The past few days have brought two important news to note. The first is the alliance of Islamist Mansour Abbas with Naftali Bennett (a right-wing racist) and Yair Lapid (a secular Jew) to form a new Israeli government after the overthrow of Benjamin Netanyahu.

The second: that the representative of the Hamas movement in Yemen (Moadh Abu Shamala) visited Muhammad Ali al-Houthi, one of the leaders of the Houthi group (Ansar Allah) in Sana’a, and recorded a speech in which he praised the group’s efforts, and prayed to God to crown the relationship between Hamas and Ansar Allah, and to unite them in The "Liberation and Victory" road, and during the meeting, the shield of the Islamic Resistance Movement was presented to Al-Houthi.

It is interesting that the justification tendency led some of them to deny the existence of Hamas representation in Yemen in the first place, but after the criticism directed at Hamas, an apologetic statement was issued explaining that Hamas stands “on the same distance” from the various parties in Yemen, which is the same reasoning that was used in other places to justify the relationship Iran and the Syrian regime.

The pragmatic logic does not prevent us from comparing Mansour Abbas’s alliance with the Israelis to overthrow Netanyahu, and the alliance of resistance movements with Iran to support the resistance to the occupation, including a closer relationship with its axis (the Assad regime, Hezbollah, and the Houthis);

Because both parties are practicing - in fact - a policy of interest, each according to his position and according to his calculations and his assessment of the interests and the evils.

You did not see Saudi websites (such as Al-Arabiya) and Egyptian newspapers (such as Al-Wafd newspaper) from the first news, except that its owner, "My Brothers", is allied with the Israelis to form a government; For the purpose of quarreling the rivalry, and justifying the previous normalization campaigns. Although Mansour Abbas is "the son of a call" - as the Palestinians say - and was brought up in the Islamic movement, he is not a brotherhood; Because he belongs to the southern wing of the Islamic movement in occupied Palestine in 1948, which split from the northern wing represented by the two sheikhs, Raed Salah and Kamal Al-Khatib, who are in the prisons of the occupation.

As for the second news, it confirms our previous discussion about the statements of Hamas leaders (Ismail Haniyeh, Yahya Al-Sinwar and Osama Hamdan) regarding Iran and Syria, and it confirms - again - the depth of the problem we raised; The issue is not just a statement here or a thank you there, which makes the situation difficult for apologetics, whether those who separated the relationship with Iran from the relationship with the Syrian regime, or those who spoke of an act dictated by the necessities of politics; Especially since we are - from a political point of view - facing one axis; It is the axis of Iran and its dependencies, and from an intellectual point of view, we are faced with facts that are united by one problematic question, which is the criteria for evaluating (Islamic) political practice and what distinguishes it from (non-Islamic). This is the subject of discussion here and in previous articles, away from the political and partisan theorists who charge the distinction between similar issues inconsistent with the intellectual and moral theories.

The question of evaluating (Islamic) political practice may lead to recall previous experiences of Islamists, such as the Salafi Al-Nour Party in Egypt after the 2013 coup, the Peace Society Movement in Algeria after the 1992 coup, the Brotherhood of the Transitional Governing Council in Iraq, the Brotherhood of Sudan, and even Iran and its dependencies as well. Because it refers to a broad and diverse spectrum of Islamic political practice.

Now, let us return to the two previous articles, as they bring us back - again - to the question of the relationship between politics and morals, which confirms that my viewpoint here is broader than the lens of the Brotherhood and Hamas in order to avoid “harassing” opponents and partisan apologies, and to move forward a step towards intellectual and moral discussion. In addition to the ethical-political perspective that we present, it is worthwhile to evoke two other visions of the subject. The first of them looks at the matter from an Islamic/secular perspective, concluding that it is necessary to “liberate religion from the exploitation of politics”; Because the struggle of these Islamic movements is a political struggle and it must remain so. It is interesting that this logic meets - at least in theory - with the vision of Islamists apologizing to Hamas and others; On the pretext that we are facing a political act that cannot be approached morally.

