Salafi-Jihadis Conduct Online ‘Equip Us’ Campaign To Raise Funds For Jihad In Gaza

December 16, 2015

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Introduction

In the last six months, the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center (ITMC), identified with the Salafi-jihadi stream in the Gaza Strip, has been conducting an online campaign called “Jahezona” (“Equip Us”) to raise funds for the Salafi jihad organizations in Gaza. The campaign, whose motto is “The money will come from you and the blood will come from us,” calls upon Muslims to donate funds for the Gazan mujahideen, and also to assist by spreading the word about the campaign. It stresses that the mujahideen are in dire need of such aid and that “waging jihad by means of money” (i.e., financially assisting the jihad fighters and their families) is an important religious duty incumbent upon each and every Muslim. The campaign also emphasizes that one who donates money for jihad is like one who fights with his own hands, and that the religious texts and scholars “even put this duty before” the duty of  waging jihad on the battlefield. The campaign appeals to the Muslims’ sentiments, calling upon them not to leave the Gazan mujahideen alone in the struggle against “the enemies of the faith and those who violate our honor and our women’s honor,[namely] the Jews” and harshly rebukes Muslims who fail to perform this duty. It reinforces its message by quoting leaders of global jihad who underscored the importance of donating money for the mujahideen, especially those in Palestine.

The Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center announced the campaign in early July 2015. Initially it was conducted mainly through a designated Twitter account (@ahezona_014), but recently it also opened an account on Telegram (Telegram.me/jahezona02). The Telegram application is increasingly popular with jihadis because, like Twitter, it allows disseminating text messages, pictures, audios and videos, but unlike on other platforms its communications are encrypted, making it more secure. The campaign’s Twitter and Telegram are both updated daily with relevant content and professionally designed banners. Readers who wish to donate are instructed to contact the campaign operators via email (jahezona.@tutanota.com) or through the Telegram account.

The following is an overview of the campaign and its main messages.

Weapons Pricelists

To explain and underscore the need for funds, the campaign presents the prices of various weapons required by the Gaza mujahideen, as in the following banner, posted on the Telegram account on December 2, 2015. The banner gives the prices for a fighter’s “personal weapon with ammunition” ($2,500), a “PK machine gun” ($5,500), “an [RPG grenade] launcher” ($3,000), and “a sniper’s rifle” ($5,500). Underneath is stated: “Aside from these weapons, additional items [are needed] such as explosive charges and missiles. So assist your brothers, even with $10”.

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Donating Money For Jihad Is Equivalent To Actual Fighting

The campaign’s main message is that jihad is a religious obligation that must be fulfilled either through actual fighting or by supporting the fighters, financially or otherwise. Moreover, the campaign stresses that contributing to the war effort is equivalent to physically taking part in it. In its announcement of the Equip Us campaign, the ITMC quoted a Prophetic hadith that conveys this message: “Whoever equips one who is fighting for the sake of Allah is like one who fights himself. Whoever provides for the family of a fighter… [during his absence] is also like one who fights himself…” The photo below, posted on the campaign’s Telegram account on November 25, was also captioned with the same Prophetic hadith.

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