Columns / Discourse / January 15, 2014

Muslim Brotherhood unjustly declared a terrorist organization

Clearly the situation in Egypt has taken a turn for the worst. Leaning toward increased repression, violence and chaos the country continues to battle through its initial revolution from 2011. After the coup de etat against democratically elected Muhammad Morsi in July, Egypt has seen violence on the streets as opposition forces, civilians and even the military erupt into a civil war.  What’s the latest development? Recently, after a car bombing in Mansoura on December 24th, which led to the deaths of at least 15 people, the government of Egypt declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

Let’s back track in history just a bit. This summer, Muhammad Morsi — the first democratically elected president from the Muslim Brotherhood — was overthrown by the military as a result of the absence of a true constitution in Egypt, which allowed him to abuse his powers and heavily centralize the politics of the nation. Although the Muslim Brotherhood — along with Morsi — fell in July of 2013, the organization was actually an important driving force towards the overthrow of Mubarak in 2011. The group has an extensively long history, but the Muslim Brotherhood during the 2011 revolution was relatively peaceful. In fact, this organization created and ran schools, clinics, and a variety of other social services to those in Egypt.

The title “terrorist organization” is a complete low-blow to the Muslim Brotherhood and has been justified by military leaders and other political players including Hossam Eissa, the deputy Prime Minister. Unfortunately, this means that really horrendous actions on behalf of the military and police force lie ahead.

Even though the Egyptian cabinet has no true evidence to connect the Muslim Brotherhood to recent violent actions; those found guilty of engaging with the Muslim Brotherhood can expect up to 5 years in prison. Protesting daily in solidarity with the arrested, overthrown, ex-president Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood also provided camps for individuals fasting through the Islamic month of Ramadan and have even made shift shelters outside of government buildings during initial protests. Yet, the completely autonomous military of Egypt has been responding with violent force.

According to USA Today, 638 people have been killed due to the bloodbath that occurred in Egypt after Morsi was overthrown. In fact, most of these deaths were the direct result of the military forces’ demolition of two pro-Morsi protests in Cairo. In the Nasr City District, 288 people have also been killed as a result of violent force by the military.

An Egyptian State Information Service Statement said that “the security agencies were keen to adopt a gradual plan to avoid bloodshed and falling of victims.” If it isn’t obvious to you, these security agencies have clearly failed.

How does this even make sense? While I am not denying that some members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the pro-Morsi protesters have taken violent measures, the Egyptian military — which once supported the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood into Egyptian politics to overthrow Mubarak in 2011 — is now slaughtering people on the streets.

It gets worse. The declaration of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, gives the Egyptian military a legitimate justification for a bloodbath that they refuse to end. Before, this type of mass murder would be seen as an international crisis for humanitarian activists. Now — appealing to Western perception and bias — the Egyptian cabinet has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in order to justify their killings, stop the revolution and begin to create a democracy in Egypt.

Open your eyes people! Do you really believe that all 638 of those that have died so far are truly terrorists? It is obvious that the Egyptian police forces and military are slaughtering pro-Morsi supporters regardless of their affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt has fallen into complete chaos and the death count is mounting each and every day. Unconvinced that the Muslim Brotherhood is actually a terrorist organization, I hope that the violence and bloodshed soon dissipates, and I keep those who are suffering through this horrifying disaster in my heart and prayers.  

Hiba Ahmed

Tags:  Egypt Hossam Eissa Mansoura muslim brotherhood politics revolution terrorist terrorist organization

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