New Laws for Islamic Opposition in Egypt
On Sunday, the Mubarak government arrested ten more members of the Muslim Brotherhood in a continuing pattern of repression that has resulted not only in a crackdown on the Brotherhood and the unexpectedly harsh prison sentence recently handed out to a subversive blogger. Today, Al-Jazeera reports that a new packet of constitutional amendments allows banning political meetings for "any religious reference or basis." In effect, the amendments:
... could make it almost impossible for Islamic groups, representing the country's largest opposition wave, to seek the presidency.
The Muslim Brotherhood, an organization tied historically to Al-Qaeda has been formally illegal in Egypt since 1954, but Mubarak's government has extended them a partial and uneven kind of tolerance, alternating with periodic waves of repression, one of which is occurring now. Last month, Mubarak ordered Brotherhood members to stand trial in a military court, and last week an Egyptian court froze the assets of 29 members.