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Corporatism and the Muslim Brotherhood

Hamas (Pales­tin­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood) Sol­diers Saluting

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: For many years, we have cov­ered the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, an Islamic fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion allied with the Axis in World War II and nur­tured by ele­ments of West­ern intel­li­gence dur­ing the Cold War as anti-communist cadre.

They have functioned–and con­tinue to function–as foot sol­diers for the Under­ground Reich. The German/Islamist alliance is old and con­tin­ues to this day.

We have also cov­ered the pro­found rela­tion­ship between the GOP and the Broth­er­hood, man­i­fested in the alliance between the Ikhwan and Grover Norquist and Karl Rove’s Islamic Free Mar­ket Insti­tute. (The lat­ter ele­ments were cen­trally involved in the insti­tu­tions tar­geted in the inves­ti­ga­tion into ter­ror­ist fund­ing under Oper­a­tion Green Quest.)

As the main­stream press and the so-called pro­gres­sive sec­tor were falling all over them­selves hail­ing the “Arab Spring,” we noted that WikiLeaks-assisted covert oper­a­tion was designed to bring “cor­po­ratism” to the Mus­lim World. (Mus­solini called his fas­cist sys­tem “corporatism.”)

In Jan­u­ary 2012, Salon.com pub­lished a very reveal­ing piece that pretty much lays it all out. The only flaw in the arti­cle is its down­play­ing of the endemic vio­lence which char­ac­ter­izes the Brotherhood–Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Pales­tin­ian Islamic Jihad are off­shoots of the Brotherhood.

While perus­ing this, do exam­ine a pre­vi­ous post on theo­cratic free-market cap­i­tal­ism (fea­tur­ing an impor­tant update since first published.)

As the fas­cist regime of Mohamed Morsi sings its swan song, it is worth con­tem­plat­ing the nature of the forces embod­ied in it.

“The GOP Broth­er­hood of Egypt” by Avi Asher-Schapiro; Salon.com; 1/25/2012.

EXCERPT: While West­ern alarmists often depict Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood as a shad­owy orga­ni­za­tion with ter­ror­ist ties, the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­ogy actu­ally has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Party than with al-Qaida. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-market party led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nomic agenda embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, socially con­ser­v­a­tive followers.

The Broth­er­hood, which did not ini­tially sup­port the rev­o­lu­tion that began a year ago, reaped its ben­e­fits, cap­tur­ing nearly half the seats in the new par­lia­ment, which was seated this week, and vault­ing its top lead­ers into posi­tions of power.

Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat Al-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­tory this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nomic agenda.

At Al-Shater’s lux­ury fur­ni­ture out­let Istak­bal, a new couch costs about 6,000 Egypt­ian pounds, about $1,000 in U.S. cur­rency. In a coun­try where 40 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion lives on less than $2 a day, Istakbal’s clien­tele is largely lim­ited to Egypt’s upper classes.

Although the Broth­ers do draw sig­nif­i­cant sup­port from Egypt’s poor and work­ing class, “the Broth­er­hood is a firmly upper-middle-class orga­ni­za­tion in its lead­er­ship,” says Shadi Hamid, a lead­ing Mus­lim Broth­er­hood expert at the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion in Washington.

Not sur­pris­ingly, these well-to-do Egyp­tians are eager to safe­guard their eco­nomic posi­tion in the post-Mubarak Egypt. Despite ris­ing eco­nomic inequal­ity and poverty, the Broth­er­hood does not back rad­i­cal changes in Egypt’s economy.

The FJP’s eco­nomic plat­form is a tame doc­u­ment, rife with promises to root out cor­rup­tion and tweak Egypt’s tax and sub­si­dies sys­tems, with occa­sional allu­sions to an unspe­cific com­mit­ment to “social jus­tice.” The plat­form praises the mech­a­nisms of the free mar­ket and promises that the party will work for “bal­anced, sus­tain­able and com­pre­hen­sive eco­nomic devel­op­ment.” It is a pro­gram that any Euro­pean con­ser­v­a­tive party could get behind. . . .

