Hamas Is Not Just a Threat to Jews
I have already tried to show how Hamas has failed the people of Palestine politically, and how even the most optimistic appraisal of the organization’s supposed "pragmatism" has failed to pan out, even under exigent circumstances in which pragmatism should … Read More
I have already tried to show how Hamas has failed the people of Palestine politically, and how even the most optimistic appraisal of the organization’s supposed "pragmatism" has failed to pan out, even under exigent circumstances in which pragmatism should surely trump ideological purity. However, lest one come away with the narrow assumption that Hamas’s theocratic fascism represents a direct long-term threat only to Jews, I invite you to consider the following speech made by Ahmad Bahr, the Acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (and a Hamas member), on April 13, 2007. Coming as these words do from the political equivalent of Nancy Pelosi in Palestine, they should not be easily dismissed as mere rhetoric:
"You will be victorious on the face of this planet. You are the masters of the world on the face of this planet." Yes, [the Koran says that] "you will be victorious," but only "if you are believers." Allah willing, "you will be victorious," while America and Israel will be annihilated, Allah willing. I guarantee you that the power of belief and faith is greater than the power of America and Israel. They are cowards, as is said in the Book of Allah: "You shall find them the people most eager to protect their lives." They are cowards, who are eager for life, while we are eager for death for the sake of Allah. That is why America’s nose was rubbed in the mud in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, and everywhere. America will be annihilated, while Islam will remain. The Muslims "will be victorious, if you are believers." Oh Muslims, I guarantee you that the power of Allah is greater than America. We saw to them that with the might of Allah, with the might of His Messenger, and with the power of Allah, we are stronger than America and Israel.
I tell you that we will protect the enterprise of the resistance, because the Zionist enemy understands only the language of force. It does not recognize peace or the agreements. It does not recognize anything, and it understands only the language of force. Our jihad-fighting Palestinian people salutes its brother, Sudan.
The Palestinian woman bids her son farewell, and says to him: "Son, go and don’t be a coward. Go, and fight the Jews." He bids her farewell and carries out a martyrdom operation. What did this Palestinian woman say when she was asked for her opinion, after the martyrdom of her son? She said: "My son is my own flesh and blood. I love my son, but my love for Allah and His Messenger is greater than my love for my son." Yes, this is the message of the Palestinian woman, who was over 70 years old–Fatima al-Najjar. She was over 70 years old, but she blew herself up for the sake of Allah, bringing down many criminal Zionists.
Oh Allah, vanquish the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, vanquish the Americans and their supporters. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them all, down to the very last one. Oh Allah, show them a day of darkness. Oh Allah, who sent His Book, the mover of the clouds, who defeated the enemies of the Prophet, defeat the Jews and the Americans, and bring us victory over them.
One has heard about the cult of death that underwrites Islamic attentats, and it would certainly not strike most Western ears as newsworthy that Hamas is a fundamentally anti-Semitic movement. But that it is openly dedicated to the "annihilation of America" should hit home with sympathizers and apologists, eager to invoke sinister and histrionic moral equivalences between the current Israeli incursion into Gaza and 9/11, and eager to view Hamas as pledged to little more than national "resistance," albeit draped in colorful religious garb. If anything, Hamas’ anti-American sentiments reflect Iran’s supervisory role as both the party’s main financier and as its imperial guardian in an ideological war that extends well beyond the borders of the modern Levant. (For more on this subject, see Robert Kaplan’s excellent new piece in the Atlantic.)
Unmistakable, too, in the above passage is Bahr’s unctuous tribute to "Sudan." By this I think we’re on safe ground to assume he was not referring to the black African Muslims being systematically raped, dispossessed, and slaughtered by the Khartoum-backed janjaweed in Darfur; he was referring to the slaughterers themselves. And here it pays to recalls that this note of solidarity with the genocidaires of Sudan was also struck by Osama bin Laden in 2006, who called for global jihadists to wage war against the "crusader thieves" seeking to disrupt God’s good work of racial cleansing below the Sahara. (The "crusader thieves" in this instance were U.N. peacekeeping troops, many of whom were Muslims.)
While it’s true that Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar, who blames the West for "homosexuality, homelessness and AIDS," has in the past stated that he would not "rule out the possibility of having Jews, Muslims and Christians living under the sovereignty of an Islamic state," since his party’s bloody takeover of the internal security apparatus of Gaza in 2007, both its direct actions and its callous indifference toward the actions of non-state actors have abundantly indicated the opposite. Violence, coupled with what scholars of totalitarianism used to call "terror in reserve," have been the mainstays of repressing anyone flouting the implemented policies of Koranic literalism.
A year ago, Hamas agents looted and then burned down a centuries-old Greek Orthodox church and monastery in Gaza. Non-Muslim and Muslim women apostates have been ordered to take the veil, and the consumption of alcohol has been outlawed, regardless of one’s monotheistic covenant. There have also been reports about forced conversions of Palestinian Christians, one of whom, Sana al-Sayegh, is a prominent dean of the Science and Technology Faculty at the University of Palestine International, was alleged to have been kidnapped and married off to a Muslim professor at the university with the complicity of the institution’s president, himself an Hamas accomplice. (The representative of one human rights organization in Palestine claims al-Sayegh converted willingly, but her family insist she did so at gunpoint and is now living under a state of religious siege; they say she phoned them once to explain as much. Whatever the case, it must be acknowledged that the Science and Technology curriculum al-Sayegh was allowed to use before Hamas came to power bears a striking dissimiliarity to the one currently in existence.)
Meanwhile, proxies seeking to impress or outdo the ruling regime in messianic fervor have been given license to terrorize with impunity in the Strip. Jihadia Salafiya, a so-called Islamic outreach movement, which was only able to establish its "military wing" following the Hamas coup, is quite candid about its zero-tolerance attitude towards sharia trangression. In May 2007, its militants attacked a United Nations-run school for the crime of allowing its students to participate in co-ed athletics. A month later, the group desecrated Gaza’s Latin Church and stole academic equipment from the adjacent Rosary Sisters School. And in October 2007, Rami Ayyad, director of Gaza’s only Christian bookstore, which has previously been firebombed, was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds, his body bearing signs of torture. Though no group took reponsibility for his murder, Jihadia Salafiya’s chief spokesman Sheik Abu Saqer had this to say in an interview with the New York Sun:
I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes. They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza… Jihadia Salafiya and other Islamic movements will ensure Christian schools and institutions show publicly what they are teaching to be sure they are not carrying out missionary activity….Also the activities of Internet cafes, pool halls and bars must be stopped. If it goes on, we’ll attack these things very harshly.
What this indicates is a fully Talibanized statelet on the Mediterranean, doubly appalling when one considers that Palestinian Christians — who number in Gaza about 3,000 of the total population of 1.5 million — have for decades been at the forefront of Palestinian rights advocacy in the West. Can it ever be emphasized enough that under any future Hamas-run "Islamic State of Palestine," Hanan Ashrawi, Rashid Khalidi, and Edward Said (were he still alive) would be designated second-class citizens, if not outright refused the right of return?