Egypt considers Muslim Brotherhood ban as death toll surges in clashes
CAIRO — Egypt’s prime minister has proposed disbanding the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted president Mohamed Mursi, the government said on Saturday, raising the stakes in a bloody struggle between the state and Islamists for control of the country. Live television showed a gunman firing at soldiers and police from the minaret of a central Cairo mosque, with security forces shooting back at the building where Mursi followers had taken shelter. Reuters news agency witnesses said Mursi supporters also exchanged gunfire with security forces inside the mosque.
Egyptian authorities said they had rounded up more than 1,000 Islamists and surrounded Ramses Square following Friday’s "Day of Rage" called by the Brotherhood to denounce a lethal crackdown on its followers on Wednesday. Witnesses said tear gas was fired into the mosque prayer room to try to flush everyone out and gunshots were heard.
With anger rising on all sides, and no sign of a compromise in sight, Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi proposed the legal dissolution of the Brotherhood — a move that would force the group underground and could lead to a broad crackdown. "It is being studied currently," said government spokesman Sherif Shawky.
The Brotherhood was officially dissolved by Egypt’s military rulers in 1954, but registered itself as a nongovernmental organisation in March in a response to a court case brought by opponents of the group who were contesting its legality. Founded in 1928, the movement also has a legally registered political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, which was set up in 2011 after the uprising that led to the downfall of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
"Reconciliation is there for those who hands are not sullied with blood," Mr Shawky added.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Business DaySimilar Stories