As Egypt transitions to democracy, the once-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood is looking to play a more active role in the nation’s political life. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Nathan J. Brown explains why the Brotherhood does not pose a security threat to the United States and should be welcomed as a legitimate political actor.

U.S. Policy Recommendations:

  • Recognize the Brotherhood’s political maturity: Despite its radical roots, the Muslim Brotherhood has clearly and consistently renounced violence for decades and is deeply committed to peaceful political change. U.S. policy and rhetoric should reflect this reality.

  • Support political integration: American interests in Egypt are best served through the development of a stable and inclusive political system. Toward that end, the Brotherhood should be allowed to organize a political party and contest elections if it so chooses.

  • Take a realistic view of the Brotherhood’s popularity: Though often described as the best organized political force within Egypt, the Brotherhood is a cautious and conservative organization that will have to make many adjustments to successfully compete in free and fair elections.

“There is every reason to be interested in the Brotherhood’s myriad (and surprisingly diverse) country-based movements, but there is no reason to fear it as a menacing global web,” concludes Brown.