Yet the group's decision-making remains opaque, and its most influential members still adhere to a belief that the deep state is in league with their political opponents to ruin them. This sense of paranoia set the scene for last week's sweeping power grab, and it could mean further confrontation as steamrolled opposition groups feel pushed out of the business of deciding Egypt's future.
"The same people who are now having press conferences are the primary elements of the past regime whining about what President Morsy has been doing," said Gehad al-Haddad, a top FJP advisor.
Instead of seeking a compromise, the Brotherhood is pressing forward on issues guaranteed to provoke further conflict. The constituent assembly, which is dominated by the Brotherhood and more fundamentalist Salafi politicians, finished voting on the new constitution on Friday, and the document will probably go to popular referendum in less than a month. It is being decided after more than 20 delegates walked out in protest over what they described as the Brotherhood's unwillingness to negotiate. Those walkouts could have doomed the assembly to dissolution by the courts had Morsy not immunized it.
In the Brotherhood's view, the walk-out delegates -- among them every Christian representative -- are political opportunists practicing a public "charade," according to Haddad, after negotiating the articles they wanted. The Brotherhood believes that the opposition has become alarmed at the prospect that Islamists will earn historic credit for drafting post-revolution Egypt's founding document. (According to prominent liberals and figures like Human Rights Watch's Heba Morayef, however, the document was rushed to completion and retains gaping holes on human rights.)
"They are scared [Morsy's] success will repeat the Turkish experience," said Murad Aly, the FJP's communications director. "When Islamists will succeed and achieve something for the Egyptian people in economy, in prosperity, in social justice and things like that, it will end with an Islamist party for 10 years or 15 years in office."
Throughout the process of drafting the constitution, the Brotherhood described itself as a beleaguered middleman in the debate, saddled with the task of negotiating consensus between irreconcilable poles that include Salafis seeking a literal interpretation of Islamic law and revolutionary socialists pressing for liberalization of women's rights. They viewed the walkouts as a cynical betrayal after months of hard compromises, pointing to their success in fending off Salafi efforts to rewrite in far stricter terms the decades-old article stating that the principles of Islamic law are the basis of legislation.
The Brotherhood could have tried talking the disgruntled delegates back into the fold. But it seems to be in no mood to compromise: Its top officials do not think the opposition was acting in good faith and, more importantly, they believe the movement has been granted several large popular mandates, dating back to a first stunning parliamentary showing in 2005, during a brief lacuna in Mubarak-era repression.