by Dr. Ahmed Saad*
Exclusive for Al Waref
If one wondered what would happen in Egypt, Jordan, Syria or any other Arab countries if the Muslim Brotherhood or a fanatic Islamist group gains power, even through the democratic process, one could look to the model of the recent war in Gaza.
This article will examine the performance of Muslim Brotherhood government of Hamas vis-à-vis their preparation and execution of the recent war in Gaza.
Hamas's founder and spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (who was assassinated on March 22, 2004 in an Israeli missile strike) had founded the group in December 1987 as the Muslim Brotherhood's local political arm. Hamas gained popularity in Gaza over the last 20 years through their undeniably better organization and efficient and wide ranging social help programs for people in Gaza, a trademark of brotherhood social programs. Their popularity was also in no small part due to the endemic corruption of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the plundering of millions, if not billions of dollars that were siphoned into private accounts of the PA leaders’ ranks and cronies. Above all Hamas raised the flag of Islam and promised an Islamic rule and the liberation of Palestine to the oppressed, abused and desperate people of Gaza. The Hamas democratic electoral victory in Gaza in January 2006 was as inevitable as the success of Muslim Brotherhood parties to gain power if there were free elections in Egypt, Syria and Jordan and other Arab countries (please note the uncanny similarity of the Gaza population and the majority of populations in these countries).
Hamas has been governing Gaza under the Muslim brotherhood slogan: Islam is the Solution. The first victim of Hamas’ democratic success was the concept of democracy itself. Hamas used its power to undermine the secular lifestyle of the majority of Palestinians through intimidation, militant confrontation and an attempt to eliminate any political opposition. Hamas has also sat back, doing nothing, while some Hamas militants have threatened to "slit the throats of women from ear to ear" who appear on Palestinian Television without wearing the "Hijab”.
The prime responsibility of a government is to protect the safety, livelihood, and lives of its people while supervising the economic development of the country. However, in December of 2008 Hamas had made the conscious decision to terminate the ceasefire, which existed before the Israeli attack; leaving the door open to Israeli aggression. Hamas had also given instructions to their fighters to launch their ineffective useless rockets into Israel.
Hamas did this with the full knowledge of what Israel and the Israeli army can and would do if Hamas would not stop launching their rockets into Israel. Hamas knew more than anyone how vicious the Israeli Army machinery is and how destructive its aircraft and artillery are. Hamas had known that Israel did and would discard all human rights in the book to realize their security and military goals. Hamas knew more than anyone else how crowded the Gaza Strip is and how susceptible the Palestinian civilians are to air and land attacks. Hamas knew from Arab Military analysts and experts interviewed on the Arab Satellite television stations what exactly would happen in the case of an Israeli attack. Arab Military experts spelled out repeatedly and in detail the exact phases of the Israeli attack according to military engagement rules (this was followed, to the letter, by the Israeli army).
Yet with all this certain knowledge Hamas totally and absolutely ignored reality and decided to sacrifice the lives of hundreds of its own people, the ruin of their livelihoods and the destruction of the country by leaving the door open for Israeli aggression—if not out an outright provocation for attack.
Using logic and calculations of real world events, one could not have forecasted a different series of events from those that took place; the provocation of Israeli aggression and the lethal Israeli response to the termination of ceasefire and the continued launching of useless lumps of metal into Israel. No rational individual could have misread the Hamas-Israeli situation.
Hamas seems to have reckoned the situation prior to the Israeli attack, using other indescribable logic. In preparation before and during the recent Israeli massacred in Gaza, Hamas counted on the strength of metaphysical “powers” and waited for the miracles of direct Divine Intervention on their side. While this logic, relying on metaphysical powers and waiting for Divine Intervention are indeed valid and even encouraged by a dogmatic interpretation of Islam to guide certain individuals in their daily lives, it has led to catastrophic consequences for the people and country governed by them.