As for the second vision, it looks at the matter from the point of view of the broadness of religious interpretations capable of providing a “legitimate” justification for all these (Islamic) political practices of their diversity, from resistance movements, peaceful political movements and other jihadist takfiri, and over a wide geographical area from Palestine to Egypt, Algeria, Iraq and Morocco Sudan and others.

In my opinion, the two previous visions bring us back to the problematic relationship between the political and the moral; Because the problem is not the "Islamization" of political practices, so that the solution is to "secular" them. Even the question of the text and the interpretation that formulates the “legal justifications” for any practice will bring us back to the moral question, which sees that there is always a need to provide value justifications for any human action, and therefore there is no meaning for a political action without evaluation, although the debate can arise here about the criteria Evaluation and the type of arguments that are presented for this or that action, and do we evaluate it according to the criteria of politics (the useful action = pragmatic action) or the criteria of morality (the good deed)?

But the pragmatic logic does not prevent us from comparing Mansour Abbas’s alliance with the Israelis to overthrow Netanyahu, and the alliance of resistance movements with Iran to support the resistance to the occupation, including a closer relationship with its axis (the Assad regime, Hezbollah, and the Houthis); Because both parties practice - in fact - a policy of interest, each according to his position and according to his calculations and his assessment of the interests and the evils.

Abbas - for example - proceeds from the concept of "a de facto situation" under an occupying state in which he is a citizen, and aims to achieve the interests of the 1948 Palestinians (preserving rights, providing services and jobs, reducing the evils of racial discrimination and exclusion from public jobs...), meaning that he moves - from his point of view - Within the limits of the possible, and as much as the Israeli political environment allows. Abbas appears to have many supporters; Because his party (United Arab List) won 5 seats in the last elections in a 120-seat parliament, and any Israeli prime minister needs 61 votes to form a government, which made him an influential figure in overthrowing Netanyahu and forming a new government; Even the Israelis called him "Kingmaker".

On the other hand, the same thing is said about the alliance of the resistance with Iran in light of a “fait accompli” in which the enemy taunts and the friend fails.

To preserve the act of resistance, and the interests it builds upon and ward off evils, both sides constitute a response to a specific Palestinian reality at a specific time, but from two different locations geographically, politically and ideologically.

Islamists did not find it necessary to open up to interests as a tool to justify political practice and give it a moral (Islamic) character, especially with the transition from ideology to political action that imposed practical entitlements

From a pragmatic perspective, the differences between the two verbs dissolve; Because the focus of pragmatic thinking is effectiveness and focus on the practical side, and that utility is what corrects the act and gives it value. In fact, the aforementioned Palestinian parties are subject to the same logic, with the different position of each side (the 48 lands, as opposed to the so-called “Palestinian lands”), different actors, and the difference of the public whose interests are sought to be achieved. Indeed, the pragmatic perspective may make Abbas’s position a form of resistance. From within” by playing on the contradictions of the occupation according to the rules of the political game that combined a discordant combination: the racist right, the secular Jew, and the Islamic.On the other hand, the resistance movements present the formula of armed resistance that sees the priority of the military, so that the politician is his servant and justifies any support that comes to him, whatever the cost and contradictions, and from here the political wing of the resistance invests in the contradictions of interests between the countries of the region, and here lies the importance of Iran, which helps it being a rogue state internationally to bypassing the rules of what is permitted internationally, supplying the resistance with weapons with one hand, and establishing sectarian militias in a number of Sunni Muslim countries with the other hand.

In the mid-1970s, the nationalist thinker Yassin al-Hafiz distinguished between what he called "revolutionary realism" and "revolutionary romanticism", and said that realism gave him "new tools in political evaluation" that had no account in Romanticism. These tools include the categories: balance of power, interest, interest, and the effects of time (Majed Kayali drew attention to this reference). But in parallel, the interest has been a central tool of the political Islam project, which has been given intense attention since the 1990s and expanded after the Arab Spring revolutions to include Islamic parties in Southeast Asia as well (Indonesia and Malaysia).

