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Viewing cable 10AMMAN302, JORDAN: IAF ISSUES STRONG FATWA AGAINST EGYPTIAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10AMMAN302 2010-02-02 12:12 2011-01-28 00:12 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Amman
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