On Tuesday Minister of Social Solidarity Ahmed El-Borai called for the Muslim Brotherhood Association—the Brotherhood’s NGO formed in March 2013—to be dissolved, a further blow to the group which has seen its top leaders arrested in the last two months.
In a press conference, El-Borai denied the Muslim Brotherhood association legal legitimacy. El-Borai, whose ministry is responsible for licensing NGOs, mentioned allegations by the prosecutor’s office that the Muslim Brotherhood was in possession of weapons in their headquarters in Cairo’s Moqattam neighbourhood, according to state-run Al-Ahram.
According to state-run Al-Ahram newspaper, the ministry sent several notices to the Muslim Brotherhood association asking for an explanation of the accusations against them, but the ministry received no reply.
“I know there is tension in the Egyptian street and people are attacking me for not giving an order to disband the Muslim Brotherhood association,” said El-Borai, while reiterating the need to follow the proper legal channels.
Last month El-Borai said that it was his “legal duty” to disband the Brotherhood for the “terrorist acts” they had perpetrated.
To legally qualify for non-governmental organisation status in Egypt, an organisation must be dissociated from politics. Many in Egypt found the Brotherhood to violate this rule, drawing little distinction between itself and its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.
The Muslim Brotherhood faced another setback on Monday of this week when the board of state commissioners recommended to the administrative court that the Brotherhood be dissolved.
High-ranking members of the Brotherhood leadership will face trial beginning 29 October. Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and his deputies Khairat El-Shater and Rashad Bayoumi will stand trial next month for the killing of protesters outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Moqattam on 30 June. Hundreds of other Brotherhood members have been arrested and are being detained.
Founded in 1928, Muslim Brotherhood has been a banned group in Egypt for much of its existence. They saw resurgence in the early 2000s when its members won dozens of seats in parliament. After the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood gained legal status. In 2012 Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood member, became the first democratically elected president.