Current Events

Egyptian Jeans under the Patronage of the Muslim Brotherhood

From Ahram Online, discussing Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) with Israel:

On 9 December, 2004, a report that was published on the Muslim Brotherhood’s website Ikhwan Online titled: “Muslim Brotherhood MPs: QIZ threatens Egypt’s security”, said the Brotherhood parliament bloc warned against the risks of the QIZ agreement that was then due to be signed within days.

The site reported that according to MP questionings and interpellations, “the agreement is a serious threat to national security because it is the first economic and industrial agreement with the Zionist enemy.”

At the time, Brotherhood parliamentarian Hamdi Hassan, said in an interpellation, that the agreement “achieved all that the enemy has sought for decades: controlling the region economically through interfering in the Egyptian economy after it controlled it politically in the wake of the Camp David agreement.”Hassan concluded by saying “you cannot make peace, promises or QIZ with Zionists”.

Earlier the article gives the detail:

On 9 September 2012, in an interview with economic news agency Bloomberg, Qandil [Egyptian prime minister, appointed by Morsi] said that Egypt will meet its commitment to the agreement which opens up the US market for Egyptian products if they have a 10.5 per cent Israeli component of added value (which Morsi’s Egypt wants to reduce to eight per cent).

Qandil also said that “a lot of people  are making good business out of that:  we want to make sure we do the right thing for them to flourish.”

Earlier Ahram Online reported the program was not only continuing, but expanding to new governorates. The current articles provides many figures to describe the economic impact is limited.

I have no idea if these Qualified Industrial Zones are a good idea or not. If one desires normalization with Israel, which it seems most Egyptians do not, the idea of integrating business opportunities seems like a good way to begin.

But with this current expansion, was previous MB opposition principled or rabble-rousing? Is their current support principled or kowtowing to US demands? Politics, politics, with religion added to stir the pot.

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