By: Ahmed Imbabi
Deliberately or without a real understanding of its danger, President Donald Trump's decision, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, is a chance of survival of many political Islam organizations to return again to the region. These organizations exploited the public anger against this decision, after they lost their popularity after showing their extremism and involvement in violence and terrorism acts.
There may be an opportunity for these organizations to restore their old ways of polarizing and investing in the developments of the Jerusalem issue to change their image on the street. It is a great opportunity to attend in universities' youth gatherings and trade unions shouting emotional slogans about supporting Jerusalem and the Palestinian issue, as what happened before. Does it possible for these organizations to achieve their goals during the state of growing awareness about their dangers as happened with Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt ?
Jerusalem and Palestine's issue exploited by the terrorist organizations to return to the political arena. In particular, MB, Jihad groups as well as Al Qaeda and al-Jama'a al-Islamiyya. This presence is translated through the emotional slogans they chanted in universities, such as MB slogan" To Jerusalem we go, to be the martyrs of the millions," Did they implement what they said or claimed? In reality, they did not take a stand against Israel to defend Jerusalem.
In the past, they succeeded in escalating waves of anger at universities and trade unions by using their slogans. In addition, they recruited new cadres and expand the circle of presence in the streets.
Jerusalem and political Islam organizations
Given the beginnings of political Islam organizations, whether MB or jihadist groups, these organizations do not differ in their forming strategy and the stages of polarization they pursue to increase their members. As they used similar discourse language to achieve their political or religious goals.
The Palestinian issue and using of emotional slogans, especially in the universities, were common among these organizations within the strategy of polarization. To illustrate this, we review the position of the most prominent of these organizations on the Palestinian issue:
MB terrorist organization allocated management divisions to recruit universities' students and trade unionists, to spread its thoughts among members of these segments, as well as creating what so-called Islamic "atmosphere".
According to the organization's documents, the group used specific stages to attract youth in universities, such as selecting convergence and awakening of faith.
One of the most important issues used to attract these segments and to achieve the goals of MB was Palestine. As MB called for Jihad and the liberation of al-Aqsa as well as helping people of Gaza. It also called on Egyptians to defend Palestine by sending donations, funds and medicines to Gaza, using its members and affiliated associations.
However, MB was one of the means to weaken the Palestinian issue, when its Hamas movement was established in Palestine. Since the emergence of Hamas in 1987, raising the banner of resistance, it has led to the division of the Palestinian ranks at a time when there was a unified Palestinian project for the resistance led by the late Yasser Arafat.
What is remarkable, however, was the Brotherhood's position against the current regimes, as it considered that the victory of Jerusalem starting from confronting the regimes. This is evident in the attitude of MB's affiliated movement "Hasm" movement, which said that the road to Jerusalem starts from Cairo, thus justifying its use of arms against the Egyptian state instead of carrying it against Israel.
Al Jihad Group and Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya
In the 1970s, Al Jihad Group and Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya appeared in Egyptian universities in the form of religious associations, through organizing some simple cultural and social activities for students.
The popular base of these groups expanded outside the university's walls rejecting some issues, most notably the opposition of the Camp David Accords. Under the banner of defending Jerusalem and Palestine, these groups distributed publications and organized marches and conferences against the state. The terrorist groups were indirectly involved in the assassination of Egyptian late President Anwar al-Sadat. Later, Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya recognized its mistake in the 1990s.
Islamic Jihad Movement
The Islamic Jihad movement emerged as a result of political dialogue witnessed by the Palestinian Islamic movement in the late 1970s. It was led by a group of young Palestinians during their university studies in Egypt. The founder of the Islamic Jihad movement was Dr. FathiShikaki and Sheikh Abdel Aziz Oudeh.
The movement justified its presence arguing that the Islamic movement, at this time, neglected the Palestinian issue as a central issue of the Islamic world and that it was established to solve this problem.
Although Al-Qaeda organization adopts the thought of facing the distant enemy ( America and the Western regimes) before the near enemy (the Arab regimes and the Islamic countries), the issue of Palestine was one of its pretexts to attract its militants.
The leader of this terrorist organization, Osama bin Laden, referred in all his statements to Palestine's issue and al-Aqsa. However, al-Qaeda launched no operation to liberate Jerusalem despite the multiplicity of al-Qaeda groups in the region, such as Zarqawi group, the Shura Council of Mujahideen, supporters of Jerusalem and the Army of Islam. All its basic goals are the liberation of Palestine.
The same was with Hezbollah. It was founded in the early 1980s in southern Lebanon Under the slogans of resistance and defending of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa. Hezbollah sought popular support in southern Lebanon and in various Arab countries. But now, the tone of Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has changed. He did not threat, as before, America and Israel, and called on the resistance factions to unite.
As for ISIS terrorist organization, the liberation of Palestine is not one of its priorities during its terrorist operations carried out against the Arab and Islamic countries. The organization clearly stated this in the article No.109 of its weekly magazine Al-Naba, as ISIS attacked those who talk about the priority of liberating Jerusalem.
Political Islam groups and Trump decision
Did these organizations need Trump decision on Jerusalem ?! The political Islam organizations suffer from decline and rejection of their project, promoting them to look for every opportunity to beautify their image contaminated with the blood of hundreds of martyrs. The issue of Jerusalem is a good example and the MB terrorist organization is a model.
The scene can be read in the following points:
After the June 30 revolution, the MB sees the American president's decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as an important way to help their leaders to use the old methods of deceiving Arab and Muslim public opinion.
This is reflected in the calls of members of the group and its committees on social media to use means of social communication by calling for the irritation of the Arab and Islamic street and to hit American interests, as well as burning of embassies.
Many of the group's calls, in view of the reactions in the street, have not received an interaction as before. The state of societal awareness of the dangers of this organization has increased. In many cases, public opinion realized that its members are implementing external agendas to provoke internal chaos.
Currently, the Egyptian street has become aware of the methods of Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist organizations, but the most dangerous are the new generations, especially in the universities, targeted by these organizations to form their thought according to its agenda.
The seriousness of the current situation lies in addressing any movement of MB's members within the universities to exploit the issue of Jerusalem. Perhaps this is being realized by the Egyptian universities through organizing silent rallies for students and with the participation of universities' presidents and faculty members, to reject the American decision.
The terrorist organizations seek to launch operations in Egypt and Sinai, using Trump decision on Jerusalem to justify its actions in Egypt and the countries of the region.
The terrorist and armed organizations will exploit the decision to justify transferring their militants from Iraq and Syria to Libya. They will try to be present in Sinai and increase their arming. It is not unlikely that the banner of defending Jerusalem and the Palestinian issue will be raised as a pretext for its operations.
Hence, there is a need for raising political, media and social awareness of the seriousness of these pretexts. There is also a need to stand behind the official position of the state to close the doors of political exploitation of the Palestinian issue by Islamic and terrorist organizations.
By: Ahmed Imbabi