Initially, these new parties splintered into many small groups, failing to provide a united vision for Egypt's future. They feared successful alliances, worrying it would dilute their influence and blur their ideological message. Today, these concerns do not exist -- instead, these groups fear marginalization and political annihilation if they don't unite against Morsi's power grab.
It's not only secular voices that are joining the opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. Many unaffiliated Egyptians who previously voted for Islamist candidates are bitterly disappointed by the performance of the short-lived Parliament, and by Morsi's inability to address the country's real problems in the first five months of his presidency.
What's more, the ranks of the opposition are increasing. Egyptians who had previously seen figures of the old regime as the sole bulwark against the Brotherhood, or Islamist radicalization of society more broadly, are slowly coming to the side of new opposition leaders like liberal Mohamed ElBaradei, Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi, or even former top diplomat Amr Moussa.
The Brotherhood and its politically-subservient Salafi allies, represented by the Nour Party, have strong-armed their rivals and excluded them from political decisionmaking. Nowhere has this been clearer than in the Constituent Assembly, which was tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution. The Brothers and the Salafis set the rules of the game in the assembly, and ensured that they occupy enough seats to make any debate futile. Many opposition members quit in protest.
Opposition parties are quickly learning that the Brotherhood and Salafis' behavior in the Constituent Assembly is not an isolated event, but a defining aspect of how they plan to govern Egypt. With religious rhetoric, military-like obedience from its members, and seemingly unlimited funds, the Brotherhood and Salafis' "Holy Alliance" has marched onward, convinced it has a mandate to impose its agenda and giving little thought to opposing points of view.
With all democratic channels of communication effectively shut down, the only venues left to the opposition are peaceful protests and civil disobedience. This dynamic culminated in the massive protests on Nov. 27 -- it was simply the only way for the opposition to break the political bottleneck and make its voice heard in the new Egypt.
Islamists were always bound to enjoy a political honeymoon after the revolution, but recent events show that initial support is fading. At first, the Brotherhood was ascendant not only because its political message was popular, but because it was able to present itself as the only organized alternative to the old regime -- a legacy of Mubarak's old divide-and-rule tactics. With or without Morsi, the non-Islamist opposition would have united as part of the normal evolution of post-revolution political development. The president's miscalculations merely hastened the process.
The watershed protests in Tahrir Square challenge the conventional wisdom of an Islamist tide washing across the region. Finally, there is late-blooming proof that the promise of the Arab Spring is real: We are not a homogenous entity demanding Islamist rule.
This is nothing less than a wakeup call for Egypt and the world. As the Egyptian opposition increasingly gets organized, the international community must better understand the evolving Egyptian political scene -- and make sure it is on the right side of history. Our revolution is far from over. Indeed, it may just be beginning.