Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- After discussing the manner with which the leaders of Hamas handled the Israeli aggression on Gaza and his strong criticism of the way that the Hamas movement was prepared to sacrifice the people of Gaza in an unequal war, Sayyid Imam Abdulaziz Sharif ‘Dr Fadl,’ the theorist of the Egyptian Jihad Organization discusses the relationship between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Dr Fadl pauses during the seventh chapter of his book ‘Gaza’s Shirt’ in the face of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, as it is considered the main incubator of all Islamic movements worldwide. He considers the movement to be source of many catastrophes and crises which have long pained the Arab people during the 20th century and since its inception at the hands of its founder, Hassan Al-Banna in 1928.
“In the book ‘The Catastrophes of the Muslim Brotherhood Upon Muslims, From Hamah [the Hamah massacre occurred on 2 February 1982, when the Syrian army bombarded the town of Hamah in order to quell a revolt by the Muslim Brotherhood] to Hamas,’ the author states: ‘In order to understand what is happening in Gaza nowadays, one must go back to the beginning. The Hamas that is ruling Gaza today is merely a branch off the Muslim Brotherhood which was founded in Egypt in 1928.’
“I begin by saying that there are no Islamic groups of those who are known worldwide today that have taken the first steps on the correct path of supporting and promoting Islam. For the longest time, they have been testing their theories on Muslims and have worked only for the sake of limited interests. Accordingly, they have reaped catastrophes upon the Muslims due to their divergent opinions and their loose interpretations of Shariaa. God Almighty said: ‘But if they hearken not to thee, know that they only follow their own lusts: and who is more astray than one who follow his own lusts, devoid of guidance from Allah. for Allah guides not people given to wrong-doing’ [Koranic verse; Al-Qassass 28:50].
“It has been the case that the worst of those who have experimented with their ideas on Muslims and whose catastrophes have been numerous were the Muslim Brotherhood. They were the cause in the downfall of Muslims in many countries; at the forefront being their original founder Hassan Al-Banna, who convened the fourth conference for his group in 1936 to support King Faruq [of Egypt]. He wrote to him saying: ‘We have hopes in His Majesty, the Muslim king.’ When the Wafd leader Mustafa Al-Nahhas said, ‘The people are with the Wafd,’ Al-Banna said ‘God is with the King.’ In the shadow of the good relationship between the Brotherhood and the king, the group grew and spread in every quadrant of Egypt, flourishing under the care and facilitation provided by the government. The details were best described by Mr. Ahmad Hussein, attorney at law, in his defense of Abdul-Majid Hassan (the assassin of Al-Nuqrashi Pasha in 1948). Ahmad Hussein himself was the leader of the Misr Al-Fatat Party and was the brother of Adil Hussein, father of Magdi Ahmad Hussein, who was one of the members of the forbidden Al-‘Aamal Party. After the support of the king, Al-Banna told his followers in one of their meetings ‘when your numbers reach 12,000, inform me so that I may use you to invade all who are stubborn and arrogant.’ This indicated that Al-Banna considered the king to be Muslim in word only, but in actuality he considered him to be a non-believer.
“During the days of Al-Banna, the Brotherhood suffered through much bloodshed in Egypt until the day that they killed Interior Minister Al-Nuqrashi Pasha. This was the main cause behind the assassination of Hassan al-Banna in 1949. There were many legislative infringements committed by Al-Banna to the point where Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Wakil, the head of the Ansar Al-Sunnah Association was forced to send him an open letter entitled ‘Oh Banna, Turn Your Face to the Noble Religion.’ At the same time, Al-Banna strove to establish an Islamic regime in Egypt and was well versed in supporting a military coup against the Islamic legislative government in Yemen, the coup carried out by Abdullah Al-Wazir against the Imam Yahya Hamid Al-Din in 1948, in which Imam Yahya was killed. However the coup failed and Al-Banna only survived for a matter of months before he was assassinated. God Almighty said: ‘Their purpose was to scare thee off the land, in order to expel thee; but in that case they would not have stayed (therein) after thee, except for a little while’ [Koranic verse; Al-Isra 17:76]. Some of these words are found in the books of Hassan al-Banna, such as ‘Majmu’at Al-Rasa’il’ and ‘Muzakarat Al-Da’awah wal Da’iyah,’ in addition to other books written by members of the Brotherhood.
“After a short honeymoon with Jamal Abdul Nassir after the revolution of 1952, the Brotherhood dealt with Abdul Nassir in an arrogant manner. The letters of Hassan Al-Hudaybi (their second leader) revealed that he had established his guardianship over him. For most of Abdul Nassir’s rule, the Brotherhood suffered through many crises, most of which were caused by their adherence to a policy of evasion and arrogance toward others.
