Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in Disarray

Egypt's nonviolent Islamists are in disarray. That's not entirely their fault: in advance of parliamentary elections slated for Nov. 28, President Hosni Mubarak's government has detained nearly 600 Muslim Brotherhood members and threatened many others.

But the movement also faces a more fundamental challenge. A senior official in the group says it's split down the middle on whether to boycott the vote, and analysts say an internal debate over the group's effectiveness in Parliament has broadened into questions of whether to keep participating in national politics at all. One sign of dissent: a quarter of Brotherhood parliamentarians are not running for reelection. Some of the group's supporters have even started to question its ability to deliver services, which has always been its greatest strength. The movement's leaders blame Mubarak's government for boxing them out. And with Cairo's refusal to al-low international election observers, the Islamists would likely be faltering even if they had their house in order.