The prominent Salafi Jihadi Islamist Jordanian Palestinian leader; Issam Barqawi, better known as Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, has strongly condemned members of his movement who attacked the Muslim Brotherhood during their plight in Egypt.
Al Maqdisi, who is in the custody of Jordanian authorities, has addressed members of his movement in a lengthy letter entitled “justice is the quality of honourable men” which al Jazeera TV obtained a copy of. In the letter al Maqdisi said he was hurt to see members of his movement attack the Muslim Brotherhood through their statements, writings and speeches, defaming and slandering as the Egyptian regime prosecuted them. Al Maqdisi said “such attitudes make our brothers unintentionally join the ranks of oppressors, tyrants and apostates in their attack on all that is related to Islam”. Al Maqdisi said he was hurt to see unjust statements which portrayed the Muslim Brotherhood as worse than the secularist and apostate coup leaders who are sentencing them to tyranny.
The letter read “the whole world should know that we do not accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of impurity. They are Muslims, as we are and despite our religious differences; it would be unacceptable to prosecute them even if they had prosecuted us. We will not follow the same path that they did when they unjustly accused us of terrorism. We must follow God’s orders and be kind to them. It is neither chivalrous nor manly to gloat over Muslims who disagree with us, when God’s enemy unjustly violates them. Those who oppose them for their ‘moderate’ Islam will be more hostile to us and our Islam, which they describe as ‘extremist, radical and terrorist.”
Al Maqdisi denounced the Arab Gulf States and other countries that had supported the coup in Egypt and responded to members of his movement circulating statements through jihadist sites attacking the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and President Mohamed Morsi.
An anonymous senior Salafist leader told al Jazeera that al- Maqdisi’s message aims to resolve the on-going debate in the movement about the suffering of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt saying “the movement’s leaders have agreed not to undermine Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and to stop attacking them. We pray that God take’s revenge on those who wronged them despite our religious disagreements and the fact that we oppose their acceptance to resort to constitutions and to taking oaths to respect the constitutions that proceeded without God’s orders”.
Bassam Nasser, a researcher on Islamic groups, with a focus on Salafists said “al Maqdisi’s message is directed to the spokesman of the ‘Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant’ Abu Muhammad al Adnani”.
Nasser said “Al Adnani recently attacked the Muslim Brotherhood in an audio recording describing them as a ‘secular party with Islamic cloak who were more insidious than the secularists.’ Al- Maqdisi’s position can only be read as a moral stance par excellence. Despite his fundamental ideological differences with the Muslim Brotherhood, including their stance on democracy and their participation in the parliamentary elections which he considers to be a severe violation, but he also believes it was cowardly to attack them during these difficult times when they are being prosecuted, detained and tortured by Egypt’s coup leaders.”