War on Guns

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Why Obama Is Wrong on Morsi

Obama, as well as main-stream journalists, academics, politicians and diplomats argue that the contemporary Muslim Brotherhood is no longer attached to the vision of the Caliphate. They say the Brotherhood is being transformed by the experience of democracy and of actual governance. It will internalize the culture of democracy, they assure us…

Nonsense!

Every Brotherhood leader is reaffirming the Brotherhood’s mission, which is the islamize everything — from the individual, the family, to the society, the government and even the whole world.


Brotherhood supreme guide Mohammed Badie

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The Muslim Brotherhood is close to achieving the “ultimate goal” set by the group’s founder Hassan al-Banna in 1928, which is the establishment of a “just and reasonable regime.”

The project begins with the creation of a sound government and ends with the establishment of a just Islamic caliphate, said Mohamed Badie, the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt on Thursday, in his weekly message on the group’s official website.

Omar Halawa Thu, 29/12/2011

The Brotherhood is not becoming “moderate.” Sure, the Brothers established a political party — the Freedom and Justice Party — and took part of an electoral process. But that’s only part of dawah — conquest by means of “good” work. That innovation is entirely secondary now that the Brotherhood has taken control of Egypt, that it is infiltrating the state apparatus, the police and the army with its own men. The Brotherhood is now discarding “democracy” and “reform” in order to implement the unity of obedience to its leadership. It was only using “democracy” to achieve totalitarian control of Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood has been guided from its very beginning by the goal of a Caliphate that seeks unity in obedience to its Supreme Guide.

The Muslim Brothers will do in Egypt exactly what the “Muslim Devotees” did in Iran: establish an islamic Republic.


The regime of the ayatollahs in Iran grew out of a secret society called the Devotees of Islam (فدائیان اسلام), a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate whose founder and leader in the 1950s, Sayyid Navab Safavi, was a close associate of Ruhollah Mostafavi Musavi Khomeini.

Khomeini, Navab Safavi and the flag of the Devotees, فدائیان اسلام

That goal of totalitarian control by way of the Caliphate was expressed by the Brotherhood’s founder, Hassan al Banna, in a famous formula:

The genius of al-Banna has been his method, how carefully he organized the secret Society of the Muslim Brothers into various sub-groups, and the discipline exercised by the Supreme Guide and its Bureau of Guidance.

Gamal al-Banna, the younger brother of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder

Its disciplined, hierarchical organization enabled the Brotherhood to pursue the Caliphate productively through many years (since 1928), including extended periods when it was subject to oppression.

See Leadership and Allegiance in the Society of the Muslim Brothers by Lella Landau-Tasseron for more details on the secret organization of the Brotherhood

The mission of the Caliphate and the hierarchical organization of the Brotherhood were derived from the “prophet” muhammad, his companions and a few subsequent caliphs. Following this model, al-Banna had his organization adhered to the guidance of Umar, the second caliph, who had said “there is no islam without a Society of Brothers, no Society without an Imam, and no Imam without complete obedience.”

Umar went on to become the organizer of the greatest of the early islamic conquests, and of a Caliphate that had endured for a 1000 years…

Al-Banna followed that model when he crafted the Muslim Brotherhood. So Egypt will turn out exactly like Iran.

I really wonder if Obama is a useful idiot or a “brother.”

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There Is No Such Thing as Coercion

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Is Huma Abedin Working for the Coming Caliphate?

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The basic condition for Sharia is an islamic state, or Caliphate. This condition is mostly absent in the West, and is even lacking throughout the wider Muslim world, except in places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, provinces of Afghanistan and Pakistan. A Caliphate has not ruled in the Muslim world since at least the demise of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924.

The project of the Muslim Brotherhood is to reinstate a Caliphate.

Al-Qaradawi: The President of the Global Muslim Brotherhood

Al-Qaradawi is the undisputed leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, the movement’s uber-authority. Based in Qatar, his ultimate, avowed goal is to have the islamic law (Sharia) enforced world-wide. Al-Qaradawi is fully committed to “the spread of Islam until it conquers the entire world.”

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“The Muslim Brotherhood is a global movement whose members cooperate with each other throughout the world, based on the same worldview — the spread of islam, until it rules the world.”
— Mohammed Akef, Former Supreme Guide, International Muslim Brotherhood

Within the West, there are two separate and conflicting strains of islam: that of the Salafists, and that of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Salafists adhere to a political theology that views muslims in the West as migrants in enemy territory, a realm they speak of as Dar al-Kufr (House of the Heathen) or Dar Al-Harb (House of War) — as opposed to Dar al-Islam. Some Western-based Salafist groups openly espouse violent jihad to actualize the Caliphate, whereas others, such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, concentrate on non-violent activities, believing that violent jihad should be postponed until the day when their demographic numbers will be sufficient enough for a full-spectrum offensive against the infidels.

House of Saud

The religion [of Islam] was destined to rule both races of the globe, mankind and demons.
— King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al Saud

In contrast to the Salafists, there is indeed a doctrine — known as Wasatiya — that emphasizes the use of ijtihâd, or discernment, in Sharia matters — independent of what is literally prescribed in islamic scripture. This doctrine, first formulated by al-Alalwani, does not differentiate between Dar al-Kufr and Dar al-Islam.

Alalwani and the Muslim Brotherhood

Taha Jabir al-Alalwani, the founder and former chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America, is among the most influential muslim preachers in the United States.
FCNA -- logo
“Commitment to the Koranic concept of Geography: The land belongs to Allah, his religion is Islam, and every country is already in the House of Islam — now in the present time — since they will be in the House of Islam by force in the near future. The whole of humanity is a Muslim Nation (Ummah): it is either ‘the religion of the nation’ which has embraced this religion [Islam], or a ‘proselyte nation’ which we are obliged to conquer.”
— Alalwani, The Jurisprudence of Muslim Minority Affairs. No. 7, quoted here

Alalwani is the precursor of Muslim Minority Affairs, thought of as a doctrine for muslims confined to circumstances where sharia can’t be implemented. The use of this doctrine requires an understanding of social sciences, he said, especially sociology, demographics, economics, political science and international relations — since the fundamental predicate of this doctrine is that the whole earth is a muslim land, and the whole of humanity a muslim nation.

