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Sheikh Sanctifies Killing Hamas Members By: MEMRI
Memri.org | Friday, May 25, 2007

In an article posted May 16, 2007 by the Palestine Press Agency, a certain Sheikh Shaker Al-Hiran labels Hamas as Khawarij [1] and sanctifies killing its members. The article responded to the recent cycle of bloodshed between Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip, placing the blame on Hamas and accusing Hamas of acting against a legitimate ruler.The Saudi daily Al-Watan published it on its front page on May 22, 2007. [2]

In another article, posted May 18, 2007 on the Fatah website, Al-Hiran went even farther, comparing Hamas to the Jews. This article triggered harsh reactions and prompted online messages from readers questioning Al-Hiran's existence.

The following are summaries of the articles.

Sheikh Shaker Al-Hiran's May 16 article, which was posted on www.palpress.ps and titled "Oh People and Officers of the Security Forces, Blessed Be He Who Was Killed by Their Hands, They Are the Neo-Khawarij," is mainly a series of legal arguments aimed at proving that Hamas should be categorized as Khawarij and as such must be fought against. [3]

Some of the main arguments made in the article are: Hamas, like the Khawarij, is rebelling against a legitimate ruler whose authority it had already accepted; Hamas labels as apostate any Muslim who has committed grave sins (kabair), for example, drinking wine; Hamas cooperates with anybody who supports it, even if he is a Christian, and consider an enemy anyone who disassociates himself from it, even if he is a devout Muslim.

After listing their "Khawariji" characteristics, the article recommends that the following measures be taken against Hamas: "We [should call] upon the media to [invite] their scholars to appear on TV or on the Internet to [be asked] about those criminal murderers. If they say that what they [i.e. Hamas members] do is prohibited, then you should kill them cold-bloodedly, [and you will] be rewarded by Allah for ridding Muslims of their influence and evil. Jews have more mercy towards our nation than [Hamas]. If they [i.e. the scholars] say that their conduct is permitted, then kill their scholars... they are all the same."

In his May 18, 2007, article, titled "The Common Characteristics of Hamas and the Jews" and posted on the Fatah website (www.fateh.ps ), Sheikh Shaker Al-Hiran depicts Hamas as having adopted "Jewish characteristics." [4] For example, he accuses Hamas of not practicing what it preaches. "They oppose appointment based on political affiliation before they assume power. However, once they assume power, they appoint only an individual who bears an indulgence paper" from his mosque.

Al-Hiran depicts Hamas as hypocritical: "They tell the government 'We are with you'" when they are in fact loyal to their own movement.

Finally, Al-Hiran accuses Hamas of violating every single agreement they have signed, such as the recent Mecca Accord.

The articles triggered condemnation, such as a statement by Palestinian Authority Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, who labeled Al-Hiran's articles as a clear call for fitna (civil strife).

[1] The Khawarij were a rebellious group of Muslims, mostly non-Arabs, in the late seventh century. They advocated a more egalitarian form of Islam.

[2] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), May 22, 2007.

[3] http://www.palpress.ps/arabic/index.php?maa=ReadStory&ChannelID=74148

[4] http://www.fateh.ps/viewdocn.asp?nid=3564

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