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News Analysis: Listing Brotherhood as "terrorist group" may stem violence on Egyptian streets

English.news.cn   2013-12-28 14:08:30            

CAIRO, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian government's decision to declare the Muslim Brotherhood, of which ousted President Mohamed Morsi is member, as "a terrorist group" may limit Islamist protests but not end terrorism, experts said.

The decision was made on Wednesday, one day after a blast rocked a security department headquarters in Mansoura city, north of the capital Cairo, killing at least 16 persons and injuring more than 130.

The government blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the bombing and accused it of seeking to disturb Egypt's transition to democracy.

Morsi's supporters held marches across the country, two days after the declaration and only one day after the Interior Ministry vowed to arrest whoever participates in pro-Morsi protests.

The protests caused three deaths and over 30 injuries, as well as the arrest of at least 265 Brotherhood members and the burning of three police vehicles.

The pro-Morsi protests are expected to continue more fiercely but in a smaller scale in the coming days, at least before the referendum on the new draft constitution, slated for Jan. 14-15, Emad Eddin Hussein, political analyst and editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Shorouk told Xinhua.

"It is not expected that the Brotherhood's protests will disappear all at once," Hussein said, noting that pro-Morsi protests are shrinking compared to those in early July, when Morsi was removed by the military.

The pro-Morsi Islamists would like to tell the world that they are still present, even if at the expense of their arrests, according to Hussein.

"I talked Friday with the interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi and he told me that the opponents are tough and they would not give up easily, but the government is gaining more ground day by day," the chief journalist added.

For his part, security expert General Salah Samak, believed that pro-Morsi protests would go on unless security forces adopt stricter and tougher confrontation policies.

"We should not care about foreign human rights pressures in dealing with Brotherhood protests and even send those involved in riotous acts to military trials," Samak told Xinhua, saying that the police are exposed to violence during the protests and they have the legal right to defend themselves.

"A Brotherhood member today may turn into an armed Jihadist tomorrow, if the state does not respond faster and stricter," according to the expert.

"The interior minister should be given more liberty in dealing with the protesters instead of always calling police officers for self-restraint," he said, adding that "tougher" crackdowns on protesters will discourage ordinary people to join Brotherhood marches.

The decision to list the Brotherhood as a "terrorist group" has been "long-awaited," said Mohamed Mansour, head of Future Studies Center at Assiut University, noting the number of pro-Morsi protesters is dropping.

"This decision will limit protests but it will not uproot terrorism completely," Mansour told Xinhua, adding that "obliterating terrorism does not require only security work, but it has to do with political and social work as well."

Mansour expressed his belief that the decision in time will stem the ongoing violence in the streets.

The political researcher added that after ousting Morsi, the Brotherhood had been invited to be a partner in the society, "but the group declined and insisted on an unacceptable demand, namely Morsi's reinstatement."

Related:

Egypt declares Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group after blast

CAIRO, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian government on Wednesday blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the bombing of the police headquarter in Mansoura city and officially declared the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist group," from which the ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi hails.

"All Egyptians were horrified by the heinous crime committed by Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday when it blew up the Daqahleya Governorate police headquarter that killed at least 16 persons and injured more than 130 others," a government statement said on Wednesday. Full story

Editor: chengyang
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