The Irony in the Baffle!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Wed 3 May / May 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Perhaps the funniest response I saw, among many contradicting and varying reactionary comments on Hamas’s new political paper, is that of the Fateh Spokesperson, Osama Qawasmi.

He demanded Hamas to extend an apology to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), for 30 years of accusations and hostility. According to Qawasmi, Hamas’s attitude has driven sharp division among the Palestinian people, and defamed their righteous cause!

The parody lies in the fact that, still, after all these years, it seems no one has the slightest idea what some Arab politicians, want of political Islamist movements in general, and Hamas in particular. Including the official Arab system.

If they clutch to their ideological positions, insist on the establishment of the Islamic state, they are branded as fanatical extremisms, driving the world centuries back.

Contrarily, when a pragmatic current succeeds in pulling their movement closer to democracy and politics, to abandon ideology and adopt flexibility and realism, they are smeared as apologetic and power-hungry forces seeking the blessing of the west!

I don’t get it; what is expected of them?!

Theoretically and intellectually, at least, I would love to have one of those Arab geniuses explain to us what we should expect of Islamist movements? Perhaps they could explain it to the Arab regimes and political forces as well. What do we want of them?! Do we want them to accept democracy, exhibit leniency, and give up on the solid ideological rhetoric? Or is it the other way around?!

Do we want ISIS, Daeshism, or Ghanouchi?!

Surely some readers will say; neither! Fair enough. But is it possible? Realistic?

We stand before a vast current of movements who fall somewhere along that spectrum. We need to decide which ones of them to engage, and how to engage them! Do we attempt to engage them and include them in politics or extremism and violence?!

This is the golden equation which needs to be engaged. Many Arab cultural and political assemblies have failed to understand this.

Europeans though, by instance of the foreign British MP committee’s report on the Muslim Brotherhood, seem to be more aware of this than we are!

Hamas in particular, has been under a lot of pressure over the decades, by the Arab official institution and Fateh, to adopt pragmatism and abandon rigid ideology.

Now, when Hamas finally agrees to change its ways, Fateh responds with statements packing implicit accusations on their part, this time!

Some say that Qawasmi is merely recapping on Hamas’s enthusiasm to accuse others of treason, betrayal, and blasphemy.

Indeed, this has happened. Hamas, alongside the generality of pollicised Islam, has often made such accusations.

Meanwhile, Fateh too has done the same. For years Fateh has accused Hamas of being unpatriotic! Is this not the same?! Someone explain this to me!

More so, in regards to defaming the Palestinian people’s righteous cause, this has to do with a lot of other things; internal struggle, including Fateh’s own, not to mention corruption.

In the absence of insight and vision, and Fateh’s lack of alternatives, with both Hamas and Fateh trapped in the formalities of authority and power, it is only natural that things derail the way that it did!

We need to thoroughly and objectively investigate the change in Fateh itself.

Mindfully, Fateh did not only accept the peaceful solution, the party changed far more fundamentally, structurally, as well as in relation to the Palestinian Authority.

Moreover, the movement also revisited its relationship to both regional and international players far more than Hamas ever did.

The hypothesis that Hamas is only copying Fateh’s experiment is not entirely correct. It considers only on particular variable and leaves out a variety of other elements, including the massive changes which have taken place inside Fateh, along with the faction’s roles!

In some ways, and this is no secret, the same deformities are found with Islamists, perhaps even more complex.

Either way, we need to keep in mind that further baffling is useless.

In the meantime, we need to take a step back and look again at the ongoing calamities of the Arab World; we need a deeper reproach to understand ourselves and our situation!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.