Center for Islamic Pluralism i Washington har front mot wahhabisme, og for en åpen, tolerant islam. En av lederne, Stephen Schwartz, understreker at den nye radikalismen er et moderne fenomen, inspirert av totalitære bevegelser i mellomkrigstiden. Schwartz er særlig opptatt av hva han kaller den tredje jihad – den politiske jihad representert ved Det muslimske brorskap.
Unfortunately, the political jihad of the Muslim Brotherhood, replacing military means, has fooled some Western commentators into support for the jihad of the ballot over the bullet, with arguments for Western accommodation of the Brotherhood as well as the disastrous welcome granted Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian general election. The principle of a third, political jihad is also visible in radical Islamist agitation in some Western countries, including the demand for introduction of sharia law in Britain. While there are differences in tactics between the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, and Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, their aim–a purificationist Islamic state–remains identical.
Schwartz korrigerer: Antisemittisme var ikke utbredt i et land som Egypt tidligere. Han siterer Matthias Küntzel og hans bok om jihad og antisemittisme
But Küntzel makes several important points that will be unfamiliar to many Western readers. One is that the Muslim Brotherhood’s hostility to Jews was novel in Egypt, which had a history of good relations among Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Another point is that, notwithstanding broad Palestinian Arab opposition to Zionism, many village sheikhs in today’s West Bank opposed anti-Jewish campaigns in the 1920s and signed petitions favoring increasing Jewish immigration.
Ny forskning viser at mange palestinere ikke ønsket å slåss med våpen i hånd mot jødene i 1948.
In dealing with this issue Küntzel cites the important work of Hillel Cohen in Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948, which has just appeared in English. Cohen’s book is a treasury of data suggesting new approaches to the history of Arab-Jewish relations. His work is epitomized by one stunning disclosure: In 1947-48, while the Grand Mufti al-Husseini and others called for Arab war against the new state of Israel, Palestinian “Arabs were in no hurry” to join the battle: “Only a minority of Arabs were involved in offensive activities,” writes Cohen. “This unwillingness to fight was frequently buttressed by agreements with Jews in nearby settlements.” The main Arab leader in Baqa al-Gharbiya, for example, offered a peace agreement to the Jewish settlements in his district–and Baqa today is home to the Al-Qasemi Academy, a Muslim school and college organized on the spiritual principles of Sufism.
Drawing, like Küntzel, on official sources, Cohen reveals a substantial Muslim record of cooperation with Jewish immigrants to Palestine.