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That doctrine produces a muslim jurisprudence that is allowing its muslim adherents to adopt a pragmatic approach to the task of spreading islam in the Western world. It is revaluating the islamic perception of the West as a Land of War, to conceive it rather as a realm for islamic proselytizing, for dawah.

ultimate goal: sharia everywhere

In islamic states, there is hardly any debate on the application of the hudud punishments prescribed in Sharia — including stoning for adulterers and apostates, and for thieves, the amputation of the guilty hand — since those punishments are explicitly sanctioned in the Koran and the Sunna.

But if all muslim scholars agree that the hudud punishments are commanded by islamic scripture and cannot be abandonned, Alalwani has concluded that the hudud penalties are only to be applied in the context of an islamic state. The enforcement of these punishments is a duty upon muslim leaders, he says, not upon individuals. No muslim individual is allowed to carry out the hudud punishment without the permission of the local muslim leader. But where there is no such a muslim leader in command, the enforcement of hudud punishments has to be postponed and upheld.

Those Sharia punishments are not to be abandoned, rejected or cancelled, — only to be postponed or upheld due to special circumstances, such as muslims living as minorities in non-islamic states. The doctrine of Wasatiya calls for the suspension of practices or for establishing exemptions with regard to a literal application of Sharia in the West.

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Known in Arabic as fiqh alaqaliyyat, the muslim minorities’ jurisprudence was developped among fuqahā (scholars of Sharia and its jurisprudence). Its oldest precedent was set by the second caliph, Umar ibn Al-Khattāb, who suspended the application of the hadud penalty for thievery in a time of famine, while a state of emergency was declared.

The use of ijtihâd in minority jurisprudence can allow muslims to postpone the application of the hudud punishments, — in order to focus instead on enforcing hudud through dawah.

Salafists rail against what they perceive to be Wasatiya’s “compromise” with the West, asserting the use of ijtihâd takes too many liberties in the application of Sharia, and erodes the unity and authenticity of the Muslim Nation. Qaradawi, the leading clering on Wasatiya along with Alalwani, has personally drawn the ire of Salafists worldwide, including Zarqawi and Zarawihi, the leader of al-Qaeda.

The Wasatiya movement is rooted in the thought of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and his teachings on the “wholesomeness of Islam,” which hold that Sharia must dominate every realm of human activity and thought.

As part of their dawah effort, Qaradawi and others Wasatiya-Sharia scholars, have built-up (often with the money of Saudi financial-backers) a vast network of institutions in the West: think tanks, media outfits, educational centers, and Sharia councils.

In 2004, Qaradawi presided over the inaugural meeting of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) in Dublin, Ireland.

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Qaradawi now presides over the IUMS, which was founded to be the world’s leading Sharia authority.

One of the IUMS’s principle missions is to provide a central location for the strategic coordination of efforts worldwide to islamize the West through television, the Internet, publishing houses and other media outlets. The purpose of this endeavor, Qaradawi has said, is the conquest of the West not by “the sword or armies, but by preaching and ideology.”

Qaradawi has also said that short of full conquest, a more realistic goal would be the establishment of autonomous islamic communities within the West (such as the self-enclosed islamic ghettoes of France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe), operating not in accordance with Western law, but under Sharia.

Created by Qaradawi. Launched on June 24, 1997. It ranks #14 on Alexa.

The website Islamonline.net (IOL), a key component in the massive internet, television, and publishing empire presided over by al-Qaradawi, provides a live and archived “Fatwa Bank” wherein islamic scholars offer guidance to Muslim Minorities in the West on what is permitted (halal) and what is forbidden (haram). Most of the participating scholars are members of two largest Western-based Sharia councils — the Fiqh (Islamic Law) Council of North America (FCNA), established in 1988, and
the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), which was co-founded in 1997 by Qaradawi, who presently serves as president.

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Both the FCNA and the ECFR follow the doctrine of minority jurisprudence that was formulated originally by Alalwani and popularized later by Qaradawi, who began by publishing this manifesto for the Muslim Brotherhood.


Muzammil Siddiqi, chairman of the FCNA and member of the Muslim Brotherhood

Fiqh al-aqaliyyat is not simply a jurisprudence designed to help muslim minorities adapt to life in non-islamic states. It also seeks to provide a systematic way of organizing and defining islam in the West that accords with the Muslim Broterhood’s project of transforming Western lands into Islamic ones.

In an article in the UK-based Saudi paper “al-Saraq al-Awsat” from the 18th of January 2000, Al-Alalwani mentioned a meeting with Saudi King Fahd in the 1980s.
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He spoke then of a new legal doctrine which would assist in spreading islam and bring about the “Settling-down of Islam after the Settlement of Muslims in the West” (Tawtin al-Islam ba’ad Istitan al-Muslimin fi al-Gharb). In that essay, al-Alalwani states two duties that warrant the initiative.

Coats of arms: House of Saud and Muslim Brotherhood

Coats of arms: House of Saud (left) and Muslim Brotherhood (right)

The first duty is to help the Muslim Brothers as they proselytize and expand Islam’s realm in the West. This dawah aims both at securing new converts and at instilling among muslim minorities a sense of political and cultural obligation to the Muslim Nation. It entails building institutions such as mosques, schools of Arabic, political organizations, and educational and cultural centers.
The second duty mentioned by al-Alwani is to protect the muslim minorities in the West from deviating from Sharia. What qualifies as deviation is for the jurists of the Internation Union of Muslim Clerics, the Fiqh Council of North America and the European Council for Fatwa and Research — all controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood — to determine.

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We know that King Fahad bin Abdul Aziz al Saud adopted Wassatiyya as his own personnal brand of Islam because Whalid Shoebat found a fascinating document, a “Saudi Manifesto,” commissioned by the late King, entitled “Efforts of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques [Mecca and Medina], King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, In Support of Muslim Minorities.”

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According to this Manifesto (page 6 & page 23), Saudi Arabia sponsored the Muslim Minority Affairs Institute, under the umbrella of the Muslim World League (MWL), the International Islamic Council for Dawa’a and Relief (IICDR) and the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY), among other Saudi-backed organizations.

WAMY

WAMY was created in 1965, during the Hajj, through the collaboration of Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood, under the leadership of Said Ramadan, Ahmad Bahefzallah (the Abedin’s immediate boss), and financiers like Abdullah Omar Naseef.
[See “The establishment of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth by Dr. Salih Mahdi al-Samarrai, President of the Islamic Center of Japan: here in Arabic, and here in English via Google-Translate.

