In the continuing salafi-jihadi media barrage against Hamas, the al-Sumud Media entity released its inaugural edition of the journal “Coveters of Paradise”. The cover is adorned with a photo of the battle-scarred Ibn Taymiya Mosque, which is where Hamas waged a battle against the salafi-jihadi group Jund Ansar Allah in August. The journal mainly consists of reprints of articles written by others.
The Table of contents listed the following articles:
· The Opening Article – by the Believer in God
· The Piercing Pen and the Candid Word – by Abu al-Hasan Ghuraib
· Comments on the Speech of Sheikh Osama bin Laden – by Sheikh Abi Ahmad Abd al-Rahman al-Masri
· Golden Advice for the Ismail Haniyah Government – by Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi
· Raising the Argument between the Martyred Sheikh Abi al-Nur al-Maqdisi and between Secular Hamas – by Sheikh Abi Ahmad Abd-al-Rahman al-Masri
· You Kill a Man Who Says My Lord is God? Is there not Among You a Rightly Guided Man? – By Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi
· Hamas Kills One Seeking Protection in the House of God – by Doctor Hani al-Sibai
· As If They Wanted to Say, “Sorry Abd al-Naser, We Wronged You”: A Reflection on the Gaza Events – by Walid Yusuf
· Take Refuge in the People’s Lord from the Evil of What Hamas Did – by Muhammad Asad Buyud al-Tamimi
· We Lead with the One God and We Excommunicate with International Legitimacy – by Abd al-Aziz bin Naser al-Jalil
· Do not Grieve, the Islamic United States is at the Gates – by Doctor John Boutros
· Western Education is Forbidden [al-Buku Haram] and the Crime of the Villans: Between Cataracts of Blood and Media Collusion – by The Eagle’s Banner [Rayat al-‘Uqab]
· The Art of Fighting from a Motorcycle
The journal does not provide any other identifying information except its own transliteration of al-Janna (Paradise) into English, which is “elgana”. Using “g” instead of the “j” indicates either the Egyptian dialect or another Arabic dialect heavily influenced by Egypt such as Gaza. Given the journal’s heavy focus on Hamas and Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi, I think it is reasonable to assume that whoever compiled this journal is in Gaza or of Gazan origins.
Salafi-jihadi anti-Hamas rhetoric has existed for some time, but it seems that the amount of it has increased since Hamas killed Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi. It will be interesting to see the effects, if any, this propaganda will have on Hamas, Gazans, international jihadis, and the West. I believe that Hamas will continue to oppose the salafi-jihadis, but if the organization weakens under international sanctions, will it attempt to appease the salafi-jihadis to maintain its Gaza power base? Again, I think it is unlikely, but what if Gazans, frustrated with Hamas, turn to salafi-jihadis and transform these jihadis into more than a marginal movement? Will international salafi-jihadis make a stronger effort to enter Gaza? Will these jihadis have a more receptive audience when they get there? Finally, how will Israel and the West react if its efforts against Hamas do manage to weaken the organization significantly and salafi-jihadis become more powerful?