Islamism in Disarray
by Daniel Pipes
Translations of this item:
This blog continues the analysis in "Islamism's Likely Doom," where I traced recent fissiparous trends among Islamists. They just can't seem to get along anymore. To quote Yusuf al-Qaradawi speaking in a different context (the prospect of U.S. forces attacking the Assad regime), "Allah pits the oppressors one against the other."
Plus, to know Islamists is to reject them. This weblog entry follows the two themes of in-fighting and unpopularity.
Jordan: The aftermath of the Egyptian coup d'état three months ago has left the Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, known as the Islamic Action Front, reeling. David Schenker of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy finds that the old division between East Bankers and Palestinians has come to the fore; also, both Salafis and mild reformers, the latter in an organization called the Zamzam Initiative, have gained in strength.
Iran: Alienated Iranians, both Sunni and also Shi'i, are turning toward Salafism, reports Mehdi Khalaji, also of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy. For example, the regime does not allow Sunnis to build mosques in Tehran and other large cities because "it is deeply concerned about Salafis using them to recruit young Shiites who are frustrated with the Islamic Republic's ideology." This in turn is part of a larger, ironic trend:
(October 3, 2013)
Saudi Arabia vs. Sudan: Alden Young reports under the title "Sudan Shifts Alliance From Egypt To Ethiopia Over Nile Dispute" that some the Sudanese government's reliance as a military supplier and ally has caused a falling out between Khartoum and Riyadh. He notes that "The nadir in the Saudi-Sudanese relationship was recently marked by Riyadh's decision in August to prevent [Sudanese President Omar al-]Bashir from flying through its airspace to Tehran." (October 7, 2013)
Hizbullah and Hamas: These two leading Islamist and anti-Zionist organizations face an internal rebellion, Orit Perlov explains in "The End of the Muqawama? Hamas and Hizbollah Face Reform or Collapse; Discourse on the Palestinian and Lebanese Social Networks."
Trend analysis of the social networks among over one million Palestinians (which represents approximately 35 percent of the Palestinian population) and half a million Lebanese (15 percent of the population) reveals that for the first time in the past 30 years, the "enemy from within" (Hizbollah and Hamas) is regarded as more dangerous than the "from without" (Israel).
(October 8, 2013)
Saudi Arabia vs. various Islamists: Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz note that the Saudi authorities banned Tareq Suwaidan, a Kuwaiti Islamist television preacher, from visiting Saudi Arabia to perform the umrah, the out-of-season hajj, and that this followed hard on Suwaidan's dismissal from a television station, Al-Resalah, owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. The duo then look at the kingdom's larger difficutlties with the Muslim Brotherhood and Tehran, even as it is making movements toward modernization, amounting to what they call "the internal contradictions of Saudi reality."
(October 9, 2013)
Muslim Brotherhood: Jonathan Spyer documents how 2013 has become the year of the Muslim Brotherhood in retreat and concludes that "The sun is now setting on the Muslim Brotherhood's hopes of regional domination." (October 10, 2013)
Syria: Hamas leader Khaled Mishal has advised the Sunni jihadis in Syria to "direct their rifles towards Palestine," rather than toward the Assad regime, which those Sunni jihadis responded to with anger. Mulham Al-Droubi, the Muslim Brotherhood representative to the Syrian National Council, cautioned Hamas to avoid "interfering in Syrian affairs or giving instructions to the fighters on the ground." The Army of Islam, a leading rebel group, accused Mishal of "links to Iran." More cuttingly, the political bureau of the Army of Islam's general command rebuked Mishal: "He who performs jihad out of his office should not offer advice to those in the trenches." (October 19, 2013)
Sudan: Al-Monitor has translated into English Haidar Ibrahim Ali's scathing article in Al-Hayat, "Sudan After the Islamists." He documents Islamist travails in Sudan and concludes by noting their falling out with each other:
This dismal picture then provides the base for a eulogy for all Islamism:
Ali characterizes the post-Islamist period as one of "intellectual poverty and complete departure from dialogue and knowledge." (October 23, 2013)
Turkey: Bayram Balcı of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace writes in "Turkey's Gülen Movement: Between Social Activism and Politics" that the absence of a common enemy, among other causes, has led to growing fissures between the AKP and Gülen:
Balcı then reviews a number of their differences: the Mavi Marmara affair, Ergenekon, the questioning of Hakan Fidan, the Kurdish issue, and Gezi Park. He then takes on specuilations about a break between the two but predicts otherwise, that
(October 24, 2013)
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