In any case, a Brotherhood-led government is not in the immediate offing. Egypt?s generals, discomfited as anyone by the Islamists? advance, seem determined to find ways to delay it. They insist on retaining the right to appoint a cabinet and are seeking to dilute the new parliament?s role in writing a constitution.
Egypt?s fractious liberals are deeply sceptical of the military, but may revert to accepting a further dose of military dictatorship to stave off the Islamist tide, at least for a while. Just possibly, they may also embrace the Brothers as the best guarantee of getting the soldiers back to the barracks.
Whatever the outcome, Egypt looks set to join a broader regional trend that has seen a more pragmatic, tolerant form of Islamism rise to dominate the political scene, by way of the ballot box rather than the gun barrel. As Islamist parties come to the fore, from Iraq to Morocco, it is worth bearing in mind the words of Safwat Abdel-Ghani, the leader of an Egyptian Salafist group that once preached terrorism in the name of jihad, on the death of Osama bin Laden: ?Al-Qaeda has not been destroyed by the ?war on terror? but by popular revolutions that made it unnecessary.?
I'm not sure what I think about the conclusions to these articles...