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Cablegate: Jordan: Iaf Issues Strong Fatwa Against Egyptian

VZCZCXRO4141
PP RUEHBC RUEHDH RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHAM #0302 0331200
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 021200Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6828
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

S E C R E T AMMAN 000302

NOFORN
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR S/CT PWORMAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/20/2020
TAG PGOV, PREL, KTER, EG, JO
SUBJECT: JORDAN: IAF ISSUES STRONG FATWA AGAINST EGYPTIAN
WALL IN GAZA

Classified By: Ambassador R. Stephen Beecroft for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (
d)

1. (S/NF) On January 9, 2010, the Islamic Shari'a Scholars
Committee of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political
wing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, issued a fatwa
(religious ruling) condemning Egyptian construction of a
steel wall near Rafah. The significance of the fatwa lies
not in the decision itself -- the proposed wall is deeply
unpopular with practically all segments of Jordanian society,
both religious and secular -- but rather with its harsh tone
and its apparent readiness to support or condone violence
against the Egyptian authorities. The fatwa is highly
unusual in its willingness to address issues completely
outside of Jordan and because of the force with which the
scholars condemn the actions of a neighboring Arab and Muslim
state. The full text of the fatwa is available at
http://opensource.dni.sgov.gov/mos2/mos2 frame main.html.

2. (S/NF) The ruling cites the negative impact upon food
security, health programs, economic development, and Gaza
reconstruction closely followed by condemnation of the
proposed barrier for "harming the mujahidin" by preventing
the shipment of weapons and military supplies. The fatwa
text includes the following lines:

- "The peak of jihad is fighting: fight the occupying usurper
and continue fighting him until he is expelled and the land
is purified of his filth. God said 'And slay them wherever
ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they
drove you out'."

- "The building of the wall is an obstruction of jihad.
Aggression against the mujahidin and pursuing them is a crime
that must be discontinued by the perpetrators. They must be
confronted with all available means". Later in the document,
the scholars state, "It is even the right of the people of
Gaza and its mujahidin everywhere to confront this crime and
its perpetrators, stop them, and stop the damage they are
inflicting."

- In several other places the fatwa draws upon the Koran and
other Islamic texts to compare those constructing the wall
with those whose transgressions placed outside the Islamic
faith in classical texts.

- Other passages of the text present an exceptionally hostile
view of both Christians and Jews, and cast the conflict in a
stark religious, as opposed to national or political,
context.

3. (S/NF) COMMENT. This is an unusual pronouncement on the
part of the IAF and it is unclear why the Jordanian Muslim
Brotherhood would stake out such a hard-line position on a
dispute between Egypt and Hamas. The language of the fatwa
in several different passages seems to justify or even
support violence against the Egyptians and it shows the
influence of extremist thought not typically expressed by
this organization.

4. (S/NF) Given other regional issues causing tension in
Jordan, the GOJ appears reluctant to publicly oppose this
fatwa and has yet to issue a comment. END COMMENT.
Beecroft

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