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4.1 | 2013
Religion and development
Religion et développement
Religion: Alternatives to Technocratic and Neoliberal Development?

‘Arab Spring’: The Influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and Their Vision of Islamic Finance and State (abstract)

This article is a translation of:
« Printemps arabe » : le poids des Frères musulmans – leur vision de l’Etat et de la finance islamiques
Other translation(s):
"الربيع العربي": ثقل الإخوان المسلمين –رؤيتهم للدولة والمالية الإسلامية
Zidane Meriboute
p. 128-143


This chapter analyses the Muslim Brotherhood movement (Ikhwan al-muslimin) in its various guises. Born in the interwar period, this global, proselytising Islamic movement underwent a veritable resurgence, even a resurrection, in Muslim countries from the 1980s onwards. Founded in 1928 by the Egyptian Hassan al-Banna (1906–1949), the recent ‘Arab Spring’ phenomenon has given it fresh momentum. Significantly, the Muslim Brotherhood movement has taken the reins of Egypt, the most populous state in the Arab world. Wherever this movement gains a foothold, it creates its own labour unions, associations of students, doctors and workers, Islamic banking institutions, and so forth. More specifically, the chapter examines the nature of the Islamic state and the key characteristics of the politico-religious doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood and its various offshoot Islamist parties, both in the Maghreb and elsewhere. The author sheds light on the Muslim Brotherhood’s economic, social and financial vision through an examination of the various techniques they employ with respect to Islamic finance. While the Muslim financial model is driven by considerations of social justice (‘adala ijtima’iya) and the rejection of usury (riba), it is nevertheless argued that its emphasis on profit maximisation renders this model’s vision essentially capitalist. The chapter thus calls for a refocusing and adaptation of the approach of Islamic banks in order to make their financing accessible for small projects undertaken by the disenfranchised.

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Editor's notes

Paperback reference : Meriboute, Z. (2013) "‘Arab Spring’: The Influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and Their Vision of Islamic Finance and State", in International Development Policy: Religion and Development, No.4, Geneva: Graduate Institute Publications, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 128-143.


Electronic reference

Zidane Meriboute, « ‘Arab Spring’: The Influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and Their Vision of Islamic Finance and State (abstract) », International Development Policy | Revue internationale de politique de développement [Online], 4.1 |  2013, Online since 14 February 2013, connection on 22 August 2017. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/poldev.1431

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About the author

Zidane Meriboute

Research Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy. He was an emissary of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Tehran and Baghdad (1990–91) and head of the ICRC Permanent Mission to the Organisation of African Unity in Addis Ababa from 1997 to 1999. Currently, he is a Senior Consultant within the ICRC unit mandated with managing contact with religious leaders in the field.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

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