What You Need to Know About the Muslim Brotherhood
By Robert Dreyfuss, Mother Jones
Posted on February 12, 2011, Printed on February 14, 2011

As the revolutionary upsurge in Egypt builds toward its conclusion, some of the key questions involve the role of the Muslim Brotherhood-the Islamic movement that has been characterized as anything from a benign prodemocracy force to a terrorist-inclined radical group with designs on establishing a global Caliphate.

What, exactly, is the Brotherhood? How strong is it inside Egypt? If the regime falls, will the Brotherhood take over, or is Egypt too modern, too secular, and too diverse to tolerate an Islamist-dominated government? And finally, if the Brothers did seize power, either in the streets or through elections, what kind of rulers might they be? To answer these questions, we need some grounding in history.

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