13th annual Municipal Finance Conference


13th annual Municipal Finance Conference


The Muslim Brotherhood’s Role in the Egyptian Revolution

Steven Brooke and
Steven Brooke Doctoral Candidate, University of Texas-Austin
Shadi Hamid

March 1, 2011

Content from the Brookings Doha Center is now archived. In September 2021, after 14 years of impactful partnership, Brookings and the Brookings Doha Center announced that they were ending their affiliation. The Brookings Doha Center is now the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, a separate public policy institution based in Qatar.


On February 11, 2011, Egypt had its revolution when President Hosni Mubarak finally stepped down after 18 days of massive protests. With the military taking control and promising a transition to democracy, the question of what comes next has acquired a particular urgency. Specifically, Western fears of the Muslim Brotherhood stepping into the political vacuum have re-energized a longstanding debate about the role of Islamists in Middle Eastern politics, and the dilemma that poses for the United States.

Missing from the discussion is an attempt to put the Brotherhood’s actions during the protests in historical perspective. Doing so reveals that the Brotherhood’s cautious approach to the protests over the last few tumultuous weeks has been in large part an extension of the group’s strategy of the past decades: a preference for incremental rather than revolutionary change, caution and pragmatism, and close cooperation with other Egyptian political actors. While it is always difficult to predict future behavior from past actions, viewing the Brotherhood’s recent actions as part of a longer process of accommodation illuminates some of the issues that will undoubtedly arise in the months ahead.

Read the full article at ctc.usma.edu » (PDF)