Discussion

4 comments for “Corporatism and the Muslim Brotherhood”

  1. David Atkins has a great piece explor­ing the con­flict­ing prin­ci­ples at work when a mil­i­tary over­throws an elected gov­ern­ment that appears intent on impos­ing a theoc­racy (or some other form of total­i­tar­i­an­ism). There’s also a clip of Chris Hayes’s All In from last night’s episode that starts off with an inter­view of one of the Egypt­ian pro­test­ers explain­ing what prompted protests on this scale. It’s worth watch­ing for some of the con­text around what the pro­test­ers are look­ing for in future governments.

    And here’s a reminder from back in March of the kind of per­ma­nent direc­tion insti­tu­tional for­mal Islamist rule that Morsi and his allies were try­ing to take the coun­try dur­ing the bat­tle over Egypt’s new con­sti­tu­tion last year. The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood made it clear over the last year that is wasn’t inter­ested in build­ing a real demo­c­ra­tic soci­ety. It wanted a future that would look a lot like this on a bad day for the MB:

    Egypt’s Islamic author­ity asserts role, clashes with Brotherhood

    By Tom Perry

    CAIRO | Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:31pm GMT

    (Reuters) — Egypt’s lead­ing Islamic author­ity Al-Azhar said on Thurs­day its cler­ics must be con­sulted on a law allow­ing the state to issue Islamic bonds, set­ting it at odds with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood which drove the leg­is­la­tion through par­lia­ment last week.

    It marks the first time Al-Azhar, a thousand-year-old seat of Islamic learn­ing, has said its Senior Schol­ars Author­ity should be con­sulted on issues per­tain­ing to Islamic law as set out in Egypt’s new, Islamist-tinged constitution.

    Al-Azhar’s inter­ven­tion could set a prece­dent for cler­i­cal over­sight of other affairs of state. The Salafi Nour Party has said Al-Azhar must also approve an agree­ment Egypt is seek­ing with the Inter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund because it includes a loan upon which Egypt will pay inter­est.

    The Islamic bond, or sukuk law, will allow Egypt to issue debt com­pli­ant with Islamic prin­ci­ples, allow­ing the state to tap a new area of finance as Pres­i­dent Mohamed Mursi’s admin­is­tra­tion grap­ples with an unaf­ford­able bud­get deficit.

    The sukuk law has been a source of fric­tion between the Broth­er­hood, whose Free­dom and Jus­tice Party leads the upper house of par­lia­ment, and more hard­line Islamists who say it should first have been approved by Al-Azhar.

    At a meet­ing on Thurs­day, Al-Azhar’s Islamic Research Insti­tute chaired by Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb said it shared the view that the law should have been referred to the Senior Schol­ars Author­ity, in line with the new con­sti­tu­tion.

    “The Insti­tute is of the opin­ion that the draft should have been referred to the Senior Schol­ars Author­ity for dis­cus­sion and so it could give its legal opin­ion, in line with its duty,” it said in a statement.

    It crit­i­cised the law approved by par­lia­ment last week, say­ing it empow­ered the prime min­is­ter to form the body entrusted with issu­ing the Islamic bonds. It said this “dis­re­garded the Senior Schol­ars Author­ity of the noble Azhar”.

    ...

    Al-Azhar’s role in affairs of state is embed­ded in arti­cle four of the new con­sti­tu­tion. It says the Senior Schol­ars Author­ity must be con­sulted on all mat­ters per­tain­ing to sharia.

    It does not, how­ever, say whether Al-Azhar’s view is bind­ing on the gov­ern­ment, nor does it make clear the scope of Al-Azhar’s role — ambi­gu­ity which crit­ics say will cause future polit­i­cal and legal conflict.

