Big Brothers

The Muslim Brotherhood spent years angling for power. Now that its members have it, they're not sure what to do with it

Alessio Romenzi for TIME

For most of a century, it was one of the great questions of world politics: What would the Muslim Brotherhood do if, by some extraordinary chain of circumstances, it came to power in Egypt? The shadowy organization essentially created modern political Islam, advocating a nonviolent return to Shari'a while spinning off militant groups like Hamas and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the terrorist band Ayman al-Zawahiri brought into al-Qaeda. Outlawed for decades, always kept on a tight leash by the authoritarians who controlled the Middle East, the Brothers endured as the gravitational center of Muslim politics, absorbing the ambitions of generations of devoutly...

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