Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Hamas: Extremism Breeds Extremism | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Armed conflict between Palestinians has returned to Gaza once more, however this time it is against the Islamic Hamas movement in the name of religion and under the pretext of Jihad. On Friday, an extremist group announced the establishment of a new Islamic Emirate; the group also announced that it considered Hamas to be a secular movement that had falsely laid claim to Islam.

The Salafist Jihadist group Jund Ansar Allah announced the establishment of the “Islamic Emirate of Palestine‚Ķin the heart of the Beit al-Maqdis [Jerusalem].” Dr. Abdul Latif Mousa AKA Abu Noor al-Maqdisi called for “acceptance and allegiance [to the new Islamic Emirate].”

In his Friday sermon, al-Maqdisi said that if Hamas follows the path that it is following then the movement is nothing more than a secular party with false affiliations to Islam in the same manner as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyup Erdogan. It also seems that the honeymoon between the Turkish government and our extremists has come to an end, and this is a subject that I will return to in a future article.

Al-Maqdisi said that Hamas fears the West, particularly America, and that the Hamas movement and government still has “time and opportunity so long as it does not move against the Sheikh al Islam Ibn-Taymiyah mosque” which is the Jund Ansar Allah stronghold [in Rafah].

The question here then is; is what happened in Gaza [following this sermon] surprising?

Of course not, this was only a surprise to those who were not paying attention [to the situation] and endorsed the Hamas movement, as well as accused of treason anybody who described the Hamas coup in Gaza as a mistake and a crime, and said that this would lead to the entire Gaza Strip becoming like Afghanistan under the Taliban, which is in fact what happened. This [outcome] may also seem strange to some, as a result of the censorship and control of information taking place in the Gaza Strop, not to mention the collusion of some Arab media outlets and figures with regards to the media coverage of the situation in Gaza following the Israeli war that took place early this year.

The extremist language used by the Salafist Jihadist group that was led by Al Maqdisi is no different than the language used by Hamas against the Fatah movement, from inflammatory language to putting forward accusations of treason and being agents [of foreign powers]. It is enough to recall what Palestinian President [Mahmoud] Abbas said which was that Hamas was rushing to kill Fatah members believing that “In killing you, I will enter Paradise.”

What happened is therefore normal because extremism breeds extremism, and division only brings further division and underdevelopment. As a result of this an extremist group emerged which viewed Hamas as being soft, secular, and treasonous. I wish there was a camera to show the reaction of the Hamas leaders and those who support this movement in our Arab world to this new extremist group describing them as secular and treasonous.

We are now at an important crossroads where we will see how the fanatical, and those that are fooled by them, as well as those who are dragged along with them, will deal with what is happening in Gaza, especially since Hamas threatened to destroy the site where the Jund Ansar Islam members were sheltering adopting the Israeli example of destroying the house of any Palestinian who takes up arms against it.

Today we are able to say to the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Hamas movement in Gaza, its members throughout the Arab world, and especially its defenders, from the writers in the Gulf media to the internet “Mujahedeen,” that you reap what you sow, that extremism only breeds extremism, and that so long as Hamas underestimates the situation, things in Gaza will only get worse.