Hamas and ISIS/ISIL

Lord Hylton

Hamas began as an off-shoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, when Egypt administered the Gaza Strip after 1948.  It has developed in three ways, first as a social service and welfare organization, secondly as a political movement, and thirdly as a form of national resistance against occupation and colonization by Israel.  The last role caused it to form a military wing.

When it first achieved power in the Gaza municipality it made the school buses run on time, repaired the street-lights and efficiently reorganized the rubbish collection.  I suggest it has been unfairly demonized and then classed as a terrorist organization in the USA and Europe.  Its name is an acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement.  In resisting Israel it certainly used suicide bombs and rockets fired at civilian areas.  The parallel is perhaps with the IRA as the military wing of the political Sinn Fein party.  After defeating a Fatah coup d’état in Gaza in 2007, Hamas has sought and maintained ceasefires in Gaza, though these were often broken by Islamic jihad and other splinter groups.

Some have gone further, by trying to equate Hamas with ISIS/ISIL.  Nothing could be further from the truth, because they are in fact divided by ideology and doctrine. They are far apart over both goals and methods.  Hamas recognizes and encourages democracy, political parties and citizenship in a civil society.  ISIS/ISIL treats these as a blasphemy, whose advocates should be killed.  They see armed force as the only route to   power.  ISIL’s followers in  Gaza condemned elections as polytheistic innovations, worthy of the fires of hell. ISIL demands a caliphate, while Hamas calls for a civil state with an Islamic reference.  Hamas quotes the Qoranic saying “There is no compulsion in religion” while ISIL is hapy to massacre Muslims, Christians or others who oppose it, and to enslave women and children.  The contrast is between a modern movement and one stuck with the worst values of the 7th century. Hamas has not fought Israelis because of their religion, but because of their occupation of Palestine.  Unlike ISIL it believes that mutilating human bodies is prohibited by Islam. ISIL on the other hand glories in beheadings and crucifixions, which it is not ashamed to show on the social media.  It has thus ruined the image and reputaiton of Islam, in the eyes of both followers and adversaries.

Israel in particular, and western states also, should stop denouncing Hamas and refusing to negotiate with it.  They should beware of bringing about the emergence of far more extreme groups. They should learn from what happened when Prime Minister al-Maliki in Iraq tried to gather all power to himself, to the exclusion of the Sunni one-third of the population

6 comments for “Hamas and ISIS/ISIL

  1. 21/10/2014 at 9:38 pm

    Lord Hylton,

    I think it is permissible for the West and especially Israel to regard Hamas as a deadly enemy. This is the nature of things. Britain and the Reich of Kaiser Wilhelm were not polar opposites in every way, neither were the US and the British Empire in what we call the War of 1812, nor the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession. But the US used the term Crusade in denouncing the Nazis and proclaiming the Invasion of occupied Europe. They were a worthy fighting foe but an unworthy regime. The actual crusades sadly brought wholesale war to the Christian Byzantine Empire, Jewish semi-states and every Muslim power they could reach. An enemy such as Saladin showed the Muslims could produce a leader of political skill and honour and substantial ethics. But we must never forget that the Crusades were preached and proclaimed against men like those in ISIS/ISIL. This is not a new phenomenon. Their Holy War Jihad can be rightly met bu any Holy War on’es conscience before God will allow. Atheists who can find a sense of the holy are entitled to raise that cry here.

    If Hamas is willing to say to its enemies “let us kill each other tomorrow and them today” as regards ISIS/ISIL then the warring Hamas body so committed should be treated with respect in this alliance of all hands. If Hamas cannot do so then it will be defiled by the filth of these Islamist savages. But while we may all condemn them as Islamist warrior parties together only a fool will truly believe they are the same.

    Lord Hylton, I know your writing comes from a place of long labour and courageous engagement. We simply disagree.

  2. MilesJSD
    22/10/2014 at 9:40 pm

    From your comment that ISIS “sees armed force as the only route to Power”

    my question is “where does “Ability” fit in ?

    What’s the use of power whilst Enablement has been ‘bypassed’ ?

  3. Daedalus
    27/10/2014 at 9:03 pm

    Saying Hamas “efficiently reorganized the rubbish collection.” Yes, but who actually collected the rubbish? In Egyptian Arabic the word for collector of rubbish is Zabbalīn or “Rubbish People”. Muslims don’t like collecting rubbish it offends the soles of their feet. Very few Muslims are to be found working in or for council rubbish depots.

    The Muslim Brotherhood knows who collects the rubbish in Egypt and it’s not them. They’re Christians, Coptic Christians called the Zabbalin. Their claim to fame is that they recycled 80% of the rubbish they collected and earned a living from it.

    The Egyptian government then decided to outsource rubbish collection to Italy and other modern states because it felt that the Zabbalin were an embarrassment, that recycling 25% of the rubbish with the rest going to landfill was more respectable a small price to pay for being seen as a modern state. Now Christians go hungry and unhappy and the influential Muslim Brotherhood cries crocodile tears over their plight.

    • Lord Hylton
      Lord Hylton
      14/11/2014 at 12:00 pm

      Yes, curiously enough I have visited Stephen’s Children, both at the big rubbish dump outside the city, and I the Old City. So I know something about the Zabbalin.

    • 18/11/2014 at 8:58 pm


      I appreciate you bringing this important incident to this forum. It really is an overlooked outrage in a world full of outrages less serious but more colorful and bloody.

  4. Daedalus
    27/10/2014 at 9:05 pm

    Adam Curtis, writer, producer and director made a short series of films screened by BBC 2 in 2007 called “The Trap” that gave a personal view of freedom. In episode 3 “We will force you to be free” he talks about the rise of modern terrorism beginning with Algeria and Franz Omar Fallon. The violence of ISiS is an Islamic extension of his doctrine amplified by modern technology.

    To be a Muslim is to surrender free will to the religious and its views on morality and life. Being both illiterate and ignorant is very helpful. Theoretically no Muslim can live without corruption in a state where morality is not fully overseen by the religious.

    What must be considered is that an innocent killed at the hands of someone who serves the religious will go deservingly to Jannah only to be pursued into this physical afterlife by the same person that killed them because their reward for loyal service is Jannah.

    Scholars and clerics know this but the religious make no effort to remedy this injustice by creating a law that says “Muslim must not kill Muslim” the afterlife must be a place of safety.

    Muslims outside of a Caliphate express free will constrained by written laws in denial of any religious morality. Muslims inside a Caliphate express free will constrained by the subjective and shifting nature of Sharia Law and the individuals that dispense it.

    Muslims, people caught between a rock and a hard place.

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