Gaza - en seier for Brorskapet

Hans Rustad

Ingen fryk­ter et Hamas-styrt Gaza mer enn Egypt og Jor­dan. For første gang har Bror­ska­pet kon­troll over et ter­ri­to­rium. Hvil­ken rolle vil det spille poli­tisk i Midtøsten?

Der Spie­gel har en inter­es­sant artik­kel. Den kon­sta­te­rer at Gaza er banebrytende.

It’s the irre­futable evi­dence that the Isla­mist inter­na­tio­nal network of the Mus­lim Brot­her­hood has, for the first time, become the sover­eign power over a piece of ter­ri­tory. One of the world’s most densely popu­lated and troubled specks of land has sud­denly become a labo­ra­tory for poli­ti­cal Islam in the Middle East.

We’ve freed the people from a cor­rupt regime,” says Kha­lil Abu Leila. The 55-year-old with the speck­led gray beard sits in the cour­tyard of an apart­ment buil­ding wea­ring a plain gray suit and leather san­dals. On the table in front of him is a copy of the Koran.

Like many Hamas lea­ders, Abu Leila stu­died in Egypt. And like many Isla­mists, he chose to become a phar­macist because he wis­hed to heal mankind’s ills. While in Cairo he first came into con­tact with the Mus­lim Brot­her­hood. After retur­ning to the Gaza Strip he ope­ned a phar­macy in the Khan Yunis refugee camp and met Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, a doc­tor. Toget­her they created their own Gaza branch of the Brot­her­hood in the late 1970s. Accor­ding to Abu Leila, they foun­ded Hamas in 1987 as the mili­tary wing of the Brot­her­hood. It was the begin­ning of the First Intifada.

Abu Leila does his best to play down the vio­lent repu­ta­tion of the Mus­lim Brot­her­hood. “We want to bring peace and jus­tice to the entire world,” he says. Western society is sick, its fami­lies are fal­ling apart and its child­ren threate­ned by drugs. And most Arab countries are being destroyed by cor­rup­tion. “We have the pro­per medi­cine against it all,” he says poin­ting to the Koran. “Islam. We want to spread this medi­cine throug­hout the whole world.”

For many Mus­lims, Hamas is the tip of the Brotherhood’s spear, the polis­hed diamond of poli­ti­cal Islam. The neigh­bo­ring secu­lar Arab regi­mes see it as a threat to their very exist­ence -- or in Syria’s case -- as a means to an end in the ongo­ing con­flict in the Middle East.

Both Egypt’s Pre­si­dent Hosni Muba­rak and Jordan’s King Abdul­lah moved quickly to sup­port mode­rate Pale­sti­nian Pre­si­dent Mah­moud Abbas last week. Muba­rak said Hamas had under­ta­ken a “putsch” in Gaza. He sent his diplo­mats sta­tio­ned there to Ramal­lah in the West Bank, where Abbas’ Fatah party remains in con­trol, and he clo­sed the bor­der crossing into Egypt at Rafah.

But Muba­rak and Abdul­lah alre­ady seemed to be pla­gued by doubts at a sum­mit Sharm el-Sheik. The num­ber two lea­der of the Isla­mist ter­ro­rist network al-Qaida, the Egyp­tian Ayman al Zawa­hiri, had cal­led on all Mus­lims to sup­port Hamas only a few hours ear­lier. Muba­rak that evening quietly urged Fatah to nego­tiate with the new rulers in Gaza.

No other regime in the region is as con­cerned about the impli­ca­tions of the take­over by Hamas as Egypt is. The most popu­lous Arab nation has good rea­sons to be so. The news­pa­per Al Ahram, which acts as an Egyp­tian govern­ment mout­h­piece, com­men­ted that “the pro­blem of Hamas isn’t limi­ted to Gaza. Here in Egypt the Mus­lim Brot­her­hood does not rec­og­nize the legi­ti­macy of the govern­ment, the con­sti­tu­tion and the law. Who­e­ver igno­res that takes us to the gates of Hell, which Gaza has opened.”

The Egyp­tian aut­hori­ties have arrested over 600 mem­bers of the group since Decem­ber. They are stu­dents, busi­ness­men, doc­tors and engi­neers. They also con­fis­cated large amounts of assets. The state-controlled press com­pa­res the Brot­her­hood to a “tumor in the popu­lace” and a con­sti­tu­tio­nal amend­ment in March was inten­ded to finish off the orga­niza­tion politically.

Bror­ska­pet har to ansik­ter: det sosiale og det poli­tiske. Det sosiale gjør mye bra for fat­tige, som det er nok av i Midt­østen. Det er slik Bror­ska­pet har byg­get sin base: ved å hjelpe folk. Men poli­tisk er de mer tvil­somme: hold­nin­gen er autoritær.

* In Morocco the Party for Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment is on its way to becoming the lar­gest oppo­sition party in elections this Sep­tem­ber. And in Alge­ria the Move­ment for a Peace­ful Society sup­ports Pre­si­dent Abde­laziz Bouteflika’s ruling coalition.
* The Mus­lim Brot­her­hood in Egypt increased its num­ber of inde­pen­dent par­lia­men­ta­ri­ans from 15 to 88 in the 2005 election. The group even mana­ged to quad­ruple its num­ber of seats despite having can­di­da­tes in only 160 from 444 dist­ricts in order to avoid an early con­fron­ta­tion with the ruling regime.
* The Isla­mic Action Front in Jor­dan is the poli­ti­cal wing of the Brot­her­hood, accoun­ting for 17 out of 110 par­lia­men­ta­ri­ans. The group has become part of Jordan’s poli­ti­cal estab­lish­ment.
* In Yemen, Bah­rain and Kuwait the Mus­lim Brot­her­hood ope­ra­tes as part of the par­lia­men­tary oppo­sition. They have learned to cope with poli­ti­cal def­eats -- such as women’s suf­frage in Kuwait -- but their vic­to­ries are growing.

Bror­ska­pet er bevisst ullen om sitt poli­tiske pro­gram. Enkelte fors­kere er blitt mer skep­tiske med tiden.

Is the Mus­lim Brot­her­hood in the Arab world truly deter­mined to follow the example of the Tur­kish Isla­mists and become a part of the democra­tic process? Or is what the Cairo weekly Rosa al Yousef wrote last week true? “For the Brot­her­hood democracy is not­hing but a dance with the devil,” the paper wrote. “It is the means to come to power. After­wards they will whip democracy and behead it with the sword.“

Char­ting the Rise of the Mus­lim Brotherhood




Om du ikke følger Document på sosiale media kan du følge oss på e-post.

Donere engangsbeløp?Kan du forplikte deg til fast betaling?

Penger kan også doneres til kontonummer 15030249981. Du kan også støtte oss ved å kjøpe bøker eller varer.

Leserkommentarer på Document er gjenstand for moderering, som ikke skjer kontinuerlig og under enhver omstendighet ikke om natten. Vi ønsker en respektfull tone uten personangrep, sleivete språk eller flammende retorikk. Vis særlig nøkternhet når temaet er følsomt. Begrenset redigering av skjemmende detaljer kan finne sted. Skriv til debatt@document.no dersom du ikke forstår hvorfor en kommentar uteblir. Se her for nybegynnerhjelp.