Speed Reads

Final Decision

Egypt court bans political wing of Muslim Brotherhood

An Egyptian court delivered a ruling today that commands the Freedom and Justice Party — the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing — to dissolve and turn all of its assets over to the state, Reuters reports.

While a separate ruling banned the Muslim Brotherhood itself nearly a year ago, that decision did not specifically detail the FJP, meaning the political party could have had the opportunity to run in parliamentary elections later this year. Today's ruling, which judicial sources said was not open to appeal, effectively pushes the Brotherhood completely underground, as it can no longer legally operate in electoral politics.

The FJP organized following the January 2011 downfall of Hosni Mubarak. The group initially gained widespread support, and Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi was elected president. But Morsi's poor leadership and seemingly power-hungry rule led to his removal from the presidency, and the Brotherhood has since come under fire from the current government, which portrays it as a terrorist group. Lawyers for the FJP said today's ruling was unconstitutional.

"This is a political decision to get rid, not just of the Freedom and Justice Party, but of all the parties that were established after the revolution of January 25, 2011," Mahmoud Abou al-Aynayn, the FJP's lawyer, said.