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Egypt court delays decision: Is Muslim Brotherhood legal?

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Muslim Brotherhood gained an extra month to make its case that it's a legal group — a rightful resurrection under President Mohammed Morsi, made months ago.

The Brotherhood was officially dissolved in the mid-1950s, Reuters reports. Until two years ago, when President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from office, its members operated underground, primarily in secret.

The group came to power again with Mr. Morsi's ascension to the presidency.

Yet legal authorities are continuing to question its right to exist. Egypt's court was hearing arguments in the case, but decided on Tuesday to postpone its decision on April 23. That's when judges will rule whether the group's 1954 dissolution stands firm, Reuters says.

Regardless of the court's ruling, it's unlikely to influence the power structure in Egypt. Mr. Morsi rode to office on a wave of Muslim Brotherhood support, and the group's presence is felt at all levels of the country's government now. Mostly, the case will set the tone for future Islamist relations, experts say, Reuters reports.

Still, Brotherhood members have taken precautionary steps to protect its power structure. Last week, as the challenge to its legal existence was winding through court, Brotherhood officials registered in the nation as an official non-governmental organization, Reuters says.

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