Dr. Mohammed al-Shiekh Mahmood Sayam
Dr. Mohammed al-Shiekh Mahmood Sayam, who first called for “intifada against Zionism” in 1987, was recently interviewed by Asia Times Online. The interview reveals a great deal about the radical Muslim mindset.
Sayam numbers among his intellectual mentors several of the fathers of modern radical Islam whom I profile in Onward Muslim Soldiers. He acknowledges “learning from Syed Qutub (Sayyid Qutb) [the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue executed by the Egyptian government] that Islam should prevail over all the world. From Imam Banna [Hasanul Banna (Hasan Al-Banna), founder of the Muslim Brotherhood] I learned that jihad should be the way. From Imam Modudi [Syed Abul Ala Modudi (Maududi), founder of the Jamaat-i-Islami in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh] I learned that Koranic teachings should be dominant in the system of state. From the book of Imam Nadvi [Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi, the Jamaat-i-Islami India chief who later became a writer], The Rise and Fall of Muslim and its Influence on Human History, I learnt of the role Muslims should play in the world community.”
Sayam traces a very important development: the evolution of the Palestinian movement from a nationalist to a religious one. “The dynamics of the movement changed,” he says. “Leaders like George Habash and Yasser Arafat ran the movement on nationalist lines. Their decades-old struggle only resulted in frustration and retreats from basic Palestinian rights. In fact, Palestinians do not want to abdicate their rights, and as a result they joined Islamic organizations. Today’s Palestinian does not want to compromise his position, and this is true of Muslims around the world.”
Sayam also says that “if in the first place the Palestinians had been allowed to live in their homes there would have been no question of an intifada, the Islamic Jihad or Hamas. The whole episode is a reaction to the tyrannies imposed on us.”
There’s no doubt that if Israel hadn’t been established, these movements would have no purpose. But the existence of radical Muslim movements elsewhere in the world demonstrates that Israel is not the source of the trouble.
Sayam says disingenuously: “Palestinians did not flourish on the aid given by Saddam, though it is correct that he supported bereaved families whose members were killed in struggle or whose houses were demolished.”
“Families whose members were killed in the struggle”: i.e., suicide bombers.
Also: “The intifada flourishes on public jihad funds raised all over the world, and we continue to receive these funds.” (Thanks to nicolei.)