Ian Johnson recounts the Muslim Brotherhood's history:
Since the 1950s, the United States has secretly struck up alliances with the Brotherhood or its offshoots on issues as diverse as fighting communism and calming tensions among European Muslims. And if we look to history, we can see a familiar pattern: each time, US leaders have decided that the Brotherhood could be useful and tried to bend it to America’s goals, and each time, maybe not surprisingly, the only party that clearly has benefited has been the Brotherhood.
Johnson examines their platform:
In Egypt, the Brotherhood’s political platform officially says that women and Christians should not be allowed to become president. The platform also calls for religious oversight of secular courts and of all laws passed by civilian institutions. Whether this would be the thin edge of Islamic law, or sharia, is hard to knoweven defining sharia is difficult because so many interpretations of the Koran are possible and have been championed by various schools of Islamic jurisprudence. But even if more moderate voices win out, it’s hard to see how the Brotherhood’s involvement in post-Mubarak Egypt will not increase pressures on ordinary people to conform to a more orthodox, or even fundamentalist, lifestyle that could be quite different from today.