    It’s pretty obvi­ous that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood was plan­ning are far greater changes and more per­ma­nent changes to Egypt’s soci­ety. So while the mil­i­tary coup puts cre­ates a num­ber of very real dilem­mas, it’s impor­tant to keep in mind the last year of extreme Mus­lim Broth­er­hood antics that cre­ated this awful sit­u­a­tion where a coup is even con­sid­ered. And maybe that will be their biggest weapon against the future: being so bad at democ­racy that they made a coup seem like a good idea. “Coups for free­dom!” isn’t a healthy meme but it’s the per­fect farewell for the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s first awful year of rule.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 3, 2013, 7:59 pm
  2. http://m.gulfnews.com/news/uae/connecting-the-dots-1.1204733

    Trial revealed com­pli­cated net­work of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood finances
    Gulf News Report
    July 2, 2013

    Dubai: Lit­tle was known in this coun­try about what has tran­spired as an amaz­ing web of links and col­lab­o­ra­tion between the inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tion of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and affil­i­ated groups in the UAE and other Arab states.

    But the trial of 94 Emi­ratis, which con­cluded yes­ter­day with con­vic­tion of 69 defen­dants of being mem­bers of a clan­des­tine group that plot­ted to under­mine secu­rity and seize power, revealed a vast polit­i­cal, ide­o­log­i­cal and finan­cial net­work led by the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood main front, the Europe Trust, led by senior Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader Ahmed Al Rawi.

    Accord­ing to doc­u­ments obtained by Gulf News yes­ter­day, inves­ti­ga­tors have con­cluded that “ the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood has a global foot­print, with the UK and Ire­land serv­ing as impor­tant hubs for inter­na­tional Mus­lim Broth­er­hood lead­er­ship activity.”

    They also said that “mem­bers of the UAE branch of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, Al Islah [whose mem­bers have been among those con­victed in Abu Dhabi yes­ter­day] are active in Mus­lim Broth­er­hood net­works in the UK and Ireland.”

    “Enti­ties affil­i­ated with Al Eslah in the UAE and the UK have been tied to global ter­ror­ist sup­port activ­ity, as iden­ti­fied pub­licly by U.S and other coun­tert­er­ror­ism author­i­ties,” one doc­u­ment said.

    The doc­u­ments also explain a long his­tory of shad­owy activ­i­ties and links led by exiled Mus­lim Broth­er­hood lead­ers who had escaped their home­lands and found safe havens in the UK and Europe to lead and prop­a­gate the Brotherhood’s cross-border activities.

    In the Gulf, offi­cials have always warned of the Broth­er­hood threat as the group doesn’t rec­og­nize mod­ern state sov­er­eignty and pre­vail­ing laws.

    At a press con­fer­ence with his Ukrain­ian coun­ter­part, Kostyan­tyn Gryshchenko, in Abu Dhabi on Octo­ber 12, 2012, UAE For­eign Min­is­ter Shaikh Abdul­lah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan denounced the Broth­er­hood as “an organ­i­sa­tion which encroaches upon sov­er­eignty and integrity of nations”.

    “The Mus­lim Brotherhood’s think­ing does not recog­nise bor­ders or sov­er­eignty of nations. So, it is not unusual that the inter­na­tional Broth­er­hood organ­i­sa­tion works to make inroads upon sov­er­eignty and laws of coun­tries,” he added.

    The court doc­u­ments show how money was chan­neled from dif­fer­ent char­i­ties in the UAE, run by some of the Islah mem­bers, to the Europe Trust though a com­pli­cated web of inter­me­di­ate com­pa­nies and institutions.

    Posted by Vanfield | July 15, 2013, 3:07 pm
  3. The Googliza­tion of the Far Right: Why is Google Fund­ing Grover Norquist, Her­itage Action and ALEC?

    http://www.prwatch.org/news/2013/11/12319/google-funding-grover-norquist-heritage-action-alec-and-more

    I’m not sure where to put this. I really just wanted you to see the arti­cle. Feel free to delete.

    Posted by Jim | December 4, 2013, 10:43 am
  4. @Jim: Maybe if Google cud­dles up to enough cor­po­ratists they’ll finally get that Island Larry Page has been pin­ing for recently where laws that get in the way of inno­va­tion won’t have to be obeyed. Some­day Larry...some­day...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 5, 2013, 2:54 pm

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