- (Photo: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Egyptian judges have recommended the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic organization behind ousted President Mohamed Morsi, as hundreds of its members have been arrested for leading the protests against the interim government, which has caused clashes resulting in hundreds of deaths.
The panel of judges accused the Brotherhood of operating outside the law, The Associated Press reported, and recommended that its headquarters in Cairo be closed down – the same headquarters that were attacked by anti-Morsi protesters in early July.
Morsi has not been heard from since he was ousted by Egypt's military, but reports note that he is being held in detention at an undisclosed location.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which following the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak organized the political movement Freedom and Justice Party, helped Morsi win the presidential election in 2012, but public opinion has strongly turned against it. The interim government and state media in Egypt are now referring to the Islamic protests as "terrorism," and the Brotherhood has been condemned by the international community for the violent attacks its supporters have carried out against Christians, including church, monastery and school burnings.
The 85-year-old organization has also been accused of turning away Christians from the polls during the presidential election using threatening means, while some have said that its goal is not simply to control Egypt, but to pursue worldwide dominion, or an Islamic Caliphate.
"For the first time, they were able to get to power in Egypt, and that was only the first step toward that goal. Now with all the countries that experienced the Arab Spring, from Syria to Libya, all this has been replaced by fundamentalist Islamic governments. All the terrorist groups we have heard about, like al Qaida, they came from underneath the Muslim Brotherhood," an Egyptian Christian caller to the Frank Sontag Show on KKLA last month alleged.
"To get a clear idea of the Muslim Brotherhood (one needs to) look at its logo. It is two swords that are criss-crossed in an 'X' shape, with the Quran at the top and an Arabic word at the bottom. The Arabic word means 'I do,' meaning 'to prepare.' This is the first word in a verse in the Quran, in Surah 8 verse 60. It basically says 'prepare all kinds of weapons to fight the enemies of God, of Allah, and your enemies, to terrorize them and to gain victory. That's their motto, and that's what they've been doing all these years since their inception. The Muslim Brotherhood is the master of deception," the caller added.
The Brotherhood has insisted that it backs peaceful demonstrations and has rejected the claims of the interim government. In a statement over the weekend, Dr. Ahmed Diab, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Secretary, praised the Egyptian people who "prove to the whole world every day that they are not intimidated by despotic tyrants' threats."
"Egyptian people will honor the blood of their sons, the martyrs," Diab said. "They will remain steadfast on the path drawn out by the blood of those loved ones, until they exact retribution against those who killed them, completed the march, and achieve their dream of building a free country. They sacrificed their lives in order for us to live proudly in this homeland, a modern state of freedom, social justice and human dignity."
A legal expert shared with AP, however, that the Egyptian court is likely to judge the Brotherhood for violating its non-government organization status.
"It clearly had political programs and endorsed candidates in violation of the law," said Nasser Amin, an Egyptian lawyer and member of the International Criminal Court. "It also engaged in armed operations," he added about its members defending its Cairo headquarters in the July attack.