Controversy over Egyptian Regime’s Islamic Bond Scheme
As we have reported previously on SFW, Egypt has been contemplating issuing Islamic bonds, known as sukuk,” to raise money for the country’s bleak fiscal picture.
The Muslim Brotherhood wants to float Islamic bonds, not only for fiscal reasons, but also because they see it as a means of furthering the Islamization of the country.
Not surprisingly, secular liberals in Egypt are opposed to the idea of issuing sukuk and facilitating that Islamization of the nation’s fiscal and economic policy.
But there is also opposition from a surprising quarter: the Salafists also oppose issuing sovereign sukuk because they say that they fear excessive foreign influence in Egypt’s affairs.
We’re not at all certain that this objection is genuine. After all, the wealthy Salafists in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf states are natural allies of the Salafists in Egypt and they would no doubt be the main investors in Egyptian sukuk.
We suspect that the rivalry between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists in Egypt has more to do with the Salafists’ professed opposition to issuing sukuk…