firmly in the hands of the Egyptian military whom seem determined to crush their longtime political foe.
The unprecedented executive decision likely ends any chance of reconciliation between the government and the 85-year-old Brotherhood, still Egypt’s most organized political group.
It marks a stunning reversal of fortunes for the long-outlawed organization that saw member Mohammed Morsi reach Egypt’s highest office in the country’s first democratic election, only to be ousted in a popularly backed military coup in July. And it takes a step that not even autocrat Hosni Mubarak took in his nearly 30-year rule.
Hard to find reconciliation if you label someone a terrorist not to mention treat them as such. The Egyptian military had already ordered a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood’s various entities within Egypt.
It appears the military is determined to completely destroy an organization that has existed within Egypt for decades.
The declaration comes after another sweeping decision Tuesday aimed at draining the Brotherhood’s finances by freezing the funds of more than 1,000 non-government organizations with links to the group and putting more than 100 schools run by the group under government supervision. That directly attacks the grassroots strength of the Brotherhood, where it has much of its power in Egyptian life.
The initial justification for removing President Morsi from power was his seeking excessive power while in office but with Morsi gone it is clear that the Egyptian military wants more than the restoration of order, they have some scores to settle and with the Muslim Brotherhood already weakened they want to finish them off.
It is all a rather odd turn for a country that not so long ago welcomed a popular revolution to overthrow a dictator. After some considerable drama it seems the Egyptian military is back in control with no real changes at all.