The Muslim Brotherhood is in a bind, because it has to deliver. For the masses of people who voted for the Muslim Brotherhood, the revolution wasn't about democracy and freedom. It was about bread and social justice.The Brotherhood has a so-called "Renaissance" plan for the overhaul of the Egyptian economy. I won't pretend to judge its feasibility. Could modernization of tax collection double or triple tax revenues? Can Egypt double the number of arriving tourists, even while contemplating limits on alcohol and bikinis? Can a renovation of the Suez Canal raise transit revenues from $6 billion a year to $100 billion? Can Egypt's economy surpass the economies of Turkey and Malaysia within seven years? These are all claims made at various times by the economic thinkers of the Muslim Brotherhood, who trumpet Egypt's supposed potential for self-sufficiency.
After decades of persecution and incarceration, what is unfolding today clearly shows the weight and influence of the Muslim Brothers, most of whom are centrist and modernist and accept democratic values, in shaping the political future of their society…Arab Islamists are traveling a similar path as did the Christian fundamentalists and later the Christian Democrats and Euro-communists in Western Europe who in the 20th century subordinated ideology to interests and political constituencies.
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and an adjunct fellow at the Middle East Forum.