The religious establishment have largely lost credibility among youth in the Muslim world due to a perceived lack of principles. This stems from two causes:
(1) They don’t stand up to those in power
(2) They allow their interests to prevent them from consistently standing by their principles.
The perception of the religious establishment being at the beck and call of the government, as is the case across the Muslim world, severely affects their legitimacy. It gives the impression, normally correct, that they are or would be unwilling to stand up for truth if that entails biting the hand that feeds them. In a conflict between supporting the government and upholding justice they choose the former, particularly in states where the establishment is completely beholden to the government as in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.