This fits in so perfectly with our strategic GWOT PSYOP program, it is difficult to imagine that Fatah is not receiving a little help here from their friends.
(Fatah member and professor who teaches about Islam and Society at Al Rawda College Sheikh Sad Sharaf) is trying to convince Fatah to establish a council of religious scholars that will be able to counter the rhetoric coming from Hamas.
He criticizes Hamas's advocacy of violence against Israeli civilians as well as its violent takeover of Gaza last month, which most Palestinians opposed.
"The Prophet Muhammad says, 'Don't kill those who don't use weapons against you. Don't kill a woman. Don't kill a baby,' " says Sharaf, who says he's a Sufi Muslim, a branch of Islam known for its theological mysticism and moderation.
A preacher in one of Nablus's central mosques and the host of an Islamic radio and television program, Sharaf says a growing number of Palestinians have sought him out for advice since the Hamas takeover of Gaza.
Although Sharaf says he believes in the religious idea of the creation of one Islamic kingdom as laid out in the Koran, the modern experience with states dominated by Islamic dogmatists have been negative, he says.
"Look at Sudan, Somalia, and the Taliban," he says. "Palestine should not be isolated from the international situation. The Islamic rule needs a long time before it can be effective."
The Sheikh complains that Fatah politicians have so far ignored his advice to enlist religious scholars for help. Palestinians inside and outside Fatah say installing a religious council within the party is the wrong strategy. ...
Recognizing the Palestinian society's traditionalist leanings, Mohammed Dajani, a political science professor at Al Quds University, argues that the only way to challenge Hamas is by setting up a separate religious party that will push interpretations of Islam that back non-violence and tolerance.
Mr. Dajani named his party Wasatia – a term used in the Koran that means moderation. His party is reaching out to schoolteachers and Muslim clerics in a bid to counter Hamas.
"What we want to do is change the culture of the people," he says. "Our goal is to teach youth that suicide bombing is not Islam."