This report examines the public speeches and behaviors of four known activists/scholars in the French Islamist field who have discussed different aspects of capitalism:
- Tariq Ramadan: a Swiss intellectual and grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who is a key figure in French Islam and has influenced to a significant degree the French Islamist field in terms of thought and mobilizations, from the beginning of the 1990s to the present day.
- Yamin Makri: head of the Union Française des Consommateurs Musulmans (UFCM [French Union of Muslim Consumers]) and one of Ramadan’s most faithful lieutenants. He is also one of the founders of faith-based publisher Tawhid and was the linchpin of Lyon’s Union des Jeunes Musulmans (UJM [Union of Young Muslims]), which he founded in 1987.
- Nabil Ennasri: president of the Collectif des Musulmans de France (CMF [Collective of French Muslims]) and currently a director and lecturer in Islamic sciences at the Shatibi Center in the Paris region.
- Abdelaziz Chaambi: founder, president, and facilitator of the Coordination contre le Racisme et l’Islamophobie (CRI [Coordination against Racism and Islamophobia]) since 2008. He was also one of the principal architects of the UJM alongside Makri.
These Islamists criticize capitalism from different points of view. These criticisms are both religious and political. They come from actors who have at least one thing in common: the idea that Islam is a universal religion, capable of offering alternatives to liberal capitalism. But there is no unique “brotherly” answer to capitalism, only criticisms of its practical, moral, and/or social effects or consequences.
This report puts forward a theory and two complementary hypotheses.