Is the Middle East Moving Toward Islamism After the Arab Spring? The Case Study of the Egyptian Commercial and Financial Laws

By: Radwa S. Elsamen and Ahmed Eldakak


The first parliamentary elections that followed the Egyptian Revolution witnessed an unprecedented success for Islamists as they secured an overwhelming majority of seats in parliament, suggesting that they may intend to amend many laws to bring parliament into compliance with Islamic Shari’a. This article addresses legal challenges that will face the new majority if they decide to Islamize laws and regulations related to business and finance. Particularly, the article discusses Islamic money theory, trade, banking systems, consumer protection, insurance, competition, and tax systems. The article analyzes Egyptian business and finance laws to examine whether they comply with Islamic law. It then proceeds to explain the alternative Islamic principles that may replace several current rules. The article concludes that while some changes are foreseeable, there can be no expectation of radical change in the near future. Although the authors come to this conclusion, they analyze the legal issues without judging, supporting, or opposing the imposition of Islamic law.


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