Economy and the Muslim Brotherhood

July 17, 2012 , , 0 Comments

Egyptian pounds. From Globalvoices English.

The current debate in Western press about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt tends to revolve around issues of credibility and commitment, particularly with reference to the Islamisation of government - will they implement Sharia as a major part of Egyptian legislation? Does their motto, "Islam is the solution" accurately represent their governing strategy? How will women and religious minorities fare under a Brotherhood-led regime?

What does the Muslim Brotherhood deliver to its constituency? Who becomes a member of the Brotherhood? How are they served by the Brotherhood's programs? 

The leadership of the Freedom and Justice Party, the official political party of the Muslim Brotherhood appears to be focusing its efforts on economic reform and infrastructure investment in the Sinai peninsula.

Egypt's economy is in a dire state. The armed forces control between 15 and 40 percent of the economy, and control a variety of vertically integrated enterprises, from food production to heavy manufacturing. Wresting economic control away from the military will not been easy. The Muslim Brotherhood has been calling for quite some time now for Parliamentary oversight of expenditures, but the recent dissolution of Parliament makes this unlikely.

The pledged infrastructural improvement in the Sinai focus on revitalizing the desert region in the Northwest of Egypt, including agricultural and transport development. Morsi pledged approximately $3.3 billion to the project over the next five years. The project is dedicated to the victims of the 1973 war with Israel. Israel evacuated the Sinai peninsula as part of the peace treaty negotiated in 1979 by Begin and Sadat.

It is too early to tell what direction the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party will take. In the coming posts we will further examine the constituency and ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and speculate further about the coming months. 

Toyotas of War

Diwaniyya Contributor