Reprinted with permission from MEMRI.
Following ISIS’s execution of Jordanian pilot Mu’adh Al-Kasasbeh by burning him alive, Hamas and its leaders condemned the act, but also took the opportunity to express their principled objection to foreign intervention in the region and to foreign military action against Muslims, and to the cooperation of Arab countries with such intervention. They held Jordan responsible for the death of the pilot due to its participation in the anti-ISIS coalition alongside Western countries. One official even said explicitly that it was forbidden to “help the enemies of Allah against the believers.”
Fatah’s spokesman, in response, compared Hamas to ISIS and the Taliban.
The following are excerpts from some Hamas responses:
A statement issued by Hamas following the pilot’s execution said: “We condemn all forms of murder and violence against members of the Arab and Muslim nation.”
Hamas PLC member Sheikh Salem Salama said that Jordan was responsible for the pilot’s death, “because it sent its army to Syria to assist the Syrian regime against the rebels, [thus intervening in] a war that it shouldn’t have entered. [Jordan] should have taken a stance similar to Turkey’s. ISIS members are Muslims, and it is forbidden to help the enemies of Allah against the believers.” Another Hamas PLC member, Yahya Moussa, responded to the execution on his Facebook page with the words “savageness, backwardness, cruelty and barbarity,” but added that the ones responsible for Al-Kasasbeh’s death were “the political leadership that sent [him], as well as the Obama administration and the corrupt Arab regimes.”
Yahya Moussa’s Facebook post (Facebook.com/yahia.mousa.200?fref=ts, February 3, 2015)
Senior Hamas official Salah Al-Bardawil took a similar position. On the one hand, he condemned the murder, stating that “burning the pilot contravenes Islam; moreover the act and its publication can hurt Islam and the Muslims and blacken their image. The major winners are the ummah’s enemies, chiefly Israel.” He added that the pilot’s captors could have freed him or exchanged him (for prisoners they wanted released). On the other hand, he clarified: “We in Hamas are firmly opposed to any intervention by Western countries in Arab states, and believe that it can set the region ablaze and feed religious and sectarian conflicts, and that the Arab nations will [be the ones] paying the price.”
Fatah spokesman Jamal Nazzal condemned the statements by the Hamas PLCs members who had imposed responsibility on Jordan, saying that the religion of Hamas, ISIS, the Taliban and other organizations involved in the murder of Muslims and Arabs is like a tree that is diseased, root and branch.