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Policy Analysis

Congressional Testimony

The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Current, and Prospects for Post-Mubarak Egypt: An Early Assessment

Robert Satloff

Also available in العربية

April 13, 2011


On April 13, 2011, Washington Institute executive director Robert Satloff testified at a U.S. House of Representatives panel on the Muslim Brotherhood's role in Egypt following the end of the Mubarak regime.

I believe deep concern about the Muslim Brotherhood's potential emergence as a major player and even power-broker is warranted. As I noted in previous congressional testimony, the Brotherhood is not, as some suggest, simply an Egyptian version of the March of Dimes -- that is, a social welfare organization whose goals are fundamentally humanitarian. On the contrary, the Brotherhood is a profoundly political organization that seeks to reorder Egyptian (and broader Muslim) society in an Islamist fashion. Tactically, I believe the organization will exploit whatever opportunities it is offered; it has renounced its most ambitious goals and the violent means to achieve them only as a result of regime compulsion, not by free choice. Should the Brotherhood achieve political power, it will almost certainly use that power to transform Egypt into a very different place. The best case analogy would be Turkey under Erdogan, where the secular state is gradually being Islamized. A more realistic situation would see deeper and more systemic Islamization of society, including the potential for a frightening growth of sectarianism between Muslims and Copts and even deepening intra-Muslim conflict between Salafis and Sufis....

Download Dr. Satloff's full testimony (PDF).

Watch C-SPAN video of this hearing. (Dr. Satloff's testimony begins at the 13:30 mark.)