Before starting my blogs, I was interested in knowing more about the jihadi group and terrorist who claim that they are Muslims. Before I took the Middle Eastern revolutions class, I spend a lot of time to understand the Islamic religion and why terrorism is wide spread among Muslims as well as why there is no tolerance among many Muslims and countries who claim that they are following the teaching of Islam and why there is no accepting other religions and others point of views. Later, I came to realize that among many Muslims and almost all Muslims countries are exactly the opposite of what the holy Quran teaches, which Muslims claim that the Quran is the highest authority. I came to realize that many countries use the religion for their own benefits, which results terrorism, intolerance as well as many conflicts such as the Sunni-Shiie war. Therefore, I wanted to understand more about these types of issue, so I picked one terrorist group in order to see and apprehend their ideology. I was also interested in Egypt because of their location and their rooted history. First, I started to search more about the religious groups in Egypt, so I focused on Salafi groups because the Salafi groups play big role in Egypt. I have seen many articles that speak about Salafis and many of whom have turned into terrorists. Suddenly, while I was researching more about the jihadi groups in Egypt, I came across a group called Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, which I have never heard about this group before and I came to realize that Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis was still unknown comparing to ISIS. For that reason, I wanted to research more in order to analyze the organization.
Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis:
Ansar bait Al-Maqdis is group typically operates in North Sinai. The definition of Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis is Supporters of the Holy House, Supporters of Jerusalem, or Champions of Jerusalem. Many members of this group have served in other jihadi groups before, and their militants are fully experienced and well-trained. They own advanced weaponry, including man-portable air-defense systems, rocket-propelled grenades, Grad rockets as well as the have stolen tanks and weapons from the Egyptian military and security. Egyptian officials have suggested that Ahmed Salam Mabruk, the leadership role, has history in terms of violent extremism militant across the region, as well as he has strong ties to Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is the current leader of al-Qaeda and a current or former member and senior official of Islamist organizations, and Al-Qaeda. The purpose of establishing Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis was targeting Israel. However, after the removal of the previous president Muhammed Morsi, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has shifted their interests towered the Egyptian government and the military due to the war against Islam, as far as Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis concern, as well as weakening the economic infrastructure of Egypt, such as bombing a tourist bus and bombing gas pipelines.
Before November 2, 2014, there are many rumor claimed that the Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis was pledging loyalty to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Sham. However, the members and leaders of Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis denied the statement. They said that the media must be accurate with their sources and stick with Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis official announcements. However, On November 2, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has released a nine minutes voice clip on twitter account claiming to be Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis official account. In the voice clip, they have confirmed that Ansar Byat Al-Maqdis swears allegiance to ISIS a week after denying links. Also, the speaker , the speaker in the voice clip forces all jihadi groups to join ISIS as well as all Muslims to follow the leader of ISIS, Al-Baghdadi. This fact made the group changes their name from Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis to Walayat Sinai ” Sinai State.”
After the join of ISIS, The war in Egypt become more complicated after Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis joined ISIS. Within the past 30 days, the terrorist group has planted 21 bombs against the security officials in north Sinai. Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis announced that they will keep bombing the gas pipelines in Sinai for three reasons. First, the organization wants to regain its media momentum to prove that it is facing the tough military campaigns. . Second, it wants to cause damages to the army’s economic structure which greatly relies on the huge profits from cement factories in the center of Sinai and uses gas in its work. Third, the organization wants to stop pumping gas exported to Jordan because the latter joined the anti-IS international alliance.
Ideologies and different perspectives:
The main purpose of my research to understand the Ideologies of the terrorists groups and what type of standing points they rely on. At the beginning of my research, the ideologies of Anar Bayt Al-Maqdis were still vague and unclear. However, when Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis joined ISIS, it made lots of sense to me to understand their perspective and ideologies. They share a rejection of the dominant worldview. Therefore, this is the reason why they attack Israel, Egypt, and consider Saudi Arabia as well as the United State their enemies and two of their main targets. It seems that they view globalization negatively, and they do not want share any connection with non-Muslims and non-Muslims countries, and they view the homogenization of culture negatively. Also, their guiding techniques are national solidarity, regional cooperation, and national self-reliance. Thus, in my understanding of global perspectives, it seems that the closest perspective Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis ” Walayat Sinai” and ISIS ideologies are the radical approaches.
In this paragraph, I will be comparing between the moderate Muslims and the extremist groups in order to analysis the wide difference between the two ideologies. Both sides claim that the Holy Quran must be the state constitution. However, moderate Muslims follow only the Quran, and extremist group follow the teachings of the prophet” hadith” and the Quran. Therefore, in order to understand more about their ideologies, it is important to look at their constitution in great detail. To understand The Quran, it important to know that the Quran is divided into two sections, Mekkiah chapters, which are the chapters reveled in the city of Mekkah when the prophet Muhammed wasn’t a political leader and mainly speak to all humanity, and people who live under unjust state or any county that is not Quranic based; there are no verses that promote violence and” jihad” holy war in those chapters. Second is the Madinia chapters, which the chapters were reveled in the city of Al-Madina and it speaks to the prophet Muhammad as a political figure as well as speak about politics in terms of ruling, laws, connections, etc. the word Jihad is only appear in verses to protect the state because tribes of Makkah were attacking the city of Al-Madina. The extremist groups use these types of verses in order to give them excuses to to attach other nations.
Focusing on Madinia chapters, in terms of globalization, In chapter Al-Anfal verse 15-14 as well as many chapters speak of the topic, if the a country is based on the Quran as their constitution, it is mandatory for Muslims that they must not lead those who are against Islam in terms of laws, war, ruling, etc. This is one the ideologies that the extremist groups rely on. However, in order to follow the Quran, it says it is mandatory to follow the Quran as a whole. In chapter Al-Hujurat verse 13, it says”O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” Therefore the Quran ideology in terms of globalization is mandatory and it views globalization as positive or hopeful as well as it does not force people to accept Islam or the Quran, for example, Surat Al-Baqarah [2:256], “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.” Moreover, in chapter Al-Shurah, it speaks about differences which are part of humans’ lives and focus on the common between nations and other believes. These are the ideologies of moderate muslims. however, the extremist groups obliviously do not consider these verses in their ideologies.
Looking at this situation from different perspective, in my understanding of the global perspective, I think Cosmopolitanism perspective would agree with the moderate Muslims ideologies. First, they both agree globalization cannot be controlled by one ideology or one believe. Second, most importantly they both view globalization as positive and there should be connection and networks between nations in order to benefit from each other as well as prevent war and blood.
After this research, it made me release that the Middle East issues is almost impossible to solve. I personal think that nearly all countries that claim to be Islamic, do not follow the Quran and they only use it to maintain control and raise war against other nations. . The dangerous situation is that many uneducated Muslims fall on the same trap which later many have become terrorists. Also, many moderate Muslims activates spoke about these issues. However and sadly, they ended up fleeing or jailed. I am dreaming and hoping that the Muslims communities as well as individuals release the difficult situation the middle east is going through before it’s too late in order to live peaceful with all the people around the world without fighting for differences and believes.