“الدكتور سعيد رمضان رئيس المركز الإسلامي في جنيف حيث كان في حينه ذا علاقات قوية بالمنظمات الشبابية والطلابية في العالم.”
Dr. Said Ramadan, head of the Islamic Center in Geneva where he was at the time an effective organizer of islamic youth and student associations in the world.]

The primary goal of WAMY was to give muslim youth access to the islam advocated by the Saudis. By focusing on muslim youth, the group was trying to ensure that it played a role in shaping the habits of future generations of Muslims. Like the Muslim World League, the Assembly partnered with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Walid Shoebat also cites an Arabic Dictionary on Media Icons showing the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs hierarchy, supervisors and parent organizations, as it is described in the Saudi Manifesto:

Sayed Z. Abedin is a specialist on Muslim Minority Affairs issues…

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Sayed Zaynul Abedin, the father of Huma Abedin, and Saleha Mahmood Abedin, her mother, are indeed specialists on Muslim Minority Affairs issues.

In the early 1970’s, Sayed Z. Abedin went to Saudi Arabia for one year as a visiting professor. He was welcomed by King Abdulaziz University, which provided him the means to create a scholarly program regarding Muslim Minorities. Dr. Abdullah Omar Naseef, the Dean of King Abdulaziz University then envisioned the creation of an academic entity called the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA).

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On the Nasseef and the Muslim Minority Affairs, see here.

The IMMA would be under the management of Ahmad Abdul Qadir Bahafzallah, who was the General Trustee for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). Professor Sayed Z. Abedin was encouraged to supervise the Muslim Minority Affairs and served as IMMA’s chief editor.
(p. 218, as translated by Walid Shoebat here)

The House of Saud believes in a Wahhabist plan set by the revivalist movement instigated by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792) from Najd, Saudi Arabia.

Allah destined this region [Saudi Arabia] for an historic roll. So He commissioned the two Imams — Muhammad bin Saud and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. But the times have passed on
Imam Muhammad bin Saud by the emergence of the reformer — Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. So the two Imams cooperated together to judge by what Allah brought forth, to fight against heresy and to bring Muslims back to puritan Islam.
— Saudi Manifesto, p. 8.

The Saudi Manifesto elaborates the need for a jurisprudence of muslim minorities, يوسف القرضاوي ـ في فقه الأقليات المسلمة, especially in Chapter II, “The Muslim Minority in the World: Understanding The Purpose of Muslim Minority.”

The document details how the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will catapult Islam’s
global dominance through the Muslim Minority Affairs by shifting the demographic scale to favor Muslims.

“The Muslim societies in all continents of the world exist in either ‘Muslim Nation’ or ‘Muslim Minorities’.
The assessment to determine what differentiates the a ‘Muslim Nation’ from ‘Muslim minorities’ is done based on a number of measures. First, the numbers scale, which is, if a nation has Muslims who exceed half the population and its Constitution states that Islam is its offcial religion or that Islamic Sharia is its source of law, this state is then considered an ‘Muslim Nation’.”

The Saudi Manifesto notices that “the number of Muslims has risen greatly in the last years,” “they became 1.3 billion Muslims.” “From these we have (900) million already in Muslim nations. The remaining 400 million live as communities and as Muslim Minorities.” It maps out, with statistics and demographic analysis, every nation on the face of the earth with Muslim minorities exist.

The Muslim Minority Affairs program, says the Manifesto, could organize “Muslim Minority activism” to advance the goal of dominance through the building of mosques, schools and islamic centers where muslim minorities exist (pp. 8-13, 17) in order to “establish a global Sharia in our modern times” (p. 9-10). The program also aims to “prevent the ‘hurdle’ Muslims encounter from ‘assimilation and melting’ into non-Muslim societies” (p. 24).

So Sayed Abedin was the chief editor of the Journal of the Muslim Minority Affairs Institute, whose overt objective is to steer migrant muslims into transforming non-muslim nations into islamic ones. The project goes like this:
— Recruit muslims that live in countries where muslims are still in minorities. Then help them establishing associations, educational programs and mosques in order to stop muslim assimilation to non-muslim cultures.
— Develop a global strategy and tactics able to shift the demographic scale in favour of muslims.
— Implement Sharia gradually, as the muslims become a more important demographic force.
— Work so that the actual non-muslim nations become finally ruled by the Sharia as understood by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Soon after the IMMA started, Naseef became the Secretary General of the Râbitat al-‘Alam al-Islâmî AKA the Muslim World League (MWL), based in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. [Yet Nasseef remained active in the IMMA for decades; he continued to be listed on the masthead as a member of the “advisory editorial board” at the IMMA’s journal until 2003.]

wml

The MWL was established in 1962. Saïd Ramadan was one of the founders of the MWL. It was established under a decision issued by the World Muslim Congress, which was held in Mecca on 18 May 1962, and financed by Saudi crown prince (later king) Faisal bin Abdul Azizas.
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Crown Prince Faisal employed many exiled members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the new organization and elsewhere in the Saudi bureaucracy and teaching system.
In the early 1970s, the Muslim World League followed the Arab migration into Europe. This marked the beginning of a period of intense growth: the League eventually opened offices in cities across Europe and North America, including Copenhagen, London, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Vienna, New York and Washington, D.C.
The Muslim World League frequently partnered with a network of islamic organizations in non-muslim lands to create a local islamic infrastructure. Much of this work involved funding the construction of mosques and funding the operations of islamic centers. To further its goals, the League often teamed up with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Originally based in Geneva, the MWL moved to Mecca after the Organization of the Islamic Conference was founded in 1969, with its headquarters in the Saudi city of Jeddah.
Under the auspices of the MWL League, Naseef founded the Rabita Trust in 1988, which is now formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization under American law due to its financial support of al-Qaeda. Naseef selected Wael Hamza Jalaidan to direct the Rabita Trust, a close associate of Osama bin Laden, who helped establish al-Qaeda’s network.
According to Osama bin Laden himself, the Muslim World League was one of al-Qaeda’s three top funding sources, along with the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation and the International Islamic Relief Organization — two Saudi-backed organizations spawned by the MWL.
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Sayed Abedin also served as a counsellor to the Muslim World League.

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Huma Abedin, now deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, worked with her parents for the Institute of Minority Affairs as assistant editor from 1996 to 2008.

