The early contests for power following the Arab uprisings proved rather easy for the Muslim Brotherhood. What has come since then, however, has been much more challenging, and the Brotherhood’s difficulties are only growing. Where the Brotherhood has not won, it is facing reversals. Where it did come to power, its leaders are finding that governing, and even keeping a country from going off the rails these days, is far more complicated than winning elections.
In Egypt and Tunisia, Brotherhood-dominated governments are on the defensive. In Jordan, the Brotherhood’s strategy seems to be failing. In Syria, amid the carnage, the Brotherhood looks militarily effective but politically disoriented.
There is no question that Muslim Brotherhood-linked parties remain by far the most powerful political organizations in the Arab Middle East. They are certainly better organized than the secular opposition. But it is also becoming apparent that the Brotherhood’s momentum, which once seemed utterly unstoppable, has slowed, perhaps stalled. The long-term path of the revolutions could take unexpected turns.