The Muslim Brotherhood, the Cairo-based Islamist group that consumes the minds of American neoconservatives but rates hardly a second thought in Egypt, is in many ways like an ancient papyrus roll displayed in an airtight case lest it crumble when exposed to the elements.
The fragmentation of Egypt’s largest and most influential Islamist movement should surprise no one who has spent time listening to its members. Far from being a monolith, the Muslim Brotherhood, or Ikhwan, as it is known in Arabic, is well scored by demographic and ideological fault lines. Its diversified ranks—young and old, blue-collar and bourgeoisie, worldly and parochial—shared above all else a hatred of the despot who tormented it. Assuming Egypt will reap the bounty of its democratic revolution—and there are indications that the military authority that now controls the nation may obstruct such a harvest—the elimination of Hosni Mubarak could mean the end of the Ikhwan as we know it.
Read more here: The Muslim Brotherhood in Transition | The Nation.