“Due to Abdul Nassir’s tightening of the noose around them in Egypt, the Brotherhood dispersed to many counties especially to Europe and the Gulf. They received the citizenship of some of them because of the disagreements between the rulers of those countries and Abdul Nassir. Those rulers welcomed the Brotherhood and gave them privileges. They collected a lot of money and established the international organization of the Brotherhood which controls many aid organizations and Islamic universities in many locations. One Brotherhood member in Riyadh even told me in 1984 that despite his many travels around the world, he has never stayed in a hotel but in one of the Islamic centers overseen by the Brotherhood. In 1996, one Brotherhood member in Jeddah told me that the international Brotherhood organization was a group that was wealthier than some countries.
“The closest calamity to the Brotherhood to what is happening today in Gaza is what the Syrian Brotherhood did during days of President Hafiz al-Assad in the city of Hamah. They gathered there and controlled it, declaring a rebellion against the state in 1982. They slaughtered the students in the artillery school and carried out executions in the city then took refuge in the midst of the people. Those Brotherhood members had leaders who were commanding this rebellion from Iraq and they were Adnan Sad-al-Din and Said Hawi. They were staying with Saddam Hussein, Hafiz al-Assad’s archenemy. They had a radio station in Iraq that was directed at Syria through which they incited for the rebellion. They had training camps in Iraq to train Syrian youth and push them to fight in Syria’s Hamah. This is similar to what is happening in Gaza today. The Brothers of the inside, Hamas, set fire to Gaza and the Brothers of the outside, Khalid Mishal in Damascus, are inflaming this. Just like the Hamah adventure ended in a horrendous catastrophe, Gaza is a horrendous catastrophe from the beginning. Hamah was, however, considered an internal Syrian matter so it was not known by anyone except for those involved. Gaza, on the other hand, is an international issue like its mother, Palestine, the mother of all issues.
“So how did the Brotherhood tragedy of Hamah end? Syrian forces surrounded it with tanks so it turned into a large prison. They then bombed it with planes and at least 20,000 people were killed. They became human remains and blood in a few days. This is just like what is happening with the Gaza adventure; Israel surrounded it with tanks and bombed it with its aircraft.
“The Brotherhood rebellion in Hamah was an episode in the conflict between the two wings of the Baath Party; the Iraqi headed by Saddam Hussein against the Syrian wing headed by Hafiz al-Assad. So 20,000 Syrians were killed with the support of Saddam Hussein. So what are the most important principles of the Baath Party? Their slogan is ‘I believe in the Baath as the one God and in Arabism as the one religion.’
“When I was in Pakistan, a senior Egyptian member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mr Abdulaziz Ali, Abu-Osama, a military trainer, told me in 1986 that the Brotherhood sent him to train the Syrian Brothers in their camps in Iraq in 1982. When he arrived there he met Adnan Sad al-Din and asked them about their plan for Hamah so that he could organize a suitable training plan. They told him that Hamah had fallen to Syrian forces. He then asked them why they continue training. They told him that they could not confront the youth with the truth that Hamah had fallen. Abu-Osama is one of those who left Egypt during the days of Abdul Nassir and lived in Jordan. He now carries its passport.
“In 1989 in Pakistan I was also told about the Hamah tragedy by the brother Abu-Musab al-Suri, one of its victims. He told me that he saw Adnan Sad al-Din and Said Hawi living in the luxurious palaces of Saddam Hussein and pushing the youth toward the inferno of Hamah with fiery speeches through the radio in a battle about which they did not realize the danger. Thousands of youth who trusted them paid their lives as the price for this. They [Sad al-Din and Hawi] had the principle that ‘if you are in front of me then lead.’ These are the words of Abu-Musab. This sentence of his I mentioned in my ‘Rationalization of Jihad’ document so that it could be a weapon in the hands of the youth that they can raise in the face of those who use them. Abu-Musab is now unfairly imprisoned in the US secret prisons after his arrest in Pakistan after the incidents of September 11. This is despite him being one of the fiercest opponents of Osama bin Laden’s adventures and has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda. Abu-Musab wrote a book about the Brotherhood’s tragedy in Hamah called ‘The Syrian Experiment.’
