Hamas: Advocating Violence: “The Intifadha Must Be Rejuvenated”

At the height of the Gulf crisis in late December 1990 an international convention of major figures in the Islamic Jihad and Muslim Brotherhood movements took place in Chicago under the aegis of the Islamic Committee for Palestine. Titled “Islam: The Road to Victory,” the invited dignitaries included Sheik Abd al-Aziz ‘Odeh of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Khalil Shikaki of Al-Najah University in Nablus, Hassan al-Turabi, leader of the Islamic National Front of Sudan, Sheik Rashid Ghanushi, leader of the Islamic Revival Movement of Tunisia, Layth Shbilat, a Muslim Brotherhood member of the Jordanian Parliament, and Sheik Said Sha’ban, of the Islamic Unity Movement in Lebanon.[54] Two African- American Muslims spoke at the convention: Imam Jamil al-Amin of Atlanta, (the former H. “Rap” Brown) and Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, leader of the American Black Muslim movement, and self-described as the “Muslim American Spokesman for Human Salvation”.[55]

At the conference, participants discussed the “rise of Europe and the deliberate effort designed to split the Muslims all over the world through colonization and Westernization.” [56] Islamic Jihad leader Abd al-Aziz ‘Odeh described the intifada as “the turning point in the struggle between good and evil.” [57] According to the Muslim Journal, publication of the American Black Muslim movement, participants at the conference were unanimous in their rejection of a territorial compromise with Israel, claiming that Islamic texts support their position:

“One suggestion that was not disputed among participants was the source of the solution to the present plight of Muslims all over the world. This was agreed to be reliance on the solution given by the Qur’an and the Sunnah [Islamic traditions]. Since land cannot be compromised in Al Islam [Islam] it means that the Intifadha must be rejuvenated and encouraged. This is the only way the liberation of Palestine could be achieved.” [58]

Literature distributed at the convention included the publication of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, Al-Mujahid – The Holy Warrior. Indicative of the violent nature of the IJMP’s agenda is the symbol of the organization portrayed on the cover of the newsletter. The IJMP seal features a pair of crossed rifles over Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. On either side of the mosque is a fist pointing outward, and enclosing the symbol in a circle are the words “Allah Akbar” – Allah is the Greatest – and the name of the organization in Arabic.[59]

Fundraising at the convention to “aid the victims of Israeli occupation” included the donations of the women participants who expressed their fervor for the cause by donating their gold and diamond jewelry. [60]