Alms and Arms - The Future of Hamas

[New Republic] Benny Morris - The world's Islamist movements are united in wishing the extirpation of all Western influence from the sacred Islamic lands, stretching from Pakistan to the Atlantic Ocean. For many Islamists, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine are merely Stage One. The Islamists have read the West well, especially Western Europe, with its guilty conscience over a colonial past, its burgeoning Muslim populations, its thirst for oil, its distaste for war, and, yes, its anti-Semitism. The Islamists laugh as the West beats itself over every dead Iraqi (the vast majority of the killings are committed by Muslims against fellow Muslims), over every impoverished Afghan or Palestinian child (impoverished because their societies and economies have failed to develop, largely for internal reasons), and over every human rights abuse to which some Muslims are subject in the West (which pale in comparison with those perpetrated every day in Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Iran, and Saudi Arabia). Hamas' social and public (daawa) activities are not limited to indoctrination and propaganda, though these have been crucial in raising a generation of Palestinian suicide-murderers. As Matthew Levitt notes in Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad, hospitals, mosques, and kindergartens are employed to hide weapons and bombs; cars and houses are used to ferry and hide fugitives; funds for terrorism are laundered and channeled through charities and social organizations; and the workers employed in these organizations sometimes serve as terrorist recruiters.

2006-07-11 01:00:00

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