Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Registers as NGO

A day after a panel of judges recommended its dissolution, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood was registered as an NGO.

Elad Benari ,

Muslim Brotherhood's Secretary General Mahmou
Muslim Brotherhood's Secretary General Mahmou

A day after a panel of judges recommended its dissolution, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood was officially registered as a non-governmental organization by the ministry of social security, the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reports.

The move came after a “comprehensive” request submitted by the group on Tuesday, Minister of Social Security Nagwa Khalil told the state news agency MENA.

The Islamist group met all the requirements of law 84/2002 regulating non-governmental organizations, Khalil said.

The ministry would oversee the group's funding now it is officially registered as an NGO, asserted the minister.

The announcement of the group's status came shortly after the State Commissioners Board (SCB) recommended that the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) reject the Brotherhood's longstanding appeal against a 1954 decision by the then-ruling Revolutionary Command Council, declaring the group illegal and ordering its dissolution.

In a statement on Thursday, the Egyptian Patriotic Movement, led by ex-presidential hopeful and Mubarak-era PM Ahmed Shafiq, argued the move would open the door for Egyptian NGOs (around 40,000) to undertake political activities, in violation of their traditional role defined by international law.

The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, was formally outlawed amid a wide-ranging crackdown on group members during the reign of president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, following an assassination attempt on the latter for which the Brotherhood was blamed.

Wednesday's recommendation was non-binding, but could have affected the SAC in its final ruling.

The group established the Freedom and Justice Party shortly after the uprising in 2011, and the party went on to secure a majority in the now-dissolved People's Assembly.