On the morning of March 4, the State Security Criminal Court in Egypt sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide Mohammed Badie to death, along with seven of the outlawed group’s leaders (Mahmoud Ezzat, Mohamed el-Beltagy, Amr Zaki, Osama Yassin, Safwa Hegazy, Assem Abdel Maged, and Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud) for organizing acts of violence eleven years ago in the so-called ‘Platform Events’ case.

Yet, beyond notions of ‘justice,’ a deeper narrative unfurls – one laden with political gravitas. The court’s ruling wasn’t solely about holding individuals accountable for past transgressions; it was a strategic move by the Egyptian state.

The government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is fearful of the impending social upheaval anticipated as a result of the state’s faltering economy, flawed fiscal policies, decline in Arab world clout, and Egypt’s impotence in the face of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Gaza – all ingredients for a potential powder keg primed to detonate.