His wife Saleha Mahmood Abedin is also an academic and worked for the Journal of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA) from its inception. She took the journal over after Sayed Z. Abedin died in 1993, and she remains its editor to this day.
Journal of the IMMA

Their son, Hassan Abedin, another academic, is an associate editor at the Journal. He was also fellow at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies in the United Kingdom when the Oxford Center’s board members included Abdullah Omar Naseef and Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi.

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Saleha Mahmood Abedin is also the chairwoman of the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC).

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Saleha Mahmood Abedin is a champion of Sharia law. She published and edited a book by Fatima Umar Naseef, Women in Islam: A Discourse in Rights and Obligations in 1999 which includes 22 citations to works by Sayyid Qutb.
woman in islam

Qutub
Sayyid Qutb is a founding member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qutb became the Brotherhood’s leading theorist after the founder‘s assassination in 1949 — until he was executed himself by the Egyptian government in 1966.
Qutb held that anyone, even a Muslim, who didn’t followed the Muslim Brotherhood’s views was an apostate and thus could be killed.

Saleha Mahmood Abedin founded the Muslim Sisterhood, whose goal is to gain and acquire a unified perception in every nation of the world regarding the role of women under Sharia.
muslim sisterhood's founder Abedin

The goals of the Muslim Sisterhood are listed here and here.

The Abedins’ IMMA has been commissioned by the same entity that produced the Saudi Manifesto, whose goal is to serve Saudi Arabia’s interest by spreading islam and enforcing Sharia world-wide.

The Abedins’ Journal for Muslim Minority Affairs confirms here that their program stems from the same sources:

“Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat”—the jurisprudence of Muslim minorities—is a legal doctrine introduced in the 1990s by Taha Jabir Al-Alwani and Yusuf Al-Qaradawi which asserts that Muslim minorities, especially those residing in the West, deserve a special new legal discipline to address their unique religious needs that differ from those of Muslims residing in Islamic countries.

Al-Qaradawi: Leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood

Al-Qaradawi: The President of the Global Muslim Brotherhood

Al-Qaradawi (يوسف القرضاوي) is the undisputed leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, the movement’s ultimate authority. Based in Qatar, he operates without interference from local authorities. His ultimate, avowed goal is to have the islamic law (Sharia) enforced world-wide. Al-Qaradawi is fully committed to “the spread of Islam until it conquers the entire world.”

ultimate goal: sharia everywhere

Born in Egypt in 1926, he studied at Al-Azhar University, the most ancient institution of “education” in the Sunni Muslim world. Founded in 971 A.D, and located in Cairo, it became a “university” in 1961, with branches in several countries. It has rapidly become a hotbed of Muslim Brothers. As a student, al-Qaradawi was active in the resistance to the British presence (1881-1956), and subscribed to the political project of Muslim Brotherhood’s founder Hassan al-Banna.
With the support of the Qatar régime, he established the College of Sharia and islamic studies and an institute for Sunnah research at the University of Qatar.
College of Sharia, University of Qatar

Al-Qaradawi has his own TV program on Qatar-based Al-Jazeera (Shariah and Life) and an internet site.

As chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), which he founded in 1997, he is heavily involved in the islamization of Europe.
The ECFR employs a special form of jurisprudence designed to address the needs of Muslims living as minorities in the West. It is permissible on the basis of Sharia for muslims living in non-muslim lands to postpone the full implementation of Sharia, especially aspects of it that the European majority would not tolerate (such as corporal punishments for sins like adultery). This jurisprudence doesn’t propose that muslims in the West abandon Sharia, as that would be to commit apostasy. Rather, it says that it is legitimate to postpone those punishments so that muslims could work peacefully and freely within European society to fulfill their obligations to the wider muslim nation. Among those obligations figures the formation of micro islamic zones within Europe that are effectively governed by Sharia.
Sheikh Qaradawi in 1991, in his book Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase was one of the first cleric to conceive muslims living as minorities in the West as a strategic asset for the Islamic Movement, for the global islamic revival. Qaradawi believed that by organizing the Muslim communities in the West, the islamic movement will be able to launch an offensive against Christianity, secularism, liberalism, and modernity in general in their own heartlands. Democracy and political freedom are legitimate and even necessary for the islamic movement, he argues, because Western democracies are already two-thirds an islamic state. All that is left, Qaradawi says, is to convert everyone to Islam.
This democratic strategy has put the Muslim Brotherhood in conflict with al-Qaeda and with Hizb ut-Tahrir, who have said that Sharia can not coexist with European jurisprudence and institutions. Qaradawi argued that the Muslim Brotherhood cultural jihad in the West needs to be carried on by democratic means, and that it is better for the muslim nation than armed, violent jihad. Qaradawi agrees with other islamists on one crucial point however: one can’t defect from islam. “The gravest danger facing the muslim nation,” he said, “is the one that threatens its spiritual existence, i.e., that threatens its belief; therefore, apostasy or unbelief after having been a muslim is the greatest danger to society. For muslim society to preserve its existence, it must struggle against apostasy from every sources and in all its forms, and it must not let it spread like wildfire in a field of apostasy so that it will not worsen and its sparks scatter becoming widespread apostasy. Thus the muslim sages agree that the punishment for the apostate is execution.”

The ECFR is the theological body of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) which is the umbrella body for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.
Federation of Islamic Organisations in europe

conquer Europe

See The Muslim Brotherhood’s Conquest of Europe, the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, and The Federation of Islamic
Organizations in Europe
.

More importantly, al-Qaradawi founded the Union of Good (UG, ائتلاف خير).

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See the organizational structure of the UG here.

UG's Organizational Structure

Al-Qaradawi is the President of this global organization.

The UG has created two international organizations connected to the Muslim World League: the IICWC (Committee) and the IICDR (Council).
world muslim league logo

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The chairwoman of the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC) is Saleha Mahmood Abedin, the mother of Huma Abedin, who’s the actual deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Muslim Brotherhood in the US

The IICW describes itself as part of the International Islamic Council for Dawa’a and Relief (IICDR).

