Elsewhere online
February 02, 2015

Egypt's Crackdown on Political Islam Hits Faith Charities

Major charities serving Egypt's poor have been left reeling by the government's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood political organization, Foreign Policy magazine writes. Faith-based groups such as El Gameya El Shareya, Resala, and Sonaa Hayat, active for decades in Egypt's rural villages and urban slums, have been caught up in the backlash that accompanied a Brotherhood-affiliated president's ouster in a popularly supported 2013 coup.

El Gameya El Shareya had its assets frozen in late 2013 on suspicion of ties to the Islamic party, which President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's secular, authoritarian government banned after taking power. The charity denied any Brotherhood links and won a court case to regain control of its assets, but it is now widely viewed as a backer of radical Islam. It and other Muslim charities are operating at far below their former capacity, leaving rural communities without services the groups long provided.