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Hamas and the Case of the Missing Hadith

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — by analogy with the curious incident of the dog in the night-time ]
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From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s story, Silver Blaze, in the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes:

Inspector Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

Sherlock HHolmes: “That was the curious incident.”

**

There have been reports for some time that Hamas was preparing a revision of its original Charter, and now the Hamas Document of general Principles & Policies is with us:

The full text is here.

**

‘There’s commentary aplenty elsewhere —

  • Juan Cole, Hamas in new charter accepts 1967 borders for Palestinian state
  • Gatetone Institute, Hamas in new charter accepts 1967 borders for Palestinian state
  • Al-Monitor, What will Hamas charter change mean for Israel?
  • The Guardian, Hamas presents new charter accepting a Palestine based on 1967 borders
  • Middle East Eye, Hamas recognises PLO as ‘national framework’ for Palestinians
  • Al-Jazeera, Hamas accepts Palestinian state with 1967 borders
  • Brookings, Is Hamas re-branding to orient towards Egypt?
  • — I have just one point to make.. which I don’t believe any of thre above so much as mention..
    **

    The original 1988 Hamas Charter contains an explicitly apocalyptic hadith in Article Seven:

    the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

    “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

    That hadoth is no longer present in the new Document of General Principles & Policies.

    **

    The most extensive account of the gharqad tree I’ve seen is in Anne Marie Oliver & Paul Steinberg, The Road to Martyr’s Square..

    the bizarre tree called the Gharqad, traditionally believed to speak in oracles and said to grow in the graveyards of Mecca

    Their account is fascinating, well wporth reaing in full — see pp 19-24 at this link for convenience.

    **

    I amn uncertain whether Hamas has officially stated that the new Document of Principles replaces the original Charter, although that’s the impression one gathers from the rumors preceding its publication — but to the extent that it does, it is significant that the dog no longer barks, the Gharqad tree hadith no longer features in the new text.

    Significantly omitting the hadith, the new Document lacks the specifically apocalyptic, end times claim present in the Charter. The hadoth, of course, continues to exist — bin Laden was another who used to quote it –mbut at least in its central doctrinal document, Hamas seems to have shited from an explicitly apoca;lyptic Islamism to a more general position opposing the “Zionist entity”.

    To the extent that that’s a noteworthy shift, it’s at least a rhetorical de-escalation.

    **

    I look forward to any comments on this omission from Richard Landes, Will McCants, Jean-Pierre Filiu, Matthew Levitt, Aaron Zelin, Ibn Siqilli, Tim Furnish, Anne Marie Oliver, Paul Steinberg and others..

    Wikileaks weak on graphics

    Sunday, August 7th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — interested in close, not far-fetched, analogies ]
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    A while back in 2011, Aaron Zelin picked up on a tweet by Aaron Weisburd and retweeted:

    the cover of Inspire 5 is remarkably similar to a wikileaks logo, e.g. http://goo.gl/2wibr coincidence I’m sure…

    I posted about it here on Zenpundit, and to me eye the match does have something to be said for it:

    wikileaks inspire

    **

    But c’mon, baby.

    I was reading through today’s pretty harsh Intercept piece, What Julian Assange’s War on Hillary Clinton Says About WikiLeaks — amazing, considering the origins of the Intercept in the work of Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras — and came across another purported similarity, this one claimed by Assange himself.

    Only this one really just doesn’t work at all:

    wikileaks clinton

    **

    Did Assange invent arrows?

    I’m sorry, but that’s just ridiculous.

    In any case, Hilary got it from Netflix, where they’re airing the Glenn Close series Damages, with John Goodman playing Howard T Erickson, the boss of High Star, a private security firm..

    clinton damages

    Case closed.

    Point counter point: Aaron Zelin & Phillip Smyth

    Sunday, February 21st, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — a simple jeu d’esprit ]
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    It’s actually rather sweet, and possibly a matter of GMTA, but Aaron Zelin and Dan Byman both favor a word I’m fond of myself: archipelago.

    SPEC DQ Zelin Byman

    **

    Aaron noted the commonalities of topic and phrasing, and tweeted:

    to which Phillip Smyth responded:

    **

    Phillip’s example of imitation / flattery involves a pun on the name of the Prophet’s first battle, that of Badr:

    SPEC DQ Smyth George

    **

    Please note that there is absolutely nothing to be gained from these juxtapositions but sheer delight — there’s no “actionable intelligence” therein — yet two extremely sharp analysts nevertheless find them of sufficient interest to exchange tweets about them.

    An eye for symmetries, similarities, parallelisms and oppositions will not always come up with useful correlations, but it’s nonetheless an aspect of mind that’s close to both creativity (see Arthur Koestler) and what bin Laden analyst Cindy Storer (in Manhunt) called “magic” —

    not the analysts doing it, but other people who didn’t have that talent referred to it as magic.

    **

    Sources:

  • Aaron Zelin, The Islamic State’s Archipelago of Provinces
  • Daniel Byman, The Islamic State Archipelago
  • Phillip Smyth, Hizballah Cavalcade: Breaking Badr
  • Suzannah George, Breaking Badr
  • The useful analysis is in the sources, and the useful description of analytic magic is currently easily accessible at the 9’14” point in HBO’s Manhunt on YouTube.

    Twitter games: chess and war

    Friday, June 5th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — more for the fun and war games file ]
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    There’s Aaron Zelin‘s piece,

    **

    Then there’s this DoubleTweet from Daveed Gartenstein-Ross:

    and (brilliantly played!) Phineas Fahrquar:

    **

    Both the linked pieces are worth your while:

  • Aaron Zelin, The Islamic State’s Saudi Chess Match
  • Giorgio Bertolin. Why chess is not the right metaphor for human conflict
  • Yes and no — but by analogy with innocence, yes?

    Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and those black banners again — I’m just curious ]
    .

    Judy Clarke, an attorney specializing in death penalty cases, addresses the Tsarnaev jury in the closing statement for the defense:

    **

    Clark is right that the flag is a religious flag, but whether or not for Dzhokar Tsarnaev it had further, specifically jihadist or even eschatological implications is open to question. As you know, black banners commonly signify apocalyptic jihad.

    By analogy with the presumption of innocence, though, this flag should be presumed to be purely religious (ie without jihadist implication) unless demonstrated otherwise, no?

    **

    Incidentally, Aaron Zelin dealt carefully with a similar question about essentially the same flag — the calligraphy differs slightly in detail — in a tweet regarding the Sydney incident:

    **

    And in any case, while we’re waiting for the verdict in the Boston trial, I’m just curious.

    How does the law deal with issues such as this? To what extent is non-definitive circumstantial evidence contextual and cumulative?


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