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Abdullah bin Omar Nasseef is the Secretary General of the IICDR

The International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child

Beyond that, Qaradawi founded The World Council of Muslim Clerics in 2003, and placed its headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. The World Council includes Shiites as well as Sunnis. Qaradawi is presiding this global front of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Being both an Islamic law authority and the head of the UG, al-Qaradawi gives islamico-legal justifications (fatwas) to transferring funds to paramilitary organizations under the heading of “financial jihad.”
Qaradawi has called zakat (tithing) generated by shariah-compliant financial transactions “jihad with money.”

jihad with money

In a lecture given in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2002, he noted that collecting money for the jihad fighters was a duty necessitated by the sacrifices they made for the Muslim nation.
Al-Qaradawi was also appointed to the board of directors of the Al-Taqwa (“Fear of God, or Muslim Piety”) Bank.

***

The Hindu reported in 2011 that al-Qaradawi “has emerged as a key mediator in secret talks between the U.S. and the Taliban.”

Al-Qaradawi is emerging as a peace broker between the Taliban and the United States, aiming to give the Obama régime “a face-saving political settlement ahead of its planned withdrawal from Afghanistan which is due to begin in 2014.”

In return for the release of prisoners still held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, the lifting of United Nations sanctions on its leadership and its recognition as a legitimate political group, the Taliban was expected to agree to sever its links to transnational organisations like al-Qaeda, end violence and eventually share power with the Afghan government.

Al-Qaradawi is increasingly seen by both the United States and the Talibans as an mediator between al-Qaeda .

In 1993, al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa landmark edict endorsing democratic pluralism; the Muslim Brotherhood later cast its embrace of electoral politics in Egypt and elsewhere as a form of da’wa, or proselytising missionary work. Even though Mr. al-Qaradawi said he remained committed to “the spread of Islam until it conquers the entire world,” he argued this could be achieved peacefully.

Al-Qaradawi condemned 9/11 and, in September, 2005, he described the Iraqi al-Zarqawi as a “criminal,” and in 2009 he lashed out at al-Qaeda for a “mad declaration of war on the whole world.”

In 2008, al-Qaeda’s now-chief Ayman al-Zawahiri lashed out at the Muslim Brotherhood for its decision to embrace electoral politics. In many countries, Brotherhood figures cadre clashed with groups sympathetic or linked to al-Qaeda.

Birth of the Muslim Brotherhood


Hassan al-Banna (left), حسن البنا and Saïd Ramadan (right), سعيد رمضان

Al-Banna was born in the small village of Mahmudiya, Egypt, in 1906.
[Biographical info here, ikhwanwiki arabic here, translated here].

He co-founded the Muslim Youth Association in 1927, restored the newspaper Al-Manar created by Rashid Rida and Muhammad Abduh, as well as the weekly al-Shehab, a magazine founded by Imam Abdul Hamid Ben Badis [more info here], and then launched the Muslim Brotherhood in March 1928.


In the 1932, al-Banna moved to Cairo. At the time, Egypt was still under British colonial rule, and it was modernizing quickly, going through wrenching economic and social changes: Cairo was industrializing, the peasants were moving to cities, traditions were breaking up, and cultural habits were in flux. Banna was appalled by this combination of colonialist oppression and rapid cultural change. He began to organize and do some writing of his own, attacking the British but also especially the “immorality” that had arisen in Cairo, the capital. Al-Banna emphasized the universality of islam (شمولية الإسلام) and the importance of fighting all manifestations of moral decay and of alienation in society (مظاهر الانحلال الخلقي، وجميع مظاهر الاغتراب في المجتمع). The way of islam should be the way of life for all (ضرورة تطبيقه كمنهج حياة،). Al-Banna’s answer was islam, and the leader of the Brotherhood required complete submission to islam (الولاء الكامل للإسلام).

It is the nature of islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.
— Al-Banna

Al-Banna talked of islam less as a religion than as a political project. What made al-Banna uniquely successful was that he was an islamic populist and political activist. Grassroots-oriented, members of the Muslim Brotherhood did not aspire to become intellectuals like the old community of muslim scholars; they spoke in simple sentences, and they usually adopted Western dress and modern rhetoric. There is no division between state and islam, Al-Banna said. In one tract, he wrote: “If someone should say to you ‘This is politics, not religion!’ say: ‘This is islam and we do not recognize such a division.” In another he said, “Oh Brother, tell me: if Islam is something other than politics, culture, economy, law, and society, then what is it? Is it only acts of prostration, devoid of a pulsating heart?”

Al-Banna’s method to win members was to identify a practical problem in a community and then solve it. The Brotherhood would help build a new clinic or school or mosque or develop a local industry. This would convince folks that al-Banna’s movement was solution-oriented and its members sincere. New members were recruited directly in mosques, but also in coffee shops and the market.

Al-Banna casted the islamic (المشروع الإسلامي) project of the Muslim Brotherhood as twofold:
a) to resist Western colonialism (الاستعمار) in its attempt to conquer the peoples of muslim faith (الشعوب المسلمة), and
b) to implement Islamic law (Sharia, الشريعة) in the affairs of life (شؤون الحياة).

Said Ramadan first saw Banna speak at an outdoor revival-style meeting in 1940. After each such gathering, Banna would ask people to come up on the stage — almost like a pledge to the movement. After about five meetings, the fourteen-year-old Ramadan, not much over five feet tall but powerfully built from wrestling, finally decided to go forward.

“What took you so long?” Banna said. The sheikh had known all along that his future protege was in the crowd. He had just been waiting for him to take the first step.

It was a story that Ramadan liked to tell his friends and acolytes. Banna, he felt, was often misunderstood as purely a political figure. The man had a deeply spiritual, mystic side as well and, as Ramadan tells it, he slept in a graveyard once a month to remind him of his ultimate fate.

Ian Johnson

By the advent of World War II the Muslim Brotherhood had grown enormously, attracting huge numbers of students, civil servants, urban labourers, and others elements of the egyptian landscape. It then spread rapidly throughout Sudan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and North Africa.

“We want to raise the banner of Islam in Andalusia and Seville, the Balkans, and the coasts of Italy and the Mediterranean islands, they are all Islamic colonies to be returned to the bosom of Islam”(نحن نريدرفع راية الإسلام في الأندلس وأشبيلية والبلقان، وسواحل إيطاليا، وجزر البحر المتوسط، فكلها مستعمرات إسلامية يجب إعادتها إلى حضن الإسلام), — Al-Banna

Members of the Brotherhood built up Western-style organizations such as political parties, youth groups, women’s groups, and paramilitary wings. The Muslim Brotherhood became an alternative, non-state organization able to provide what the government could not, and this allowed the Brotherhood to appeal to the muslim world’s rising middle class. They vocalized the anger of the poor but drew their leadership from the educated classes.

