COMMENT: Although the Egyptian political scene remains in flux, with the elections being delayed (as requested by many secular interests involved in the overthrow of Mubarak), the Muslim Brotherhood is advancing its corporatist agenda. Recall that the Brotherhood’s economic theoretician–the 14th century thinker Ibn Khaldun–is regarded by the World Bank as the first advocate of privatization.
In the For The Record series about WikiLeaks and the Piggy-Back Coups (the “Arab Spring”), the hypothesis was advanced that, when the pinballs stopped bouncing around in the Middle East, the Brotherhood would emerge triumphant in the long run. (It may be that their ascent will take place after the failure of a secular democracy, impaled on the rocks of runaway food prices and global economic turmoil.)
So far, the Egyptian Brotherhood is right on cue.
EXCERPT: Only a few months ago, Khairat El– shater was languishing in an Egyptian prison, put there by the Hosni Mubarak regime. Many of his businesses were shuttered.
Now the deputy general guide, or No. 2 leader, of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s dominant political-Islamic group, El-shater shuttles between meetings at one of his once-closed offices in a grimy building in Cairo’s Nasr City district. His visitors include bankers and investors from the U.S. to Australia, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its July 11 edition.
“They all have many questions about one issue: What impact will the Muslim Brotherhood have on the investment climate?” said El-shater, 61.
Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Brotherhood has helped spawn Islamic groups across the globe, including the militant Palestinian movement Hamas. The Brotherhood’s founder, Hassan al-Banna, preached the adoption of Islamic law as the way to lift the yoke of Western domination. Because of its popular appeal and occasionally violent tactics, the group came into conflict with secular Arab states such as Syria and Egypt, where the Brothers were persecuted intermittently from the 1950s until this year’s regional uprisings known as the Arab Spring. The Egyptian Brotherhood has long since disavowed violence.
Analysts say the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party may well emerge as a power in the Egyptian Parliament once elections are held. The party said it won’t field a presidential candidate or seek more than half of Parliament’s seats. . . .