“Between the Brotherhood adventure in Hamah in 1982 and their adventure in Gaza in 2008 came the biggest calamity at the hands of the Saudi Brotherhood man Osama bin Laden in his theatrical adventure of striking at the US on 11 September 2001. He then fled just like Adnan Sad al-Din, Said Hawi, and Khalid Mishal fled and went underground in Gaza and left people to pay the price for their adventures’ dead and injured in the thousands, hundreds of thousands of refugees, and widespread destruction. If the Syrian Brotherhood destroyed the city of Hamah and the Hamas Brotherhood destroyed several cities in the Gaza Strip, then their friend Bin Laden destroyed two countries: Afghanistan which he caused the US occupation of twice, given that it is his refuge from which he targeted the US and Iraq because what Bin Laden did on September 11th and before made US President Bush set down the principle of pre-emptive war, upon which he said that he would fight them in their country before they kill us in our countries. This is how he invaded Iraq.
“In order for the Gaza tragedy not to become worse, its people must say to Khalid Mishal and Ismail Haniyeh the words of Abu-Musab al-Suri: ‘If you are in front of me then lead.’ Leave your safe locations and go to the front of the lines in the battle that you forced on us.
“The Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said: ‘We will not surrender even if they eliminate Gaza’ (Al-Ahram, 31 December 2008, page 4). His lack of caring for his people has reached such a level that he is willing to sacrifice the entire population of Gaza so that he can remain in power. So what has he left for Israel to say and do? His words are basically telling Israel that ‘here is the population of Gaza, kill it.’ The same meaning was repeated by the starter of fires, Khalid Mishal, from his safe refuge in Damascus. On 2 January 2009 he said: ‘The Israeli bombardment of Gaza throughout the week has only caused little damage to Hamas military structure.’ Could these words be uttered by a sane person? His words tell Israel ‘You can only hurt us by further shelling Gaza.’ These are the same words of Haniyeh: ‘eliminate Gaza.’ The tragedy of Hamah is repeating itself. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood caused the killing of the people of Hamah through the inciting of the Baathist regime in Iraq. Today, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, are causing the killing of their people in Gaza by inciting the Syrian Baathist regime which killed their brothers in Hamah.
“All these adventures at the cost of the people are counter to Islamic law. When the infidels and their allies surrounded Medina in the Al-Ahzab battle, the prophet, God’s prayers and peace be upon him, prepared to defend the city by digging a trench around it. He forbade annoying the surrounding infidels so that they would not storm the city. He sent Huzayfah al-Yaman to go into their midst. The prophet told him ‘get me the news of these people but do not instigate them against me.’ When Huzayfah went to them he said: ‘I saw Abu-Sufyan warming his back against the fire. I placed an arrow in my bow and wanted to fire it, but I remembered the words of the prophet, God’s prayers and peace be upon him, to not instigate them. Had I fired, I would have hit him.’ The Hadith is narrated by Muslim, 4658. Abu-Sufyan was the leader of the infidel armies in that battle. The prophet, God’s prayers and peace be upon him, wanted to dismantle the enemy front and its alliances. His offered the infidels of Ghutfan some of the fruits of the Medina in exchange for them leaving. He ordered Naim bin Masud to not attack the Muslims. All of this was to reduce the pressure on the Muslims in Medina.
“The actions of Hamas were completely counter to this. They taunted Israel with their toy Al-Qasam rockets right after the cease-fire ended on 19 December 2008, thus giving Israel the pretext for war. They did not lead the ranks, but fled to their safe-havens with no anti-aircraft defenses or strategic depth. All of their actions stemmed from stubbornness and adventurism at the expense of their exposed people. This certainly must result in a Brotherhood tragedy in Gaza. The Brotherhood usually cause tragedies because of their misjudgment of issues, wrong calculations and sidelining of the population, all for the sake of holding on to power at the expense of the people.
“The adventurism and sidelining of the people reached such a level that one of the leaders of Hamas set the principle of using the people as shields, meaning using the public as protection against the bombs of the enemy, by hiding among the people. It is under this principle that the people of Gaza are being killed today, including the person who set this principle, Nazar Rayan, who was killed along with 14 of his family members by Israel in a rocket attack against his home on 1 January 2009. All of this is counter to the teachings of the prophet, God’s prayers and peace be upon him, who was extremely protective of women and children and placed them in Medina’s fort during the Al-Ahzab battle, away from the Muslim armies so that they would not be harmed by the enemy.
“In these thoughts, my first concerns are the religious issues, not the political, so that I may warn the Islam and jihad-loving youth about the adventures of those and those like them who have no relations to the religion of Islam. Like I said before, they are trying out their ideas on you.