(source) [See here about the organizational hierarchy of the muslim brotherhood]

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Gamal al-Banna, the younger brother of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder

**

The Muslim Brotherhood was established as a secret society.

Mahmoud Sabbagh (محمود الصباغ), an active member of the organization, wrote about the pledge of allegiance the members must make : “The brother will then be reminded that as long as he is a believer, he will be determined for jihad for allah, to work in the ranks of the Mujahideen. We take a pledge to jihad in the way of allah until islam is victorious or we perish without victory but with a commitment to secrecy and obedience.”

See Leadership and Allegiance in the Society of the Muslim Brothers by Lella Landau-Tasseron for more details on the secret organization

When he was president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, himself an ex-member of the Muslim Brotherhood, denounced the organization, and pointed to this practice of the pledge of allegiance as its most dangerous dimension:
Addat on the Muslim Brotherhood
Image 1181
Image 1182

As the Brotherhood grew, it focused against two causes. One was anti-colonialism, another was anti-semitism. The Muslim Brotherhood was at the forefront of a rising anti-Semitism in Egypt. In 1937 and 1938 the Brotherhood attacked shops owned by Jews as well as other targets in Cairo. Even if Banna could not accept the Nazi idea that the Germans were a master race, Nazi agents still supported him, since anti-Semitism formed a key part of his political activity. This activity crystallized in the Brotherhood’s close association with Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

The Brotherhood developped a paramilitary arm responsible for assassinations and terrorist attacks, secret formations of Fedayeen, prepared for jihad (جهده لإنشاء تشكيلات سريّة من الفدائيين، وإعدادها للجهاد). By the 1930s, the Brotherhood received significant funds from a German journalist affiliated with the Nazi legation in Cairo to establish the Brotherhood’s para-military “Special Apparatus.”

In the late 1940s, Al-Banna led brigades of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1948 Palestine War to fight against the birth of the Israeli State under the slogan “to die for allah is our loftiest aspiration.” Several units of volunteers in Palestine belonged to the Brotherhood.

(Source)

Banna with Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem (source)


**

In 1948, al-Banna called for kings (الملوك) and rulers (الحكام) to implement Islamic law in the affairs of life, and preached for an islamic state (بالدولة الإسلامي) in the form of an islamic caliphate (الإسلامية في صورة الخلافة). “If the governments do not implement Sharia, then all Muslims are sinners (إذا لم تقم الحكومة الإسلامية فإن جميع المسلمين آثمون),” he said.

By the end of the 1940s, the Muslim Brotherhood had become a threat to the central authorities of Egypt. The New York Times described it in 1948 as “the largest terrorist organization in Egypt,” and reported it was involved in “a series of bombings, political assassinations and attempted assassinations”.

New York Times:

The following list of outrages was attributed to the terrorist organization: the explosion outside the house of [former Prime Minister]Mustapha El Nahas, president of the WAFD, early in the year; the attempted bombing of the Sudan Agency; bombing of department stores of Ades, Ben Zion, Gettegno, the Delta Land Company and the Société Orientale de Publicité and the most recent tommy-gun attempt on the life of Nahas Pasha.

On May 14, 1948, following the invasion of Palestine by Egypt and the proclamation of a state of siege, Prime Minister of Egypt Nokrashy was appointed Military Governor of Egypt. On December 9, 1948, Nokrashy ordered “the dissolution of the Moslem Brotherhood,” confiscating and liquidating all the Brotherhood’s premises, including “several farm and manufacturing cooperatives and a group of medical dispensaries.”

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior, reports the NYT,”accused the Brotherhood of ‘aiming at seizing power and overthrowing established order in the country‘. He charged the Brotherhood with being responsible for a six months’ series of bombings, assassinations and riots” and “proclaimed a ‘state of emergency throughout Egypt‘ just before midnight as the police moved to surround the Brotherhood headquarters and post guards at all of its branches, estimated to number about 300.”

Brotherhood members were forbidden to continue any form of political activity.

Soon after, Prime Minister Nokrashy was assassinated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Egyptian government had al-Banna assassinated the following day.

Mayor Mahmoud Abdul Majeed was involved in the plot against Banna (source)

Encyclopedia Britannica “estimated that at its height in the late 1940s [the Muslim Brotherhood] may have had some 500,000 members.”

***

In the next part, we will see how Saïd Ramadan revived the Muslim Brotherhood from abroad.

Said Ramadan joined the Muslim Brotherhood when he was 14. After graduating from Cairo University, he became al-Banna’s personal secretary. A year later, Ramadan was named editor of the Muslim Brotherhood weekly, Al Shihab, and he married al-Banna’s daughter.
Ramadan will become the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organizer, from Pakistan to Switzlerland, Palestine and the United-States.

Image 1026
Said Ramadan worked in close cooperation with Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem.
Image 1028

Birth of Hamas

Hamas traces its roots back to the Muslim Brotherhood.


Sheikh Hasan Ahmed Abdel Rahman Muhammed al-Banna launched the Muslim Brotherhood in March 1928.
The motto of the Muslim Brotherhood, which al-Banna supplied, is:
Islam is the solution, the Koran is our Constitution, Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our Leader, Jihad is our way, dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Said Ramadan was born in 1926 in Shibin al-Kawm, a village in the Nile delta. He encountered al-Banna and joined the Muslim Brotherhood when he was 14. After graduating from Cairo University, he became al-Banna’s personal secretary. A year later, Ramadan was named editor of the Muslim Brotherhood weekly, Al Shihab, and he married al-Banna’s daughter.

Ramadan became al-Banna’s ambassador, amassing a network of international contacts. In 1945, he traveled to Jerusalem. Over the following years, Ramadan will spend most of his time shuttling between Jerusalem, Amman, Damascus, and Beirut to build various Muslim Brotherhood factions.

At the time, Palestine was still a British-controlled territory, a poor desert region inhabited by warring Arab and Jewish populations. Traveling to mosques and university campuses, and focusing on Muslim youth, Ramadan preached jihad and helped with the creation of paramilitary groups. By 1947, there were 25 branches of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, with between 12,000 and 20,000 members. In 1948, Ramadan helped the Muslim Brotherhood send jihadists into battle with the Jewish armed forces that were estabmilitarylishing the state of Israel. Compared to the armies of Egypt and Syria, the Brotherhood’s forces were insignificant, but the symbolic gesture would enhance the Muslim Brotherhood’s prestige for decades to come.

