A portrait of Morsi is seen on barbed wire outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo. July 6, 2013.
Khaled Abdullah / Courtesy Reuters

The overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi last week unleashed a torrent of analysis about the country’s opposition and its democratic future. But perhaps more interesting is its Islamist future. If anything, the coup was the latest sign that the Muslim Brotherhood, the fraternal order to which Morsi belongs, has ceded its role as the vanguard of Islamist politics to the ultraconservative Salafis, adherents of a Sunni revivalist movement.

That transition has been going on since at least the early 1980s, when the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world largely ceased revolutionary violence in favor

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.