Egypt’s Brotherhood absorbs blows, faces return to shadows

July 18, 2013

CAIRO | When Mohamed Wahdan of the Muslim Brotherhood was arrested last week, he got a taste of what life may be like for the Islamist movement now that the army has overthrown President Mohamed Mursi. It was a familiar feeling.

Held for two nights with 24 other men in a packed cell 10 feet (three meters) square, Wahdan said the treatment was a chilling reminder of the oppression that the Brothers suffered during decades when Egypt was ruled by hostile military men.

“We couldn’t sit. We couldn’t pray, we couldn’t sleep,” he told Reuters. “This is the way of life we are greeted with after the coup,” he said, referring to the army’s takeover two weeks ago that Western governments have not yet termed as such.

When protests brought down veteran military autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the Brotherhood, which spent 85 years in the shadows as a secret society, burst into daylight as the dominant political force in the country, winning election after election.

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