U.S. media is reporting that the Egyptian government has declared that the Muslim Brotherhood is a legal movement, ending the decades old ban on the movement. According to a VOA report:
Egypt has declared the Muslim Brotherhood political movement legal, ending a ban on the group that had been in place for decades. The organization is one of the country’s best organized political groups. Egyptian state media announced the government’s decision, which clears the way for the Muslim Brotherhood to field candidates in parliamentary elections set for September. In May, the Brotherhood announced it had formed a new political entity called the Freedom and Justice Party. A spokesman said the party would contest about half of the parliamentary seats in the upcoming election. The Muslim Brotherhood ran its candidates as independents in previous parliamentary elections. The group controlled about one-fifth of Egypt’s lower house after 2005 elections but was virtually shut out of parliamentary elections last year. Egyptian authorities, under former President Hosni Mubarak, arrested hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters ahead of that voting.
It should be noted that the Muslim Brotherhood today has become a global network and that the Egyptian mother branch is not necessarily the most important part of the movement. Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, close to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, is often referred to by the GMBDW as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide.