A year into forming Egypt's first democratically elected governament, Islamists had lost power and much of their legitimacy after failing to carry out an inclusive civic agenda. Together with ad hoc mistakes and miscalculations, their short term in office was characterized by a vulnerability that repeatedly derailed attempts at governing according to international standards and securing human rights such as minority rights, freedom of religion and freedom of speech and expression. 1 This vulnerability had much to do with their agendas and with the pressures exerted on Islamist representatives in office by opponents and allies within the pious camp and by the Egyptian 'deep state'. It also had much to do with how human rights are configured in a postcolonial setting. In this chapter, I suggest that despite the fact that they are typically couched against one another, human rights and key horizons and sensibilities of contemporary Islamism should not be viewed as incompatible spheres, but rather as homologues, and as significant others. It is their commensurability, not radical alterity - the fact that they share common perspectives and histories - that accounts for the great friction they periodically produce.