Long road to freedom: Seven reasons why Syrian protesters have so far failed to topple Assad

Physical repression isn't the only reason Syrian protesters have suffered serious setbacks. Middle East expert Bilal Y. Saab of The University of Maryland gives us seven other factors that explain why things might get worse before they get better for the Syrian opposition in its quest to topple Assad.

3. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood could be more of a burden than an asset to the protesters’ fight against the regime. The West still has serious concerns about the Brotherhood and should the Islamist movement attempt to lead the demonstrations, adopt a more public profile, and visibly gain more influence throughout the process, the international community’s interest in and support for the protesters could wane.

Liberal Syrian activists are acutely aware of the challenge posed by the Brotherhood, yet there is very little they can do to contain a movement that has been banned from politics for a very long time and is hungry for mass political participation.

3 of 7