The Muslim Brotherhood, which was declared a “terrorist” organization Wednesday, is Egypt’s oldest and largest Islamist movement.
A history of the movement:
- March 1928: The Muslim Brotherhood is founded in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya by schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna. It is staunchly opposed to colonialism and Zionism, and promotes a return to Islamic values in an increasingly secular Egypt.
- December 1948: A Muslim Brother assassinates Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi al-Nuqrashi, who had ordered the Brotherhood dissolved.
- February 1949: The secret police kill Banna.
- Between 1954 and 1970: Thousands of Brotherhood members are arrested or go underground during the presidency of Gamal Abdel Nasser, a secular Arab nationalist.
- 1966: Sayyed Qotb, a Brotherhood theoretician who came to advocate a more radical approach, is hanged.
- 1971: Anwar Sadat succeeds Nasser, and his regime grants the Brotherhood leadership amnesty but officially bans the movement. The Brotherhood renounces violence and embraces social work and grass-roots activism.
- October 6, 1981: Sadat, vilified in the Arab world for signing a peace treaty with Israel without obtaining concessions for the Palestinians, is assassinated by radical Islamists.
- 1984: Sadat’s successor, Hosni Mubarak, recognizes the Brotherhood as a religious organization but refuses its political registration. The movement fields candidates on independent tickets.
- 2005: Brotherhood candidates running as independents gain one-fifth of parliamentary seats, but the group emerges empty-handed from the first round of 2010 elections and boycotts the second round, denouncing massive fraud.
- February 2011: A popular uprising forces Mubarak to resign and hand power to the military. The Brotherhood sides with the revolt and founds its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party. The Brotherhood and Islamist allies clinch an overwhelming majority in 2011-2012 polls, before parliament is dissolved when a court finds irregularities in the voting system.
- June 30, 2012: Mursi wins 51.73 percent of the vote and is sworn in as Egypt’s first freely elected president.
- July 3, 2013: After massive popular demonstrations demanding his resignation, the army overthrows Mursi.
- August 14, 2013: Security forces storm two huge Cairo protest camps occupied for weeks by Mursi supporters, setting off clashes in which hundreds of people, mainly Islamists, are killed.
- August 20, 2013: The authorities detain the Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, who later goes on trial accused of inciting violence and charges related to protester deaths.
- September 23: A court bans the Muslim Brotherhood from operating and orders its assets seized, a week after having ordered the freezing of the assets of senior leaders of the organization.
- December 25: The government declares the Brotherhood a “terrorist” organization and blames it for a deadly suicide bombing against a police headquarters in Mansoura that had already been claimed by an al-Qaeda-inspired group.