Egypt’s military government announced Saturday that it had begun deliberations on whether to reinstate a historic ban on the long-outlawed organization that “swept to power in the country’s first democratic elections a year ago,” The Associated Press reports.

The government that killed hundreds in recent days in efforts to suppress supporters of recently deposed President Mohamed Morsi, said, without any apparent irony, that the ban would be rooted in the Brotherhood’s use of violence. Meanwhile, the military has been engaged in firefights with members of the religious opposition holed up in mosques. Islamic buildings have served as places of sanctuary and medical care for Egyptians trying to escape the fighting.

Pro-military groups have been calling to brand the Brotherhood a “terrorist organization.”

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Associated Press via The Huffington Post:

The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, came to power a year ago when its Morsi was elected in the country’s first free presidential elections. The election came after the overthrow of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising in 2011.

The fundamentalist group has been banned for most of its 85-year history and repeatedly subjected to crackdowns under Mubarak’s rule. While sometimes tolerated and its leaders part of the political process, members regularly faced long bouts of imprisonment and arbitrary detentions.

Disbanding the group, experts say, would mean allowing security forces to have a zero-tolerance policy in dealing with the group’s street protests, as well as going after its funding sources. That could cripple the Brotherhood, though it likely wouldn’t mean an end to a group that existed underground for decades

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