The Evolution of the Brotherhood

A fascinating piece about the development of democratic ideas in the Muslim world from friend-of-Goldblog Reuel Gerecht:

The Egyptian revolt against President Hosni Mubarak and his regime has caused many in the West to foresee a calamitous, unstoppable rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, the mother ship of Sunni fundamentalism. The Brotherhood is frightening. Prominent members have sanctified suicide-bombing against Israeli women and children, espoused the vilest anti-Semitism and affirmed the holiness of killing those who would slight the Prophet Muhammad.

But the Brotherhood, like everyone else, is evolving. It would be a serious error to believe that it has not sincerely wrestled with the seductive challenge of democracy, with the fact that the Egyptian faithful like the idea of voting for their leaders.

In 2007, members of the Brotherhood released, withdrew and unofficially re-released a political platform -- the first ever for the organization -- in which an outsider can see the Brothers' philosophical struggle with the idea of parliamentary supremacy and the certainty that faithful Muslims may legislatively transgress Holy Law. The Brothers themselves didn't know how much free rein to give to their compatriots -- they, like everyone else, are moving in uncharted waters.