“In warfare, material calculations must be respected and not the awaiting of heavenly interventions. This is why God says: ‘For the present, Allah hath lightened your (task), for He knoweth that there is a weak spot in you: But (even so), if there are a hundred of you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred…’ [partial Koranic verse, Al-Anfal 8:66]. In the battle of Badr, the prophet, God’s prayers and peace be upon him, kept asking about the size of the infidel army of Mecca. That is why he also gave permission for Khalid Ibn-al-Walid to withdraw the Muslim army from the battle of Muata because of the lack of balance between him and the Roman Army. The prophet, God’s prayers and peace be upon him, commended this and considered this action a victory.
“Adventures, however, only bring about disasters. Their responsibilities are exposed only by their decision-maker. This was the situation of the Hamah adventure, the Bin Laden adventure, the adventure of Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon in 2006 and today, the adventure of Hamas, a group that does not take heed of material calculations, something that is against Islamic law. In the article by Dr. Hassan Abu-Talib he wrote: ‘When a leader like Khalid Mishal says that his calculations and the calculations of his organization are based on mood and not on mind and logic, then we are faced with a political example that has no respect for material realities. It gives weight to emotional aspects and surely must lead to uncalculated adventures and disastrous results in the full sense of the word. What is happening in Gaza now is a prime example of results that were not properly calculated with the casualty usually being the Palestinian people (Al-Ahram, 31 December 2008, page 10).
“Bin Laden thought that this bloody adventure on 11 September 2001 would move the masses to revolution, but they did not move. He ordered this of them three years later and said: ‘Oh Muslim nation, revolt against the injustice and tyranny and seek to gather the nation into popular movement and civil unrest until the treasonous governments are toppled.’ This is part of his speech on the Al-Jazeera channel on 4 January 2004 (The Guide to Islamic Movements, page 229, published by Al-Ahram 2006). The masses did not move again. The siege around Bin Laden grew lengthier and he lost a lot of his organization and his safe refuge in Afghanistan. Bin Laden then could only resort to his archenemy the US and he asked it for a cease-fire in the beginning of 2006. He said: ‘We do not mind giving you a long-term cease-fire under fair conditions and let the two sides during this cease-fire enjoy peace and stability.’ Bin Laden went to his enemy asking them for a cease-fire so that he could enjoy the peace and stability he deprived entire peoples of and destroyed their countries with his uncalculated adventures.
“Hassan Nasrallah is like him. He carried out his adventure in Lebanon in July 2006 and then used the Lebanese people as his shields. He destroyed Lebanon, killed its people, and displaced its people. He wanted the masses to move and other countries to pay the price for his adventure. He then agreed to a cease-fire with Israel and accepted international forces in southern Lebanon that separate him from Israel. He did achieve some military successes during that war which I pointed to in some of my past writings. However, Nasrallah regretted taunting Israel by abducting some of its soldiers and then causing extreme losses for Lebanon. Nasrallah said: ‘Had I known that this would happen, I would not have done what I did,’ meaning that he admitted miscalculating the situation.
“Just like Bin Laden asked for a cease-fire and Nasrallah accepted one, this will also be the fate of Hamas, I believe, but after the destruction of Gaza.
“The Muslim Brothers do not become active and spread except with an alliance and an agreement with authority. This is what happened to them during the days of [MB founder] Hassan al-Banna, as explained by Ahmad Hussein. This is their situation today in some countries like Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and elsewhere. In Gaza itself, the Brotherhood lived for 20 years in peace with the Jewish butcher Ariel Sharon from the Israeli occupation of Gaza in 1967 to the establishment of Hamas in 1987. During those 20 years the Brothers created a foundation for themselves in Gaza and spread. The Brotherhood cannot grow except through acquiescing to authority. If they go into adventures with it then bring about disasters on the people, such as in the examples I mentioned.
“These have been some of the Brotherhood disasters against people’s lives. Their greatest calamity has been their violation of Islamic law, but this is too lengthy to explain and this is not the place to do so. Some of them are good and reforming people, but the general direction of the group is what was mentioned. It is not correct to confuse Islam with what the Brotherhood is doing.
“Many of the Brotherhood’s disasters have been because they follow the policy of trickery, ‘the friend today is the enemy tomorrow,’ the policy of aloofness by not having any consideration for others, even the people. This policy of aloofness is what one of them expressed in the word ‘Toz’ [Egyptian slang, roughly translated as ‘go to hell’] and threatening in one of his newspaper interviews in 2006 that the opponents of the Brotherhood would, from now on, be beaten with shoes (Asharq Al-Awsat, 19 December 2008). Why not when he is sitting at the top of a global empire, the international Muslim Brotherhood?