These actions taken by the Hamas Islamist regime are not entirely unexpected as Hamas, like most fanatic Islamists, thinks of itself as the manifestation of God’s will and the sacred instrument to carry out Allah’s actions on this earth. Hamas, while indirectly causing more than a thousand deaths of their people by the Israelis, may not consider these deaths to be entirely negative, as these “martyrs” will be rewarded by Allah in eternal paradise. Perhaps provoking the inhuman destruction of the homes and factories of those who democratically elected Hamas is not a high price to pay by Hamas for gaining Allah’s blessing by “fighting” Allah’s “Zionist enemies.” It is even reported that Hamas has murdered “dozens of Fatah members” in the Gaza Strip, during the recent Gaza war, for merely violating the Hamas-imposed house arrest.
This sort of behavior of a fanatic Islamist regime, or any religion based system for that matter, is not and was not unexpected. This behavior is consistent with the behavior of those who think that they are the only ones who understand God’s instructions and have the exclusive authority to carryout Gods will on this earth. The actions of such people are only normal by the standards of those who convince themselves that anyone who does not agree with them is the enemy of Allah and should be punished by them as the rightful representatives of God on earth. What is also typical of religious fanatics is their mixing of the physical world we live in with the metaphysical unknown. They confuse the “absolute” of God’s domain with the “relative” of His creation. They enter in their planning, calculations and equations “forces” we have never seen and the influences of “beings” on which we cannot even imagine and rely to realize their goals. The result of such behavior, actions and calculations would inevitably be a failure of mammoth dimensions. Their vision of the reality is totally distorted and their ability to deal with this life is essentially impaired.
What has Israel achieved as a result of the recent Gaza war? None what-so-ever, they did not even manage to free the Israeli prisoner in Gaza!
What has Hamas achieved as a result of their recent “victory” in the recent Gaza war?
1. Hamas with the direct help from Allah as they believe has successfully launched several hundred Kassam rockets on a few Zionist villages causing injuries, spilling “dirty” Zionist blood, and breeding terror in the hearts of the Zionist “cowards.” Even after the complete destruction of Gaza and the unilateral Israeli ceasefire, Hamas has proved their “victory” with the continued launching of rockets into Israel.
2. Israel lost 10 soldiers and 3 civilians. With the destruction of these “enemies” of Allah at such a blessed rate, no doubt it should not be very long before Hamas succeeds in killing every one of the soldiers of the “cowardly” Israeli Army and removing those “hooligans” from the surface of the earth.
3. Out of all courageous victorious Hamas fighters with their “excellent fighting prowess” only 48 have been martyred by the Israeli “cowardly” fire. These martyrs are now of course enjoying the trappings of Allah paradise.
4. More than 1300 Palestinian women, children and men have been massacred and several thousands have been injured and maimed. To Hamas those who died will go to the highest echelons of Paradise as martyrs, of course those will not include the dozen or so people that Hamas killed for transgressing their house arrest imposed by Hamas as, according to them, these traitors are the enemies of Allah and will burn in hell forever. The families of the “lucky” martyrs each will get from Hamas one thousand Euros as full and ample compensation for the financial difficulty suffered for their loss and each of those who were injured will get 500 Euros for their suffering and the people who lost their homes will get the grand sum of 4000 Euros to rebuild their houses.
5. The Gaza Strip and its infrastructure have been destroyed, including thousands of homes. The Gaza economy is totally ruined and the suffering of the people is of catastrophic dimension. Of course when you balance the good charity work the Hamas Muslim Brotherhood workers had done for the people of Gaza before the war, this also would more than fully compensate for the destruction and misery caused by the Zionists.
6. As Israel has declared a unilateral ceasefire they have created a new reality on the ground. Hamas can break it as they wish and Israel can send their air and land forces at will to punish Gaza as they see fit.
7. The destruction of tunnels between Egypt and Gaza, which were used for the transport of supplies and weapons. Israel with the support of the world’s opinion will not be able to prevent the building of such tunnels in the future.
8. The secret Agreement signed between the United States and Israel by definition will increase Israel security and may well enable the U.S. to carry out a naval embargo to prevent smuggling weapons to Gaza.
Let this bitter lesson be learnt by those who advocate mixing religion and politics.
*Dr. Ahmed Saad is a member of Al Waref Advisory Board
Jona - 4th March 2009