Logo of the Islamic Resistance Movement "Hamas" (social networking sites)

The year 2013 was the beginning of the decline for the Islamists in the Arab region, after two years of ascendance. Many observers and observers at the time imagined that it was the beginning of the “empowerment” of the “Islamic” project, benefiting from the consequences of the Arab Spring revolutions.

But the winds were not what the Islamists wanted, and they quickly left the presidential palaces, as is well known.

Over the past decade, the mistakes of the Islamists increased and accumulated, which led to them losing an important part of their popularity after losing power.

However, just as the defeat of June 1967 was the reason for the start of the Islamists’ return again after lean years in what was known at the time as the “Islamic Awakening” phenomenon, the “Al-Aqsa Flood” may represent a similar milestone in the Islamists’ recovery from the severe calamity that befell them, and they succeed in charting paths. In the future, the mistakes of those past years will fade away.

Some may think that this return may take place automatically, based on the fact that the Hamas movement that is now leading the resistance in the Gaza Strip came from the womb of the Islamic movement, specifically the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a grave strategic mistake, and contrary to all the laws that govern the movement of the universe.

The affiliation of Hamas and its military wing (Al-Qassam Brigades) to the Brotherhood was not alone enough to bring about this tremendous development in its performance and strategic vision. Otherwise, we would have seen that impact on the rest of the group’s branches in different countries, instead of that unmistakable failure.

What Islamists need today is to benefit from the experience of the Hamas movement, and how it was able to develop its performance and strategy to ultimately serve the interest of the Palestinian national project, and breathe life into it again, after it was almost run over by the wheel of normalization.

Reviving the jurisprudence of revisions

The starting point is the necessity of reviving the jurisprudence of reviews. Since 2013, the talk has not stopped about the necessity of the Islamic movement, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, conducting this review, in order to find out the reasons for the failure, away from the pre-prepared justifications “We failed and we did not fail.”

The speed of the collapse and the scale of the failure confirm that there are strategic errors inherent in the structure of the organization that led to that end.

However, despite the passage of more than ten years, these reviews did not occur, and the last person to speak about them was Dr.

Helmy El-Gazzar, head of the political department in the group, said in a televised interview in September of last year:

The group has appointed a committee to conduct a comprehensive assessment of all the events of the past ten years, and it is expected to issue its initial report within at least a year.

In contrast to the rigidity of the “parent” group in Egypt, the Hamas movement enjoyed clear flexibility and the ability to make the necessary reviews, depending on the development of its performance and the growing role of its role in the process of the Palestinian national struggle.

For example, if we review the movement’s definition of itself in two documents, the first: the “founding document” in 1988, and the second: the “new political document” issued in 2017, we clearly realize that we are facing a clear development.

In its founding document, Hamas says:

“The Islamic Resistance Movement is a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.”

Then she departed from the original topic to introduce the Muslim Brotherhood, saying: “The Muslim Brotherhood movement is a global organization, and it is the largest Islamic movement in the modern era, and is distinguished by deep understanding, accurate perception, and complete comprehensiveness.”

But decades of political and struggle practice led the movement to redefine itself as a Palestinian resistance project, not linked to any global organizational frameworks, even if the intellectual starting points were united. Its definition in the 2017 document was as follows:

“The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) is a Palestinian national Islamic liberation and resistance movement. Its goal is to liberate Palestine and confront the Zionist project. Its reference is Islam in its starting points, goals, and means.”

Hamas’ liberation from Brotherhood dependency enabled it to overcome the consequences of the organization’s fall in Egypt, and to distance itself from being a party to a battle that is neither its battle nor the battle of the Palestinian people.

This flexibility and ability to review is what Islamists need most today, as no real revision project is known among them, except what the Egyptian Islamic Group produced, starting in 1997.

To confront the phenomenon of armed violence, and through it it succeeded in re-correcting its course, and it was an experience that guided other groups in the Arab world, such as the Islamic Fighting Group in Libya.

Building a national project

The "Al-Aqsa Flood" demonstrated Hamas' success in reviving the resistance project, after thirty years of wandering, chasing the mirage produced by the Oslo Accords and its consequences.

This revived project transcended organizational frameworks and ideological borders, as it was reflected in the resistance arena, which included factions of diverse backgrounds and trends, but all united under one project.

Hence, it was not surprising that the “Flood” attracted supporters and supporters from across the ideological spectrum. We found an Egyptian thinker such as Dr.

Osama Al-Ghazali Harb declares his remorse for the years he spent advocating and supporting normalization with Israel, as he was a founding member of the “Cairo Peace Movement” association, which was founded in the 1990s, to contribute to the normalization of relations between Egypt and Israel on the cultural and popular levels.

But the strength of the resistance project led by an “Islamic” movement did not prevent Al-Ghazali Harb from changing his convictions, which he defended for many years, despite his well-known intellectual rivalry with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

But the Islamists in the Arab Spring countries failed to build that comprehensive project, and they were seduced by the idea of ​​“empowering the organization” rather than “empowering the nation,” so they did not expend the time and effort.

In pursuit of establishing a project that brings together the nation’s diaspora in order to build a state of freedom, justice and human dignity.

In addition, the sedition of ideology, which prevented the required openness to the rest of the spectrum, an openness that leads to the formulation of a national project that brings together political forces.

Separating advocacy and politics

Hamas succeeded in separating two paths within its organizational structure: the political and the military.

Although previous wars revealed the importance of separating the two paths, the “Al-Aqsa Flood” emphasized it.

During more than one hundred and forty days of the war so far, the Al-Qassam Brigades (military wing) have managed the battle well militarily and medially, in parallel with the political management carried out by members of the movement’s political bureau outside the Gaza Strip.

In parallel with that success, the Islamists - even when they were in power - lacked that specialization, and the preaching and politics were mixed in a way that led to chaos, and was one of the reasons for failure!

It was impossible for the preacher or educator, whose awareness and awareness were shaped in a certain way, and who possessed the tools of advocacy and education, to break into the field of politics with that awareness and those tools, but some insisted that the preachers and educators manage the political battles, and so what happened!

It is noteworthy that the talk about the necessity of specialization within the Islamic movement;

In pursuit of fulfillment, he is met with extreme rejection so far;

Claiming that this means separating religion and politics, and leads to secularism!!


The Islamists should not treat the “Al-Aqsa Flood” as an opportunity to restore the image and ignore the required entitlements, foremost of which is the necessity of benefiting from the experience of “Hamas” and the general Palestinian resistance, which has increased its capabilities and developed itself, despite being under an extended siege for about 17 years.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.