An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the Muslim Brotherhood to be banned and its assets confiscated in a dramatic escalation of a crackdown by the military-backed government against supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
Monday\’s ruling comes amid a crackdown on the Brotherhood and more than a month after hundreds of Islamist protesters died in a police operation to disperse their Cairo sit-ins, sparking a wave of nationwide violence.
After president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011, the Brotherhood – outlawed for most of its 85 years in existence – formed a political party that won parliamentary and presidential elections.
The court ruling, which can be appealed, could drive more Brotherhood supporters underground and may encourage young Islamists to take up arms against the state. The group says it has a million members.