After the establishment of the Israeli State in 1948, Said Ramadan kept recruiting followers in Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza and elsewhere, seeking to “liberate” Palestine from the occupation of the Jewish people.

Another organization aiming to free Palestine from “Zionist” control emerged in the 1950’s: Fatah. The anti-Israeli guerrilla movement was NOT a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Fatah was the backbone of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was established at an Arab Conference in 1964 as the official representative of the Palestinian people. In 1974, Arab states declared the PLO the “sole legitimate representative” of the Palestinian people.
The PLO was responsible for hijackings, bombings and other attacks against Israel.

Both Fatah and the PLO were primarily centered in the Gaza strip.

Gaza was then ruled by Egypt.

In 1967, Gamal Abdel Nasser, the president of Egypt, was defeated by Israel in the Six-Day War.


With this war, Israel took control of both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, bringing nearly one million Arabs under its control.

This defeat provided Fatah and the Muslim Brotherhood with a big opportunity ; it was a turning point for Palestinian aspirations. In light of Israel’s demonstrated military superiority, it became clear that neither organization could defeat Israel with conventional forces. Future armed struggle with Israel would have to rely more on popular support and guerrilla tactics and terrorism.

Fatah and the PLO differed from the Muslim Brotherhood in one important way. They changed their goal of the outright destruction of the Israeli state — in order to establish of secular state in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood never diverged from its objective of destroying Israel as a state. By 1974, the PLO began to push for the establishment of a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza.

In Gaza, Israel hunted down members of Fatah and of the PLO, but it dropped the harsh restrictions imposed on jihadists by previous Egyptian rulers.

The Muslim Brotherhood, led in Gaza by Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin, was thus able to spread its message openly.

Sheikh Yassin

In addition to launching various charity projects, Sheikh Yassin raised money to reprint the writings of Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian member of the Muslim Brotherhood advocating global jihad.


Sayyid Qutb was executed by President Nasser.

Sheikh Yassin formed in 1973 al-Mujamma’ al-Islami (the Islamic Center), a Muslim Brotherhood front helping to set up a network of schools, clinics, kindergartens and a library. The organization was officially recognized by Israel as a charity and then as an association in 1979.
Israel also endorsed the establishment of the Islamic University of Gaza in 1978.

When Israel first encountered Islamists in Gaza in the 1970s and ’80s, they seemed focused on studying the Quran, not on confrontation with Israel. The Israeli government officially recognized a precursor to Hamas called Mujama Al-Islamiya, registering the group as a charity. It allowed Mujama members to set up an Islamic university and build mosques, clubs and schools.
— Andrew Higgins, How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas

The Wall Street Journal quoted Israeli Brigadier General Yitzhak Segev saying “our main enemy [in Gaza] was Fatah,” and the cleric “was still 100% peaceful” towards Israel.

Indeed, Sheikh Yassin and Israel shared in Fatah a common enemy.

After a failed attempt in Gaza to oust Fathi Arafat (Yasser Arafat’s brother) from the leadership of the Palestinian Red Crescent, Mujamma stormed the Red Crescent building. Then the islamic movement tried to burn down his house.

The Muslim Brotherhood front also attacked shops selling liquor, as well as cinemas.

In 1984, the Israeli military received a tip-off, raided a mosque and found a cache of weapons. Sheikh Yassin was jailed. He told Israeli interrogators the weapons were for use against Fatah, not Israel. The cleric was released after a year and continued to expand Mujamma’s reach across Gaza.

In December of 1987, several Palestinian Arabs were killed or wounded in a traffic accident involving an Israeli driver. It triggered a series of riots and ultra-violent confrontations that became known as the First Intifada. The accident happened in the Jabalya refugee camp and the riots quickly spread from there throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It lasted until 1993.


Jabalya is the largest refugee camp in Palestine

Down the path trudged three Palestinian women dressed in long black robes and beating two dozen sheep with canes. It was a scene straight from the Bible or Koran, the shepherdesses and their flock walking past mud huts framed in palm trees and cactus plants. It easily could have been 1888, or 1288, or 1088 BC. Nothing much had really changed since the days of Isaac and Ishmael — not the stones and certainly not the passion; only the car and the fancy rifle were new.
— Thomas Friedman, From Beirut to Jerusalem

On the 8th of December 1987, an Israeli semi-trailer truck driver turned onto the crowded main road leading into Jabaliya and ended up hitting several vehicles, killing four Palestinians and wounding seven others. Rumors spread throughout the Jaliya camp that the Israeli man had purposefully swerved into the oncoming lane of traffic to avenge the recent murder of a Jewish shopper. Was he the slain man’s brother? His cousin perhaps? Anyway, Palestinians did not think this was an accident. The following day, a group of Palestinian kids threw rocks at a truck full of Israeli soldiers, who in turn chased them around the camp on foot. When they returned to the vehicle, it was surrounded by an angry Palestinian mob. Two burning bottles were thrown at the vehicle, and the Israeli officer in charge shot his weapon twice at a seventeen year old Palestinian, killing him on the spot.
A riot involving as many as 30,000 Palestinians broke out in Gaza that evening when the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) tried to take the body back for an autopsy. Israeli checkpoint soldiers were overrun by the rioters. Here‘s Thomas Friedman describing the pains:

Armed with bottles, rakes, stones, and tree limbs, [they] devoured the army’s tear-gas grenades and rubber bullets, which seemed only to nourish their rage. Israeli soldiers said they heard shouts of “Itbach al-yahud” – murder the Jews. By the next day, Thursday, December 10, 1987, the nearby town of Khan Yunis joined in the demonstrations, then the Balata and Kalandia refugee camps in the West Bank, then small Palestinian villages and city neighborhoods: there were more confrontations with Israeli troops, more casualties, and more burning tires smudging the skies of the West Bank and Gaza for days on end. Before anyone knew it, virtually all the Palestinians under Israeli occupation were engaged in a spontaneous primal scream that would be heard around the world.

It was during this turmoil that Sheikh Yassin and six other Mujamma militants launched Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement).

Hamas’s charter, released a year later, declares “Allah is its goal, the Prophet is the model, the Koran its constitution, jihad its path, and death for the sake of Allah its most sublime belief.”
Hamas’ Chart, Article Two: “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine.”

