The Egyptian government's announcement yesterday that it is studying the proposal put forward by interim prime minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, to dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood is cause for concern on many levels.

Such an enforced suppression of the Islamist organisation will only add further tinder to the already incendiary political crisis Egypt faces.

Every day the violence in Cairo only serves to further polarise all sides in this struggle for Egypt's political future. There are those within the Brotherhood willing to talk and take part in consensus politics. Sadly, the military regime with its crackdown has only alienated those moderates and perhaps pushed some members in the direction of jihadist recruiters. Making matters worse, Western nations have been found wanting when it comes to exerting diplomatic pressure on Egypt's military regime.

Loading article content

Those nations are, understandably, fearful of a powerful militant Islamist presence in Egypt. However, giving any tacit endorsement to Egypt's old dictatorial guard slipping into power by the back door is not a credible option.

In a recent interview, Egyptian actor and activist Khalid Abdalla eloquently pointed out that in Cairo right now, political choice is increasingly limited to either the military or Islamic extremists, both of which are "fundamentally fascist organisations".

He is right to say that the future solution has to be an inclusive one, with everyone represented. For 80 years now in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood has grown to become a huge grass-roots political and social movement. Any move to forcibly dissolve it will only push the group underground and its more moderate members away from the framework of open political dialogue.