Politicizing Conflicts Among Salafiah Movement Groups [Archives:2000/40/Reportage]

October 2 2000

The heated conflict among Islamic groups in Aden ended up last week in police stations and security forces offices. Observers think that this is the beginning of fresh conflicts among sections in Salafiah Movement headed by sheikh Mukbel al-Wadie, now in USA for treatment.
On Wednesday, September 20, groups representing different Islamic movements clashed in al-Rahman Mosque in the Small Aden, the center of al-Wadie group, resulting in serious injury of three persons who were rushed immediately to hospital. A sheikh who broke off from al-Wadie was detained for some hours and then was taken escorted to the governorate office after his supporters surrounded the police station asking for his release.
Resources confirmed that new conflicts between supporters of al-Wadie and those who seceded erupted due to interference of some unknown parties to illegally appoint a deputy for the Imam of al-Rahman Mosque.
Other resources indicate it may be a way to settle old accounts between sheikh Mukbels group and dissidents who are supporting a modernization approach which was established seven years ago when announcing the establishment of al-Hekmah al-Yamaniah Society in 1992. The society supported elections and participated in them with the Moslem Brothers.
Sheikh Mukbel had already passed a fatwa banning elections and plurality. He banned Muslims participation in candidacy and voting. However, when the society participated in the elections, he was forced to modify his fatwa.
Some leaders from the Moslem Brothers are trying to mediate with the objective of winning their favor and show good intentions towards the movement. On his part, al-Wadie thinks that any breakup in his movement will lead him to come closer to the authority especially after losing many of his supporters by al-Hekmah al-Yamaniah Society in Aden which pursues the modified attitude. This has actually put al-Wadie in a climax moving in different directions, thinking that the closer to authority he comes the more able he will be to keep his supporters.