Is the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood pushing the group toward violence?

Source: Brookings Institute
Author(s): Ammar Fayed

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The military coup of July 2013 forced the Muslim Brotherhood to retreat to a climate of secrecy after the group had spent just a year working openly and in power. The authorities soon designated it as a terrorist organization, and banned around 1,200 of the civil institutions affiliated with the group or its members, to say nothing of the thousands of people killed and imprisoned. The Brotherhood was left with no other option but to protest in a climate characterized by exclusion and McCarthyism.

This essay discusses the effect of this unprecedented security campaign on the group’s ideology and its internal decision-making processes. This is an important topic to explore especially after the arrest of the group’s most influential leaders, and the prevailing state of uncertainty in the region. Violence, whether from the state or from armed militias, has become the dominant political language in the nations that experienced Arab Spring revolutions, with the possible exception of Tunisia (which itself has not been spared from increasing terrorist threats). Even so, I argue here that the likelihood of the Muslim Brotherhood resorting to violence in Egypt is less then what many observers believe…

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