Who are the true Muslims? Hamas and Fatah accuse each other of defiling Islam, by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook. From Palestinian Media Watch (PMW):
A striking sign of the growing influence of Islam in Palestinian society is that Fatah and Hamas are each positioning themselves as defenders of Islam, while accusing the other of defiling the religion. The latest accusations are made in two Palestinian videos, one produced by Fatah and the other by Hamas, broadcast on their respective TV stations.
Hamas goes so far as to imply that members of Fatah are Infidels. Both sides have chosen to accuse the other of defiling the Quran. This accusation is very significant. When American soldiers were accused of defiling the Quran in Guantanamo in 2005 it sparked riots across the Muslim world.
The anti-Hamas video produced by Fatah is a medley of scenes of destruction in a Gaza mosque that was attacked by Hamas gunman. The Fatah clip includes pictures of the dead and interviews with the injured Islamic Jihad members who had been in the mosque.
The Fatah cameras focus on the bloodstained floor of the mosque and on copies of the Quran, covered with grenades and bullet casings, to blame Hamas for the desecration. The caption makes the accusation, “Whose grenades are these?”
The Hamas clip is far more creative, featuring high-quality animation in which the Fatah members are depicted as rats wreaking havoc on Islam, while Hamas is a majestic lion. The lion, with a strong resemblance to Disney’s character of the Lion King, arises to defend Islam and defeat the Fatah rats. The rats are shown crawling over, and burning, Islamic texts and the Quran. They also remove the veil from a woman’s face and target mosques with machine gun fire and RPGs.
The Hamas video ends with a verse from the Quran: “If ye return, We shall return” [Sura 17,8], implying that followers of the Fatah are infidels. The meaning of the verse is, “If ye return (to sin), We shall return (to punish you),” and continues with the warning, “and Hell will close on the Infidels” – in this case the Fatah.
The Fatah clip counters by presenting those killed by Hamas as faithful to Islam, by showing their pictures accompanied by captions, “These were the protectors of the mosque. Look what happened to them!”
Other Fatah accusations include:
“[Hamas] crime: Invading the Ribat Land mosque [in Gaza].
The result: Several men of the Al-Quds Brigades [Islamic Jihad] were martyred and injured.
“The perpetrator: The Executive Force [Hamas]”
[Visual: photos of dead and injured]
“These were the protectors of the mosque. Look what happened to them!
The Ribat mosque: They [Hamas] trampled it, defiled it, and fired in it.”
[Visual: Blood and disorder in the mosque]
“Look what happened to the Quran Learning Center.”
[Visual: Torn pages of the Quran with bullet shells and grenades on them] “Whose grenades are these?”
[PA TV, August 26, 2007]
The choice of these accusations in clips on both Hamas and Fatah controlled stations are an indication of the universal supremacy of Islam in the Palestinian Authority, and the disagreement is only whether Hamas or Fatah represents genuine Islam.
Please click on Palestinian Media Watch for the complete factsheet.