In 1989, Hamas carried out its first overt attack on Israel, abducting and killing two soldiers. Israel arrested Sheikh Yassin and sentenced him to life. It later rounded up more than 400 suspected Hamas jihadists, and deported them to Lebanon, where they hooked up with Hezbollah.


The “military” wing of Hamas, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades

Many of the deportees later returned to Gaza.

Hamas built up its arsenal and escalated its attacks, while maintaining and expanding the network that underpinned its support in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Hamas’s foe, Fatah, started negotiating a two-state settlement. When Hamas accused Fatah of treachery, the accusation found increasing resonance in Gaza, as Israel kept developing settlements on occupied Palestinian land, particularly the West Bank, which was dotted with Israeli military checkpoints and a growing number of Israeli settlers.

Unable to uproot a now entrenched Hamas that had replaced Fatah as its foe, Israel started targeting Hamas leaders.

Khaled Mashal is now viewed as the leader of Hamas

In 1997, Israel’s Mossad spy agency tried to poison Khaled Mashal, as retaliation to the 1997 Mahane Yehuda Market Bombings.Two Mossad agents carrying fake Canadian passports entered Jordan, where Mashal was living. As Mashal walked into his office, one of the agents came up from behind and held a device to Mashal’s left ear that transmitted a poison. But Mashal’s chauffeur saw what was happening. A security guard began to chase the Mossad agents and boarded a passing car to pursue them. With the help of a policeman, he managed to overpower them and place them under arrest. Mashal was given the antidote. But to get the Israeli agents out of a Jordanian jail, Israel had to agree to release Sheikh Yassin. The cleric then set off on a tour of the Islamic world to raise gold and guns. He returned to Gaza to a hero’s welcome.

Sheikh Yassin, the day he was released from jail in 1997.

When Hamas turned to suicide bombings in 1994, Israel cracked down the jihadists with ferocious force. But each military assault seem to have increased Hamas’s appeal to Palestinians.

Hamas kept perpetrating numerous suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. At first in order to sabotage the Oslo Accords and peace process, and then as part of the Second Intifada (2000-2004).

When Israel assassinated Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 2004, and then Sheikh Ahmed Rantissi, it forces the Hamas leadership to go underground or abroad.

In 2004, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was killed by an Israeli air strike.

Hamas ultimately trounced Fatah and the PLO in the 2006 Palestinian legislative election.

In June of 2006, Hamas captured an Israeli soldier by tunneling across the border between Gaza and Israel.
In February of 2007, Hamas, Fatah and other factions entered a unity government with Hamas in a deal brokered by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Hamas then formed the Executive Force, a combination of police force and political force to be used against opponents.
In June of 2007, Hamas ousted Fatah forces from Gaza in a bloody coup, throwing Fatah members off the roofs of buildings after shooting them in the knees. The Muslim Brotherhood front then took control of Gaza.

And because Gaza had been totally evacuated by Israel in the unilateral disengagement plan of 2005, Hamas became able to rule over Gaza as a de facto state government. And to use Gaza as a base for launching rocket attacks against Israel.

Egypt and Gaza

Recently, Hamas lost its traditional political ally, the Assad regime, and relations with a principal weapons supplier, Iran, has soured.

Khaled Meshaal has openly backed his Sunni brethren in their jihad against the Assad regime. And Hamas is increasing coordination with Egypt. Those two new developments are putting Hamas at odds with Iran and Hezbollah, which have been critical financiers and weapons suppliers in the past.

The question for Hamas now is how well its new partners — the Turkey of Erdoğan, the Qatar of Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and the Egypt of Mohamed Morsi — will fare, and whether their assets — regional political weight, material resources and international legitimacy — will prove more useful than those possessed by the Assad regime, Iran and Hezbollah.


Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Gaza and Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt

Hamas is now trying to ally with Cairo, Doha and Ankara ever more closely and to set itself clearly as the more active and relevant Palestinian party, more relevant than Fatah.

Its goal is probably to normalise economic conditions in the Gaza Strip, open up the Rafah crossing with Egypt and solidify relations with the Egyptian hinterland.

Regarding the longer-term Israel’s strategy toward the Palestinian movement: could the conflict result in an outcome in which Egypt, Israel and Hamas reached an understanding normalising the economic situation in Gaza and solidifying its links to Egypt — while providing security assurances to Israel?

If such a deal could link Gaza ever more tightly to Egypt, it could also entrench the division between Gaza and the West Bank, and thus marginalize further Fatah.

By achieving a de facto deal with Hamas, Israel woud signal its preference for dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood front rather than with President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah.

The central Palestinian address increasingly could be viewed as Gaza, and the central Palestinian player as Hamas.

Abbas is probably the most significant political casualty of the last weeks. He seems doomed either way: should he forego the U.N. General Assembly to seek an upgrade in status, he would be discredited; Or should he go to the U.N. General Assembly, then Israel will retaliate in ways that could only further damage the Palestinian National Authority’s economic situation, thereby accelerating the very process that is weakening Abbas and strengthening Hamas.

Could this be viewed as the last chapter of ex-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unilateral disengagement plan? — with the Israeli government closing Israel’s borders with Gaza forever and re-opening Rafah? That would de facto make Gaza part of Egypt, wouldn’t it? And since Hamas belongs to the Brotherhood, Morsi and Hamas have shared interests in Sunni islamic rule…

Former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Major General Giora Eiland: Israel should end Gaza blockade and recognize Hamas’ government in return for cessation of rocket fire (source)

The eventual reintegration of Gaza into Egypt is probably what former head of the National Security Council Giora Eiland had in mind when he urged Israel to treat Gaza as a Hamas-dominated state, lifting the sea blockade in exchange for a long-term ceasefire. Eiland argued that such an agreement should be accompanied by Egyptian guarantees – maintaining the peace and preventing the entry of weapons to Gaza – and should allow European Union member states to send dinghies to Gaza’s port, in order to ensure that Hamas has something to lose were it to breach the ceasefire.

The re-integration of Gaza into Egypt also cohere with Ehud Yaari’s speculation: “How to End the War in Gaza: What an Egypt-Brokered Cease-Fire Should Look Like.”

Avigdor Lieberman, the current Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, also came out in support of
completing the Gaza disengagement,” as early as 2010.