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Egyptian Court Bans The Muslim Brotherhood

A court in Egypt has issued a ban on the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that is still protesting the military's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. The court also ordered the group's assets to be seized.

"The court bans the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood organization and its non-governmental organization and all the activities that it participates in and any organization derived from it," presiding Judge Mohammed al-Sayed said, according to Reuters.

Appeals of the ruling are allowed. Observers say the decision could allow opponents to undermine the infrastructure of the Islamist group, which has spent decades operating outside the view of the authorities.

"The Brotherhood was outlawed for most of its 85 years in existence," The Associated Press reports. "But after the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, it was allowed to work openly, formed a political party and rose to power in a string of post-Mubarak elections. In March, it registered as a recognized non-governmental organization."

As Al-Jazeera reports, Egypt is also in the early stages of revising its national constitution, in large part to undo the changes instituted by Morsi. The constitution has been faulted for its approach to human rights, as well as its distribution of a large number of legislative seats to political parties.

A 50-person committee is working on revising the constitution. As Al-Jazeera notes, the Muslim Brotherhood isn't involved in that process.

"More than 2,000 Islamists, mostly from the Brotherhood, have been arrested in the past two months, including Morsi and most of the group's other leaders," the news outlet reports.

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.