Monday, January 31, 2011

Challenges facing the Islamic Movement in Egypt

If the Mubarak regime collapses, the group thag will be in charge of Egypt will have a big challenge The country's public debt is USD172.8 billion (80% of GDP). Foreign debt is more than USD30 billion. The price of bread and other food is currently heavily subsidised and most of the subsidies is financed through foreign aid given by the US government (BTW, Egypt is reportedly the second largest receipient of foreign aid from the US, the largest being Israel). If the future Egyptian government is not going to borrow money from Riba sources and the US government refuses to give any more aid, then most likely the subsidies cannot continue. Therefore price of food will rise drastically and most likely the people will get angry again. If the government is lead by the Islamic movement i.e the Muslim Brotherhood, the ensuing difficulties may not necessarily cause discontent and anger among its members. This because the prerequisite training (or Tarbiyah) which all Brotherhood members have to undergo would have prepared them to face any eventualities. After all, some members of the Muslim Brotherhood have spent years in Egyptian prisons and those types of hardhips are much worse than hardships associated with rise in food prices and unemployment. But what about the rest of the Egyptian society? Are they going to quietly accept the pain and sufferings that may come when food prices go up? Or are they going to get angry at the government and say that Muslim brotherhood leaders are not capable of running the economy? Will they then say that Islam is only good on paper but not so in reality? Will that force the future government to temporarily seek loans from Riba institutions or aid from the US government? What will be the reaction of Muslims when they see the Muslim Brotherhood government borrowing money from Riba sources?
The Muslim Brotherhood must NOT be seen to be too eager to be in power. It must clarify to the Egyptian people that the current economic problems faced by the country is largely due to the country's adoption of riba-based economic and financial systems and that as long as the systems are in place there is no quick solution to the problem. Therefore, the main task facing the country is to free itself from the systems. However this process cannot be achieved overnight. So the people must be patient and must work together with the government to dismantle the non-functional and destructive Riba-based systems.

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