Islamists did not find it necessary to open up to interests as a tool to justify political practice and give it a moral (Islamic) character, especially with the transition from ideology to political action that imposed practical entitlements. On the one hand, the idea of ​​interest made it possible to justify the various political practices internally by satisfying some social, political and economic needs, and on the one hand it helped to distinguish between them and the jihadist groups that reject political action altogether and in detail, and on the third hand it enabled the establishment of positive relations with several countries and parties, with Retaining the saying that this diffuse practice of politics is consistent with the general idea of ​​the purposes of Sharia.

The applications of political Islam to the idea of ​​interests or purposes have attracted the attention of some scholars, such as David Warren, who studied it through Rashid Ghannouchi’s project, and saw that the intentions do not reflect his pragmatism, but rather an evolution in his political discourse, which seeks to “real modernity” in line with the needs and values ​​of the local community . And Halim Rane, who studied it with Islamic parties in Southeast Asia, and believed that the Maqasid approach would have profound repercussions on the concept of Islam and its social and political applications, and that it would lead to the emergence of "Islamic democracy" after the revolutions.

Away from the conclusions of these two studies, which are under consideration, the importance of interests or purposes stems from being a flexible tool, as Yassin Al-Hafiz rightly discovered in his revolutionary realism, and as Abdullah Al-Aroui rightly observed in 2008, when he discovered that what drives society is benefit, not right. .

In fact, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi went even further when he saw in 1997 that “the all-or-nothing philosophy is rejected in Sharia and in reality.”

The flexibility of the interest is what prompted the Renaissance to seek help to localize some modern ideas in political reform with Rifaa al-Tahtawi, who discussed the ideas of freedom and the constitution, and Khair al-Din al-Tunisi, who discussed the importance of public goods or public interests, and building state institutions, as it prompted the reformists to legitimize religious reform ideas as he did Muhammad Abdo and his school when they invested interests or purposes to break out of the jurisprudential tradition by expanding ijtihad and adapting to modern European ideas.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi was apparently aware of the importance and danger of the idea of ​​interests. In the nineties, he presented a legal basis for the participation of Islamists with others in governance. He said, “Whoever could not reach power and be alone with Islamic groups - as is the case in most Islamic countries today - there is no objection.” To come down to the rule of reality and be content with sharing with others, if it is beyond that which is good for the nation.”

But he made this conditional on four conditions: (1) that the participation be real, (2) that the rule should not be marked by injustice and tyranny known to infringe on human rights, and from here “it is not permissible for a committed Muslim nor a committed Muslim group to participate in a dictatorial rule over the necks of creation , whether it is an absolute individual rule or an arbitrary military rule” (3) and that he has the right to oppose everything that clearly contradicts Islam, or at least to reserve it, and he gave an example of that by agreement with Israel and recognizing what it had usurped from Palestine and left Jerusalem for it, (4) ) and that the participants in the judgment evaluate their experience from time to time and subject it to testing and revision.

Al-Qaradawi here seems keen on balancing principle and interest so that it does not fall into the pragmatic perception, and in order to preserve the legitimacy of the description of “Islamic” among Islamic movements, which is essentially moral in content. Therefore, he tried to control the contradiction between reality and duty through two things: (1) linking duty to ability (The duty is what can be done), (2) and on the condition that it relates to the acquisition of a higher value (good for the nation), meaning that the issue here is not pragmatic but rather teleological.

But if we apply al-Qaradawi's conditions to participate in ruling on Abbas's alliance with the Israelis, or the alliance of resistance movements with Iran, it will fail to gain moral legitimacy, which is the subject of discussion today: What are the criteria governing the exercise of interest in the political sphere?

Of course, apologetics will have to distinguish here between participation in government and participation in resistance;

Although we are looking at political action as a whole.

It must be said: The investment of interest in politics is not new. In the old days, Ibn Aqeel al-Hanbali (513 AH) realized that politics is broader than Sharia (and the jurists have their concept of politics), and in the face of the sultan’s politics, the legitimate politics that acquires its legitimacy from the reference of Sharia and its jurisprudential system, but the face of The problem with the applications of interest in politics today lies in the transformations that have affected the state and the authority.

