Another View: Hatred of Jews, Islamic imperialism central to Hamas ideology
The flare-up of violence between Israel and the Hamas state in the Gaza strip has drawn our attention again to that volatile corner of the globe. Since the Muslim Brotherhood now controls Egypt, and the rulers of Turkey and Qatar have openly embraced Hamas, the current round of violence is occurring in a whole new geopolitical context. It is more important than ever that Americans understand the ideology of Hamas and its parent, the Muslim Brotherhood.
That ideology has two dominant features: Islamic imperialism and extreme hatred for Jews.
The Egyptian founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949), was enraged by Western dominance of the Muslim world, since he saw this as a reversal of the divinely mandated order by which Muslims should rule over non-Muslims, not vice versa. Al-Banna looked back on the era of Muslim conquests as a golden age, writing that "the Noble Qur'an appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity., and grants them the right of suzerainty and dominion over the world." Invoking classical Islamic law, al-Banna called upon his followers to eject Western imperialists (including Zionists) from Muslim lands, and then to work towards Islamic penetration and eventual control of non-Muslim countries as well. A central goal of the Muslim Brotherhood has thus always been the destruction of the Zionist state of Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood in the Palestinian territories, a.k.a. Hamas, quotes al-Banna in its "Covenant" or statement of foundational principles: "Israel will remain until Islam eliminates it as it eliminated its predecessors." When Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders claim that they are merely a "resistance" movement opposed to Israeli "occupation," it is important to recall that they believe the entire state of Israel is occupied territory that rightfully belongs to Muslims. Their goal, therefore, is the total destruction of Israel.
Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood regard Israel as the product of a diabolical Jewish conspiracy to control the world. The Hamas Covenant asserts that the Jews have taken control of the global media and the international financial system; that they were behind the French and Bolshevik Revolutions; that "wherever there is war in the world, it is they who are pulling the strings;" that they control the Freemasons, the Rotary Clubs, the Lions Clubs. The goal of the Jews is "to break societies, undermine values, destroy people's honor, create moral degeneration, and annihilate Islam." Zionism, the Covenant tells us, "is behind all types of trafficking in drugs and alcohol, so as to make it easier for it to take control and expand." As evidence of this global Jewish conspiracy the Covenant cites the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an anti-Semitic forgery that played a central role in Nazi propaganda and that historians rightly describe as "a warrant for genocide."
Hamas leaders routinely broadcast open calls for genocide against Jews on the official Hamas TV station in Gaza. In February 2010, Abdallah Jarbu, a member of the Hamas government, stated, "the .. Jews are thieves and aggressors . they are a foreign bacteria - a microbe unparalleled in the world. May He (Allah) annihilate this filthy people. I condemn whoever believes . that they are human beings. They are not human beings. They are not people." In November 2010, one of the original founders and top leaders of Hamas, the Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar, informed the Jews that "you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed for annihilation." In May 2011, Yunis al-Astal, a Hamas member of the Palestinian legislature, proclaimed on Hamas TV that "all the dangerous predators, all the birds of prey, all the dangerous reptiles and insects, and all the lethal bacteria are far less dangerous than the Jews. In just a few years, all the Zionists . will realize that their arrival in Palestine was for the purpose of the great massacre, by means of which Allah wants to relieve humanity of their evil."
Such open calls for genocide have also been made by the top religious authority in the global Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a leading expert on Islamic law. In January 2009, during the last Israel-Hamas war, Qaradawi said of the Jews, "O Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one."
As the Jews of Israel act to defend themselves, we should all be aware of the vicious ideology and genocidal intentions of their enemies.
Joseph S. Spoerl, Ph.D., is a member of the philosophy department at St. Anselm College.