1) What is HAMAS?
HAMAS, the Islamic Resistance Movement – Palestine is a radical Islamic extremist organization which calls for the eradication of Israel based on the theology of its “spiritual leader,” Sheik Ahmad Yassin. In its place, HAMAS envisions the immediate creation of an Islamic Palestinian state ruled by Islamic theocratic law, or the shari’a. The organization was founded by Sheik Yassin in 1987, prior to the intifadha.
HAMAS is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, and has keen responsible for brutal attacks and kidnappings of Israeli soldiers and civilians.
HAMAS shares the Muslim Brotherhood’s vehement rejection of the West as represented by the United States, and calls for the ultimate establishment of a pan-lslamic state throughout the Middle East. Both organizations also share the view that Israel serves as an agent of the U.S. in the region. From this perspective, HAMAS’s attacks on Israel represent the essence of Islamic extremists’ larger confrontation with the West.
2) What is the Islamic lihad Movement in Palestine?
The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (IJMP) is a radical Islamic extremist organization inspired by the Iranian revolution of 1979. The IJMP carried out its first terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers in mid-1986, half a year prior to the outbreak of the intifada. It regards itself as part of the larger Islamic Jihad movement, which originated in Lebanon with the backing of Iran. That organization is most well known for its abduction and murder of American and Western hostages over the last decade.
The IJMP, following the doctrines of the Ayatollah Khomayni, envisions itself as part of an pan-lslamic confrontation with the West characterized as a struggle between good and evil. As the leader of the Western world, the United States is seen as the “Great Satan” and Israel as the “Little Satan.” Through its terror attacks, the IJMP seeks the destruction of Israel and the removal of Western influence in the Middle East.
3) What the Muslim Brotherhood?
The Muslim Brotherhood is the oldest of the Islamic extremist organizations. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the preacher Hasan al-Bana.
The philosophy of the Muslim Brotherhood is characterized by the doctrine that a universal “Islamic reawakening” w ill he the harbinger of a pan-lslamic state that will be re-established throughout the Muslim world. The culmination of this spiritual phenomenon will be the re-establishment of Islamic political power represented by the rule of a Caliph, the title bestowed upon the successors of the Prophet Muhammad.
The Brotherhood v ehemently rejects Westem influence together with the legitimacy of secular regimes throughout the Middle East. Adhering to the doctrine that only Muslim ‘believers’ can govem in Islamic lands, Brotherhood members have actively promoted their cause through sermons in mosques and by pro- viding for the social needs of the poor. Networks of Brotherhood institutions span the Middle East in the | form of social, charitable and educational institutions that are linked to mosques. | The Brotherhood’s attitude towards the West is personified by Sayyid Qutb, one of its ideologues who | was executed by the Egyptian govemment. His interpretation of the Koran is harshly critical of Christians i and Jews.
4) What are AI Jihad (Jihad Organization)/al-Jama’at al lslamiya (the Islamic Group)?
The Jihad Organization of Egypt, also known as the Islamic Group, is a militant offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood promotes the establishment a pan-lslamic theocracy throughout the Muslim world and vehemently rejects any Westem presence or influence.
Throughout its history, adherents of the Muslim Brotherhood have opposed the Egyptian govemment, carrving out assassinations of govemment officials. In attempts to appease its opponents, the Egyptian government has outlawed the jihad Organi:ation but has permitted members of the Muslim Brotherhood to participate in the political arena.
Sheik ‘Umar Abd al-Rahman (also known as Omar Abdel Rahman) is the spiritual guide of Egypt’s militant Jihad organization. In 1981 he issued a fatva, or religious edict, sanctioning the assassination of President Anwar al-Sadat. His followers have also been responsible for the assassination of the speaker of Egypt’s Parliament, Rifat Mahjub. Paralleling the case of Salman Rushdie, the Egyptian writer Faraj Fodha was assassinated by order of the sheik in June of 1992.
Sheik Rahman entered the United States in 1990. He received a visa at the U.S. Embassy in the Sudan, even though his name appears on the State Department’s official terrorist list.
Over the past year, followers of the sheik in Egypt have targetted American and other Westem tourists, whom the sheik describes as part of a “plague’ on his country. His directives are sent to Egypt on audiotapes which are recorded in the U.S.