2014: A year of setbacks for Muslim Brotherhood

The movement has been blacklisted as a "terrorist" group in at least three Arab countries and has lost power in other states.

2014: A year of setbacks for Muslim Brotherhood

After sweeping to power in most "Arab Spring" countries, 2014 has brought several political and security setbacks for the Arab world's largest Islamic movement.

The movement has been blacklisted as a "terrorist" group in at least three Arab countries and has lost power in other states.

In Egypt, where one of the Brotherhood leaders – Mohamed Morsi – was elected president, the movement is now labeled as a "terrorist" group following a military coup.

Egyptian authorities have also disbanded the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, and froze its assets, in addition to freezing the assets of nearly 342 Brotherhood-affiliated companies, 1,107 NGOs and 174 schools.

Hundreds of Brotherhood members, including several senior leaders, have also been put on trial for various charges.

Egypt's two major allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – who provided billions of dollars to shore up Egypt's economy following Morsi's ouster – have also declared the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist" group.

In another blow, Qatar – one of the main backers of Morsi's administration – asked seven Brotherhood leaders and figures to leave the country under pressure from its Gulf neighbors.

The tiny Gulf country also shut down Al Jazeera's Mubashir Misr television channel – devoted to following news from Egypt – dealing another blow to supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group.

A similar crackdown was reported against the Brotherhood in Jordan, where at least two group leaders have been put on trial. King Abdullah II has also accused the Muslim Brotherhood of "hijacking" the Arab Spring revolutions.

Political setback

On the political scene, Muslim Brotherhood-inspired groups have lost elections in at least two Arab Spring countries in 2014.

In Tunisia, the Ennahda movement, led by Rachid Ghannouchi, came second in the country's parliamentary election following the centrist Nidaa Tounes party of Beji Caid Essebsi, a former parliament spokesman under ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Essebsi was also elected Tunisia's President after beating his rival, Moncef Marzouki, who was closely associated with the Tunisian revolution that ousted Ben Ali in 2011.

Islamic groups also lost Libya's parliamentary election in June to liberals, adding to the woes of Brotherhood-allied groups across the region.

In the Palestinian territories, the crackdown has forced Palestinian group Hamas – an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood – to sign a reconciliation agreement with rival group Fatah under which it agreed to cede power in the Gaza Strip.

Observers believe the movement was forced to sign the deal to ease pressure on the group, which has been blockaded in the Gaza Strip after both Israel and Egypt closed their border crossings with the Palestinian territory.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Aralık 2014, 13:26
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