Reuters has published an articled titled “Islamist businessmen challenge Egypt’s old money’ that looks at the emerging convergence of politics and business under Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt. The article begins:
October 17, 2012 CAIRO (Reuters) – A business association founded by a financier for Egypt’s new Islamist rulers says it can democratize an economy long dominated by associates of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, but skeptics fear the emergence of just another clique. The Muslim Brotherhood dominates post-Mubarak politics. It has less traction in an economy long dominated by an inner circle of businessmen around Mubarak’s now jailed son Gamal. That dismays liberals who saw in Mubarak’s overthrow last year an opportunity for a more meritocratic economy. Hassan Malek, a tycoon and Brotherhood member, insists his goal has been promoting equal opportunity since he founded the Egyptian Business Development Association in March, three months before the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi won Egypt’s presidency. He has modeled EBDA, whose acronym means “start” in Arabic, on Turkey’s MUSIAD, an association of religiously oriented small businesses which share information and contracts to challenge the traditional dominance of larger groups. “We welcome everyone who wants to work with us,” said Malek, who has a family background in business and made his money in software, textiles and furniture. “Unequal distribution of opportunity is what we seek to change in the new Egypt.” Businesses, many of them smaller enterprises struggling in an anemic economy, have rushed to join EBDA, which now has over 400 members. It says 1,000 companies are waiting to join. Some members represent leading businesses such as cable maker El Sewedy Electric, food producer Juhayna and Egyptian Steel. These flourished during Mubarak’s three-decade rule but were not caught up in the corruption lawsuits that emerged after his overthrow in February 2011.
Read the rest here.
A post from February reported on the inception of the EBDA.
The Müstakil Sanayici ve ??adamlar? Derne?i (MÜS?AD) was founded in 1990 by religiously-devout entrepreneurs with ties to Prime Minister Ozal or to the Islamist Necmettin Erbakan and as an alternative to TUSIAD, the organization representing the secular middle class. MÜS?AD fused a pro-business philosophy with an Islamic critique of capitalism, seeking to replace it with a system based on Islam. MÜS?AD issupported by Prime Minister Erdogan, is pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel, and has a stron grelationship with the Middle East through its Foreign Relations division, at one time headed by Gazi Misirli, a Turk of Syrian origin who joined MÜS?AD in 1998. Misirlicame to Turkey in either 1983 or 1987 and studied engineering at Istanbul University. He is a trustee of the Europe Trust, an arm of the Federation of Islamic Organizationsin Europe (FIOE), which has amassed a real-estate portfolio and uses part of the income to fund FIOE projects. All of the trustees, including Ibrahim El-Zayat, are leaders inthe European Muslim Brotherhood. Misirli appears to have close ties to Prime Minister Erdogan.