When the Western Atlas Shrugs: The Economic Consequences of the Islamic Brotherhood Ruling Egypt

The majority of Egyptians are on the verge of getting their wish—a theocratic state—but they may rue the day that they did. The following quote comes from Middle East analyst Theodore May, and appeared as part of an opinion piece at CNN’s website:

The Muslim Brotherhood has made efforts to reassure the Egyptian public and the international community that it will embrace capitalism and not use Islam as a pretext for implementing policy that might further derail the economy. The threat to the economy, though, is that a Muslim Brotherhood-led government – because of the widespread mistrust Islamists engender around the world – will inherently deter the international community from engaging Egypt on a business level.

Translation: religious fundamentalism is bad for international business and this is the sound of Egypt’s economy going down: glub, glub, glub.

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For some perspective on Egypt’s tragic direction, here’s a Baha’i ad complaining about appearance vs. reality in Egypt (in terms of basic human rights and intellectual freedom) from four years ago. Egypt is likely to be far worse on such measures a year from now—most especially eliciting bad press for the treatment of its Christian minority (10% of Egypt’s population), and this can’t be good for business.

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And, thanks to the Islamic Brotherhood, Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel is now in grave jeopardy:

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And hard-won feminist progress will be among the biggest losers in the new Egypt. Below is Gamal Abdel Nasser speaking about women’s dress in Egypt at a time when a general return to medievalism seemed ridiculous.

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Navigating the 21st century, Egypt is (sadly) losing its way. The Arab Spring appears headed for a long Islamist winter.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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1 Response to When the Western Atlas Shrugs: The Economic Consequences of the Islamic Brotherhood Ruling Egypt

  1. concerned christian says:

    This is a good summary of the disaster of Islamic/Sharia rule when it is applied. Nasser was the last barrier stopping MB from taking over Egypt. Sadat and Mubarak had a “GENTLEMAN Agreement!” with MB they let them infiltrate all the levels of Military, Police, and Government as long as they leave the presidency to them. I believe that the MB was waiting to take over after Mubarak and when there was a plan to have his son inherit the presidency they did not allow that to happen. The ruling military are working hand-in-hand with the Islamist and they manage to steal the revolution from the Youth. Yesterday’s announcement by El Baradei is just another acknowledgment of the defeat of the liberal factions.

    Where is Egypt heading? here is my 2-cents
    1. MB control 60% of the seats in the parliament and they want to translate that into taking over all branches of Governments, rewriting the constitution, and creating an Islamist-lite system, with plans of becoming more strict as time and conditions allow.
    2. Salafis control 20% of the seats and their plans are out of the dark ages, they avoid answering specific questions about what they want done by simply saying that there will be an appointed bunch of Muslim scholars who will be the interpreter of the laws (a Saudi Arabia/Iran style of theocracy)
    3. The military are trying to give the power to these Islamist if they give them pardon for all the crimes committed by the military against the revolution. In a way this is the ultimate horse trading; give me amnesty and I will give the country.
    4. The only unknown is how much will the young revolutionary forces be able to get organized and take back the country. I hope their fate will not be similar to the fate of Tiananmen square uprising, but we will wait and see.

    Having said that, what lessons should the West learn from this disaster
    1. Beware of the duplicity of Islamist, their goal is a World dominated by Islam, and for them such a noble end justified all means of deception.
    2. The Western leaders including Obama should stop playing with fire and striking deals with the enemies.
    3. Accept the fact that while the West believe that religion should play no role in politics, there are more than a billion of the World population who don’t buy that argument.
    4. While supporting democratic changes in the Muslim world, you should be aware that radical Muslims are using democratic elections as a gift from the devil that should be used only once, then replaced by a theocracy.
    5. By all means try to cut our dependency on that cursed oil.

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