The classical jurisprudential discussion about the conciliatory politics used to take place in the presence of a state - in the historical sense. As for the discussions of Islamists today, two new things have occurred: the first is that it has been transferred from the field of jurisprudential and fundamental discipline to the political fluidity with the movement, and the second: it has transformed from being a sultanistic or orthodox policy Imamate in the pre-national state eras to the political practice of activists under the national state and its systems, and this resulted in the following problems:

First: The change in the political framework has put us in front of many diversities, including the practice of political movements under authoritarian and democratic regimes, and resistance movements under an occupying country. These different practices raise questions about the perception and estimates of the interest in theory and practice, and whether there are differences between resistance to tyranny and resistance to occupation. ;

Although both matters are inseparable from politics, although their means differ.

The second: It is not possible to determine the interests except with two conditions: an understanding of reality as a diagnosis, and an understanding of what is required in order to achieve.

If there is a disagreement about the perception of reality, the duty and the possible, or there are many possibilities themselves, and the difference occurs in the means of balancing them, or the balance between the duty and the reality, the difference must occur in defining the duty in reality, and then the interests will contradict and we will be in front of liquid legitimate interests.

This explains how the absence of methodology (criteria for determining the interest) and the absence of unity of authority (the caretakers of the interest) affected the breadth and contradiction of interests.

The third: The conflict of interests leads us to a central question related to the difference between what is an Islamic policy and an un-Islamic policy in practice, and will this contradiction confer equal legitimacy on all available assessments of interests? Are the Islamic movements and the existing political systems equal in that as well? If the difference will be confined only to the religious language without content, what addition will the party or movement that is affiliated with Islam offer? In the absence of differences - in the field of practice - it becomes legitimate to talk about liberating religion from politics, and for these movements to get rid of the "Islamic" banner and to wage their political struggles on a clear political ground.

And if the ethical consideration imposes a balance between reality and duty, and that duty is only achieved through the possible, then it must be clarified that not everything is possible is permissible or moral, and this applies to various types of human activity, not only political action, and this is what is supposed to distinguish between Islamic and others, but the definition of (duty) today in the political sphere is influenced by ideology more than it is based on an ethical structure in which Muslims or even members of the local community participate; As long as we are talking about a political struggle and competition.

Certainly, there are classic jurisprudential ideas and sayings that can be used to justify this or that position, specifically for Imam Al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam (660 AH) and Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (728 AH) with regard to the preference of the best of the two to attain it, and the evil of the two evils to be repelled when crowding, and that the duty is only “the earthly Existing, and most likely it is not complete,” which shows the practical character of Islamic jurisprudence more than it shows the practical character of the two imams; Because it is a general phenomenon that characterizes the whole jurisprudence, which is practical authenticity.

But the absence of political theorizing of interests among Islamists, and the transformations of the state and power, made the applications of interest in matters of public affairs and the invocation of classical jurisprudential texts under the state a fraught issue. Because it raises thorny questions such as: Who assesses interests in light of the struggle for power and the state? How do we value it? What are the criteria for assessing it in light of the potential of social and political sciences, and in light of the divisions that occur politically and ideologically? And about the interests of whom we are talking about here: the movement, the group, the people, the nation?

Undoubtedly, interest is a matter of consideration in many philosophies, such as the utilitarian philosophy and the purposes of Sharia, which are based mainly on the fact that the provisions of Sharia are only to bring an interest or ward off corrupting (worldly and religious) according to disciplined laws in which the religious text is the main source for knowing what the lawgiver wants, but the interest It turned with the Islamists - in the political field - into an improvised or narrow partisan interest; With the occurrence of political and historical changes that were not accompanied by an appropriate intellectual theorization that controls this practice with clear and transparent total controls that protect against improvisation and partisanship, and in which consistency, generality and consistency are achieved, and the discussion in the public interest will remain problematic and conflictual between the various parties unless we have a state of institutions that institutionalize public interests. So that experts in every field contribute to its appreciation with the presence of public opinion and oversight institutions, in addition to the jurists who strive to determine the governing principles in Sharia and the levels of balance between reality and duty.