Egypt's Interim Government Declares Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization
Egypt's interim government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. The move comes shortly after the bombing of a police building in northern Egypt that killed 16 people. Egyptian authorities have blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the bombing, despite the fact that Ansar Jerusalem, a Sinai-based jihadist group, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Today, it was reported that five people were injured by a bomb blast near a bus in Cairo.
Ousted President Muhammad Morsi is backed by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, who took to the streets of cities across Egypt in the wake of the news of the interim government's announcement. Morsi, who was sworn in as president in June last year after winning an election, is facing a possible death sentence after a prosecutor ordered that he and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders be tried on charges of plotting to carry out a terrorist plot with Hamas and Hezbollah.
According to CNN, after the Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, "We think it is essential for Egypt to have an inclusive political process; it is the best means of restoring the stability that the Egyptian people want and that is necessary to the country's economic recovery," and that, "There needs to be dialogue and political participation across the political spectrum."
Successive American presidents supported Hosni Mubarak, the former president of Egypt removed from power during the Arab Spring, who hardly demonstrated support for "an inclusive political process" during his almost 30-year rule.
It shouldn't be surprising if the recent news of the Muslim Brotherhood's designation results in further unrest in Egypt and an escalation in the interim government's crackdown on the group's supporters.
The draft constitution presented to the Egyptian interim president by the constituent assembly bans political parties "formed on the basis of religion, gender, race or geography." A referendum on the draft constitution is expected next month.
As unpleasant as the Muslim Brotherhood might be, it is hard to see how Egypt can achieve the restoration of stability Psaki referred to without the major political movement that supports the ousted president from being included in Egypt's political process.