The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

The Ikhwan and the money

Right now, the Brotherhood has other problems, with continuous arrests taking place and PM Nazif thinking that they should not be in parliament in first place.

But a while ago, I thought it was time to document what the Brotherhood thinks about how to regulate the Egyptian economy. After all, with 88 seats in the People's assembly, they are the second strongest political force in the country and possibly the most popular one. After their surprisingly strong showing in the parliamentary elections, I also heard a number of people in the Egyptian business community already voicing concerns, with corporate HQs abroad calling their Egyptian operations to find out whether their business would still be safe.

I rather thought it might be time to look for alternatives to an economic policies of the NDP, which as a whole, despite some decent reform measures of the economic reform ministers, is still catering to certain interest groups, combined with a state bureaucracy that all too often shelves good initiatives coming out of the cabinet.

Below is an excerpt of my piece on the Brotherhood's economic policies, the full text can be read here.
As far back as the 1980s, years before the Egyptian government actually implemented a programme of privatisation that was forced on them by the international community, the Muslim Brotherhood demanded a less marked public sector and more support for small companies. The organisation champions the free market economy.

As a result of their moral standpoint, two points in particular are at the heart of their economic theories. It must be said that these two points are indeed the key weaknesses of the Egyptian economy: high unemployment and corruption. According to the OECD, unemployment in Egypt currently stands at over 17 per cent.