by Chris Bodenner

A reader wrote prior to this post:

As a very frequent visitor to the region, I have mixed emotions about the way the unrest in Egypt is developing.  We all support those who are asking for an expansion of freedom and human rights.  However, when I saw how the Muslim Brotherhood was becoming involved, my level of concern dramatically increased.  If there is one group in the Middle East who would push an agenda that is the exact opposite of what the United States would support, it is the Muslim Brotherhood.  So I am torn.  Do I oppose the actions of the Egyptian government in their suppression of human rights or support their efforts to quell any rise in the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood? It is not an easy question to answer.

Another wrote:

My two cents as an Egyptian-American with personal experience in the country rather than any special expertise: those buildings on fire in central Cairo are the symbolic equivalents of the Berlin Wall. The astonishing is fast becoming undeniably real. 

On the Muslim Brotherhood: be wary of ill-informed over-estimations of their influence.  The Brotherhood has been around - as the hidden-in-plain-sight opposition - for as long as the current regime.  They have a quasi-symbiotic relationship, as most young Egyptians recognize.  For this reason, the Brotherhood is unlikely to be or become change that anyone believes in.

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