Last night, the Egyptian military arrested the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, on charges of inciting to riot. The military has been rounding up the top leaders in the hopes that the entire structure crumbles and the Muslim Brotherhood will cease to exist as a political force.
The tactic appears to be working, because the large crowds of the past few weeks are quickly dwindling. The large tent camps are for the most part deserted and the Morsi supporters have become discouraged. And at the same time, the military has been vigorously enforcing the curfew.
Khalil Anani, an expert on Islamic movements, believes that in the short run, the Muslim Brotherhood has been dealt a severe blow, but doesn't know if the temporary advantage will last. The Muslim Brotherhood was formed in 1928 and for the past 60 years, the Egyptian military has done it's best to hold them in check. But the Brotherhood has remained resilient and even though there were some lean times, they have managed to survive.
The army has persued a program whereby they paint the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists. This is to marginalize them. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the lead general of the army has taken a much harder stance than his predecessors. He is riding high and has the support of the vast majority of the people who soured on the Muslim Brotherhood quickly after deposed President Morsi, tried usurp dictatorial powers, and became disenchanted with the mishandling of the economy and the harsh regulations meted out by the Brotherhood.
Some think, like Anani does that the Brotherhood could turn violent and begin attacking the military. Brotherhood spokesman, Nidal Sakr, surmised that there are 1 million Islamists in Egypt and 1 out of 10 have a gun. He points out that is 100,000 guns to fight with. That number could diminish quickly if they decide to have head on battles with the Egyptian army, that is made up of many battle hardened veterans.