Two days ago, we reported that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt had declared the Egyptian stock market to be Shariah-compliant.

Today we are greeted with the news that the Muslim Brotherhood backs free markets. HA!

“We have sought to reassure people that a free market in Egypt is the only way forward,” said Mahmoud Ghozlan, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood.

There are a couple of problems with Ghozlan’s statement.

1. Shariah-compliance mandates a system of economics which is characterized by centralized control and authority. It is the OPPOSITE of free enterprise. There is no predominantly Islamic nation in the world today that doesn’t have centralized control of its economy.

2. Ghozlan almost immediately followed up his statement with one that completely contradicts his claim of commitment to free markets:

“They ask me ‘will Egypt continue as a free market or will the country return to the socialist ways of the ’60s and ’70s?’,” he said. “My answer to them is that I am sure Egypt’s economy will remain a free market. The Islamists see the stock exchange as fully halal. But some privatisation policies may change. For example, instead of selling to one investor, the government would arrange the sale on the stock exchange as a means to spread the wealth to the Egyptian people.”

Exactly how is that free market capitalism?

Shariah-compliant finance is NOT capitalism.


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