Abdullah Aydoğan Kalabalık – World Bulletin / Cairo
The case for the closure of the Muslim Brotherhood is being dealt with in Egypt’s Court of Urgent Cases. The Brotherhood has previously been outlawed twice in its history, but is now facing a court order in this manner for the first time.
The organization was first banned on 8 December 1948. This decision was taken by the then defense minister and prime minister, Mahmud Fahmi Basha al Nukrashi. Within a month of this decision, the Muslim Brotherhood responded by assassinating al Nukrashi.
The second banning of the Muslim Brotherhood happened during the reign of Jamal Abdunnasr. After falling into disagreements with Abdunnasr, Abdunnasr outlawed the group in January 1954 for conducting political activities.
Yesterday, as the court read its verdict, it was declared: ‘All activities linked to the organization will cease and all transferable and non-transferable assets belonging to them will be seized.’ According to some, this has been interpreted as spelling the end for the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party. The 86th article of Egyptian law forbid non-governmental organizations from carrying out political activities. In banning the Brotherhood, the party became a governmental party with ties to an illegal organization. Even if it is not directly linked to the Brotherhood, it could still be closed down.
Isam Istanbuli, a prominent Egyptian lawyer, has said that the party will also be closed down for being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The court order mentioned that all organizations linked to the Brotherhood would also be closed. This statement indicates that the party will also be shut down.
However, there are also those who say that the party will not be shut down due to the fact that it was established in accordance with legal standards. For instance, Egypt’s retired judge Mahmud al Hudari has said that the recent court ruling needs not to be extended to closing down the party because it is part of the consultation council. It is up to the consultation council to decide on the legality of the party. However, since the consultation council was cancelled out after the military coup, the possibility of the party being banned looks likely.
It is probable that the Brotherhood will take the court’s decision to appeal within fifteen days. Anyone who receives any harm as a result of this decision has the right to take the case to the court of appeal. The appeal does not necessarily have to be made by the organization or its directors.
It is interesting to note that despite the organization being banned, none of its members have been expelled from politics. For this reason, there is no legal obstacle preventing the likes of Khayrat al Shatr and Muhammad Badi running for presidency. This has been a talking point for many Egyptians.
The court order, which was given under the supervision of Judge Muhammad al Sayyid, stated that ‘the activities of the society of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim Brotherhood organization and all linked groups have been banned in Egypt.’
The decision of the court implies that it does not have the power to bring an end to the Muslim Brotherhood completely, because it is almost impossible to outlaw an ideology that has an eighty year history. Therefore, the words ‘activities’ and ‘Egypt’ were chosen specifically.
Even the judges realize that the organization cannot be banned completely, and that its activities in Egypt can only be outlawed in the short-term, because the Brotherhood has active branches in over seventy countries. Its ideology has also spread among the masses in countries like Turkey and Pakistan. Consequently, the Brotherhood cannot be stopped.Last Mod: 25 Eylül 2013, 16:46