- MB VS. QaedaReform IssuesReports
- November 26, 2007
- 7 minutes read
Jihad Reviews …Aspirations and Reality
The Jihad group declared days ago completing its juristic reviews over the repelling violence and not using it as a means to change rule in Egypt. The Islamic Group has done this ten years ago .
For his part, Diaa Rashwan, a researcher at Al-Ahram Center for strategic studies and an expert in Islamic groups welcomed the declaration about these reviews, confirming that it is the beginning of a new stage in the Egyptian history, a stage which is free of using violence in the political action. He also confirmed that these reviews have taken a long time and that they chose this timing while marking anniversary of Al-Azhar bombs to prove that the spate of violence has fully come to a halt. This can be traced throughout the past ten yeas as no act of violence has been committed during them, since the Islamic Group carried out its reviews. But for the reviews carried out by the jihad and the Islamic Group specially in the world post invasion of Iraq and 911 attacks, Egypt may have faced civil war. Asked whether the reviews are really on the ground or that they are only political tactics, he pointed out that the reviews are a real process because leaders of these groups spent tens of years behind bars and nothing changed them. He also underlined his personal belief that these reviews are real. When asked whether the government will support the Jihad Movement, he pointed out that this movement will be no better than other peaceful opposition groups and that it may face the same treatment that the government gives to these peaceful groups.
Regarding the timing of declaring these reviews, Amr Al Shobaki, an expert and researcher in Islamic movements” affairs, confirmed that the timing has no relation with the current political movement in Egypt. It is actually a logical result of the armed confrontation between these groups and the Egyptian government after a 30 year spate of violence in which the weaker party was defeated. Consequently, we can not say that these reviews are a result of the security pressures on leaders of these groups, as it is much bigger than this. Al Shobaki pointed out that the security solution contributed in a big part to defeating the jihad groups, given that these people exercised violence. However, he confirmed that the security solution will not solve the problem of these people who are released and won”t be allowed to practice any political activity inside society. This will be the main challenge facing these people because they are back to ordinary life but they won”t be back to the public life. They have freedom save political freedom. Asked whether the Jihad Movement will emerge again but in a peaceful method this time, he said that this may happen but this does not mean that it will have a political future specially under pressures facing the peaceful opposition powers in Egypt and it will not be used as a counterforce against the Muslim Brotherhood because the file of political Islam in Egypt, topped by the file of the Muslim Brotherhood, is mainly a security file according to the Egyptian government. Consequently, introducing jihad elements in a confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood means introducing another political element into the political equation, something the regime doesn”t want for the time being. This is because the regime can”t and doesn”t want or have the justification to initiate any political confrontation. It only but exploits some elements in launching media statements.
As for Rafik Habib, a Coptic intellectual, confirmed that the regime may think of using the Jihad Movement as a counterforce against the Muslim Brotherhood but the leaders of Islamic Group and Jihad movement will likely shrug off initiating such a confrontation because their thought after the reviews will be closer to the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus, Habib sees that the security in Egypt will use some Salafi groups which are marked by strictness and extremism in addition to their belief that the ruler must be obeyed. He added that this is happening now in order to curb the Muslim Brotherhood”s spread among people. As for the jihad, it won”t accept to initiate such a confrontation.
This doesn’t mean that the jihad leaders will join the Muslim Brotherhood group for two reasons: first: they are banned from practicing the political work, a condition for releasing them. Second: they are leaders who have followers and a group and it is difficult for them to join another group specially that they are historical leaders and some of them have called the Muslim Brotherhood to practice only Da”wa (missionary) work and to abandon the political work as they abandoned violence and political work because they harmed the missionary work something approved by all leaders except for Abud Al-Zomor and Tarek Al-Zomor, who want these groups to scrap violence and to work in politics which is rejected by the government in turn.
He also added that the main source of reference for starting these reviews was that these groups realized the negative impact of using weapons on Islamic movements themselves and the society at large. This emerged from among the leaders of the groups while trying to end violence inside the country feeling no embarrassment because they actually aimed to end an internal violence in the groups.
He also indicated that the reviews of the Islamic Group were faster than those of the Jihad group because the jihad was founded on militant actions while the Islamic group started with a missionary work then it adopted militant actions. This led to a delay in the reviews of the Jihad Movement. As for the timing of these reviews, he sees that it is actually related to the increasing role of the Al-Qaeda network because these reviews are a challenge to Al-Qaeda network specially that it comes from the mufti of the Jihad Organization, Sayed Imam, whose ideas were a basis for Al-Qaeda network. Those reviews are not related to resisting the Americans in Iraq or the Zionists in Palestine. They actually underline scrapping the domestic violence against rulers. Consequently, these reviews do not affect resistance. They are actually supporting resistance against occupation. Consequently, they differ from Al-Qaeda in considering the ruler as disbeliever or fighting him. They are in the same line of all Islamic and national movements that occupation must be fought.
Essam El-Erian, a top leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, described the political state in Egypt as stagnate, but at the same time he welcomed these reviews, confirming that they lead to giving a halt to extremism and lead to scrapping violence that distorted the image of the Islamic action. He said that it is a virtue to return to right and truth. Asked whether these leaders can join the Muslim Brotherhood after they abandoned violence, he said that the group does not need figures who exercised violence before. Also, such figures aren’t ready to embrace the MB method in full. Their renunciation of violence doesn”t necessarily mean that they are convinced of the MB method. Add to this the fact that the Egyptian government will not accept this.
El Erian hoped also that all motives and factors which led to this extremism shall come to an end. He pointed out that intellectual and ideological sides are important and the political and social perspectives are important as well. It isn”t necessary that violence is politically motivated. It can be criminally motivated like the children killing gangs, tortures in police stations and sectarian or racial acts of violence. All these are due to the social conditions imposed by the Egyptian regime. It isn”t necessary that all violence is the one targeting the government. For example, the biggest death toll in Egypt is due to road accidents. Al Erian sees that the Egyptian regime seeks help fro foreign powers to oppress its citizens in Egypt .