CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said on Tuesday it would continue to work in line with “our moderate and peaceful thinking” regardless of moves by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to designate it a foreign terrorist organization.
The White House said earlier that Trump was acting following a request from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as army chief in 2013 engineered the removal of freely elected President Mohamed Mursi, a senior Brotherhood figure, and a subsequent crackdown on its supporters.
“We will remain … steadfast in our work in accordance with our moderate and peaceful thinking and what we believe to be right, for honest and constructive cooperation to serve the communities in which we live, and humanity as a whole,” the Brotherhood said in a statement on its official website.
“The Muslim Brotherhood will remain stronger – through God’s grace and power – than any decision.”
Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Brotherhood came to power in the country’s first modern free election in 2012, a year after former President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in an uprising.
After Mursi was himself overthrown in 2013, the Brotherhood was swiftly banned. Egyptian authorities have declared it a terrorist organization and jailing thousands of its followers and much of its leadership, including Mursi.
The Brotherhood says it is a non-violent movement and denies any relationship to violent insurgencies waged by al Qaeda and Islamic State militants.
Reporting by Omar Fahmy; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Mark Heinrich