One of the primary worries that Western governments, that of the United States in particular, and Israel have had as the situation in Egypt has unfolded is that of the role of the primary Islamist organization in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood. On the assumption, still far from completely certain, that the Mubarak government will fall, the question is often being posed of whether the Muslim Brotherhood will content itself with functioning as a normal political party in accordance with the norms of the democratic process or it will take advantage of its being the most ideologically focused and disciplined of the opposition groups to push itself into power and thereafter mold Egypt into some form of an Islamic state.
There are a number of introductions to the Brotherhood available. One, which the students in my introductory class in Islam will have at hand, is the coverage provided in John Esposito’s popular, albeit perhaps rather uncritical, texbook, Islam. The Straight Path (see especially pp. 175-184). Most other texts in the genre will have more or less similar coverage.
Online, the New York Times’ “Times Topics” has a brief overview of the Brotherhood and links to pages of articles about the Brotherhood, at:
The online English edition of the German Newspaper, Der Spiegel, has published an article on the Brotherhood in the context of the current situation in Egypt, “What the Future May Hold for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.” The article and other, related and background, materials can be accessed at or through:
There is also, of course, course, Wikipedia, and its coverage of the Brotherhood, at:
Ikhwanweb, the Muslim Brotherhood’s own and rather striking “official English website,” can be accessed at: