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Declaration of MB as a terrorist organisation met with mixed reactions

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Muslim Brotherhood calls for “week of anger” protests

Several parties commended on Thursday the cabinet’s decision declaring the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation; other parties and individuals either downplayed or attacked the decision.

The Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organisation by the cabinet on Wednesday. Following its weekly meeting, the cabinet announced that the organisation will be legally accountable under Article 86 of the Egyptian Penal Code. This sanctions the judiciary to hand verdicts to members, leaders and affiliates ranging from five years to the death sentence.

The Free Egyptians Party commended the government’s decision to deem the Brotherhood a terrorist group, adding: “With this step, the great people of Egypt are writing a new page in the history of their long struggle to protect the state and its civilisation”.

In a statement, the party said: “The party emphasises that, with this decision, Egyptians bring the curtain down on one of the worst religiously disguised fascist and racist groups of modern history, a group that did not threaten Egypt only, but threatened to publish the winds of hatred, ignite wars and religious conflicts… they are a threat to the modern civil state and civilised humanity as a whole.”

On Wednesday, Hassan Shahin, founding member and spokesman of the Tamarod (Rebellion) campaign, applauded the decision, describing it as “waging war on the Muslim Brotherhood and on terrorism as a whole”.

“This decision should have been made a long time ago,” he said. “The Muslim Brotherhood has been considered a terrorist organisation throughout its history.”

Shahin denied that the decision would resurrect former President Hosni Mubarak’s “police state”, and accused the Brotherhood of “instigating violence” on university campuses. “The Brotherhood is insistent on challenging the state and the people and stalling the roadmap,” Shahin said.

In a statement which barely addressed the decision, the Anti-Coup Alliance accused the “putschists of being terrorist” before warning that, due to the recent “assaults”, measures taken by them will escalate peacefully. On Wednesday spokesman of the alliance Hamza Zoba’a downplayed the decision, calling it “irrelevant”.

Member of Al-Nour Party high board Shaaban Abdel Alim said that the decision by the government should have been  analysed more carefully and with more regard to its legal effects.

“The government’s decision is an administrative decision, which could be easily appealed; however, I personally believe that they should have waited on a final non-appealable court verdict,” he said.

“The government should have also analysed the effects such a decision has on the Egyptian economy, where tourism will be greatly affected,” Abdel-Alim added.

Lawyer representing ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, Mohamed Al-Damati said that the decision lacks any legal or political basis, adding that the government was “pressured into this decision by the media”.

Al Damati stated: “After the Daqahlia bombing on Tuesday, the media led by Hosni Mubarak’s businessmen attacked the government and pressured them to deem the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. The government, feeling anxious, complied.”

“Legally speaking, you cannot label an entire organisation as terrorist and include affiliations or regular individuals who supported them,” he added.

Al Damati said that a decision such as this “incriminates individuals who voted for the organisation during their electoral wins since 2011”.

“Only the judiciary could charge, accuse and judge a person to be a terrorist; the government just deemed an entire organisation as terrorist; this will increase the hatred and anger in the street,” he said.


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