Brotherhood ban splits opinions in Egypt

Reactions varied toward the court verdict which ordered the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood and banned its activities in Egypt. Some politicians opined that the ban would aggravate the political crisis in Egypt, while others believed the verdict came on time.
Nour Party secretary general Shaaban Abdel Aleem said: "The verdict will not solve the current, congested political crisis, especially as the Muslim Brotherhood operated under a ban for 60 years since the era of late President Gamal Abdel Nasser."
"The solution is to have national reconciliation and to convince each party to compromise," Abdel Aleem said.
Deputy head of Watan Party Yousry Hammad accused secular political forces of using the judiciary to intimidate Islamists and exclude them.
"Banning the Muslim Brotherhood will not bring the group to an end intellectually or as an organization because the state cannot eliminate a deeply-rooted force in society," Hammad opined.
"Laws do not criminalize belonging to an idea," Hammad said.
Hammad added that the verdict aims to exclude Islamists from the political scene, even though they did not excluded other political forces when they were in power.
Alaa Abouel Nasr, secretary general of the Jamaa al-Islamiya's Construction and Development Party, said: "The verdict was expected as the coup authorities seek to turn all that is not legitimate to being legitimate, and vice versa."
Salafi Front spokesperson Khaled Saeed said in a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm: "Why was the verdict issued that fast? Under [toppled] President Mohamed Morsy, no ruling was issued disbanding a political entity. The coup authorities seek to disband all that is legitimate in the state."
"Banning the [Muslim Brotherhood] group and its return to working underground could lead to undesirable results," according to Saeed.
Salafi figure Ossama al-Qousy said the dissolution decision was unrealistic: "The group adores operating underground, so dissolving it judicially will not affect its agenda or thought."
Qousy described the Muslim Brotherhood as a gang and called for it to be labeled a terrorist organization in order for security forces to bring it to an end. 
On the other hand, opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood supported the banning decision.
Wafd Party secretary general Fouad Badrawy said the verdict was expected and came in accordance with the law because the Muslim Brotherhood deviated away from its role.
Secretary general of the Free Egyptians Party Margret Azer said the ruling would help bring the Muslim Brotherhood and all terrorist organizations to an end.
Head of the Egyptian Socialist Party Ahmed Bahaa Eddin Shaaban said the verdict was "historic" and timely.
Strong Egypt Party leader Mohamed Othman meanwhile said that the Muslim Brotherhood had been banned in Egypt since 1954 until the 25 January revolution. Othman added the ban decision was political but unrealistic because the Brotherhood's funds are not under its [formal] name in banks and thus could not be seized.
Othman also called for a societal discussion about the NGO law.
Deputy head of the Democratic Front Party Hamdy al-Fakharany said the verdict would lead to the dissolution of the FJP as well because the party would then be accused of having ties to militias.
"The Muslim Brotherhood runs militias which violate the NGO and political parties law," Fakharany claimed. He added that the Muslim Brotherhood has been using its militias to intimidate people for nearly a year and commit terrorist acts.
"We submitted documents to the court proving that the FJP owns militias, thus the court will issue a ruling on October 18 dissolving it," Fakharany said. Fakharany also called on the court to ban all political parties and organizations that have religious background.
Fakharany said the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered a terrorist organization that aims to disturb public peace and sow chaos and terrorism.
"The verdict banning the Muslim Brotherhood is the beginning of bringing the group to a complete end worldwide, not just in Egypt," Fakharany said.
Refaat al-Saeed, leader of Tagammu Paty which filed the claim demanding the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood, said the verdict crowned the Tagammu Party's efforts of over 35 years to ban political activities on religious basis.
Saeed said the verdict banned the ctivities of the Muslim Brotherhood and ordered the seizure of its assets and investments.

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