Springtime for Hamas

(townhall.com) Diana West - Last week, Reuters reported that EU foreign ministers gathered at a Luxembourg castle to consider "the previously taboo idea of dialogue with Islamic opposition groups" - namely, Hamas and Hizballah. The question before them, posed by EU foreign minister Javier Solana, was: "Has the time come for the EU to become more engaged with Islamic 'faith-based' civil societies?" Alistair Crooke, a former EU official, has launched Conflicts Forum, a think tank devoted to finding common ground between jihadists and Westerners. Last month in Beirut, Crooke hosted policy-interested Yanks and Brits and terrorists from Hamas, Hizballah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Pakistan's Jamaa Islamiyya. Last week, the Brookings Institution and Qatar assembled 150 international notables, including a former White House adviser (Rand Beers), Euro-Islamist Tariq Ramadan, Judea Pearl (Daniel Pearl's father), and a deputy assistant secretary of state, to discuss, among other things, as the Daily Star put it, "whether and how" to include jihadist groups in democracies. Even broaching the subject has got to be encouraging to terrorists, rewarding murder and intimidation with the increasingly tawdry trappings of self-rule and international recognition. By the conference's end, Islam Online was trumpeting: "the U.S. is ready to 'accept' the involvement of Islamist groups...should they understand 'the rules of the game.'"

2005-04-25 00:00:00

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