Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Eternal damnation of democratically elected movement?

(An EU leader who spotted a terrorist)

Come on, Christian soldiers and EU leaders! Don't be so damn unchristian!! You all know there's something called Christian ethics. It's meant to be used, not to be concealed in dark churches, where Christian soldiers do not wander!!

Movements like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are not necessarily static. They see a need to adapt to the modern world in order to survive in it and gain influence in it. It's up to the West to understand this and draw the relevant conclusions, for instance: Should Hamas get financial support or not? - And say "yes" to the question. Some years ago there would have been no doubt in the minds of democratic politicians in the European Union: It is only natural to support people fighting for their national identity and freedom from the colonial legacy.
By relegating the organisation to something akin to eternal damnation, when it is left to stay on the bureaucratically administered terrror list, the West, and in particular the European Union, is ruining the prospects of implementing change in the democratically elected organisation's policy. When do EU leaders become responsible? When do they see that it's not all the shots that should be called - nor fired - by Big Daddy's playboy in the White House?

There was an article in the Economist February 2nd that dealt with this flux in these islamic - and politico-social movements:

"Now that Hamas faces the reality of power and day-to-day challenges of administration, it must decide how much more of a “western game” it is prepared to play. It has already watered down its Islamist fervour by entering policy debates with its secularist, Palestinian-nationalist rivals in the Fatah movement, and may soon be deliberating the pros and cons of a tactical compromise with Israel.And part of that dilemma will be ideological. Hamas leaders will need a theological licence from the Brotherhood's spiritual guides for the political choices they make. At the same time, the world Brotherhood has a huge stake in the success of a Hamas government which could be a model of political Islam.
For exactly that reason, predicts Ziad Abu Amr, a Palestinian legislator close to Hamas, the Brotherhood is likely in the end to provide “doctrinal cover and political support” for whatever decisions Hamas takes. But if those decisions include compromise with Israel, the doctrinal bit will not be easy. Despite its rejection of violence in most circumstances, the Brotherhood's bottom lines have included deep ideological opposition to Israel's existence and a demand for Muslim control over Jerusalem.Given that theology will play a role, at least, in these deliberations, it is worth studying the ways in which different Islamist movements converge and differ. Al-Qaeda and the Brotherhood, for example, are both loosely articulated international movements which claim to operate, often through proxies and ideological soul-mates, in scores of countries. Both have emerged out of the conservative wing of Sunni Islam, which believes in sticking to the letter of the earliest texts as the main form of spiritual guidance.In other ways, al-Qaeda and the Brotherhood are entirely different phenomena. Al-Qaeda is first and foremost a movement which sponsors and co-ordinates acts of violence, not just in the Islamic heartland but anywhere it can hit back at the western enemy. In the ideology of the Brotherhood, including Hamas, resort to violence is justified only in the exceptional circumstances of “self-defence” and “occupation”—conditions which are deemed to exist in Israel, the West Bank and American-occupied Iraq".

This is a clever analysis made in conservative magazine The Economist. Policy makers in the West should listen to such assessments of the social movements in the Mid East.
So far democratically elected Hamas has only been rejected by the West. The public in Western countries is exposed to unbalanced media reports on the situation in the Middle East. By not giving readers, listeners and viewers a more balanced view, the media are harming the chances of policy changes.
Funds have been cut, and so on. Maybe that is not a wise policy if the West wants to get some influence on the movement.


Blogger Sophia said...

There are still some clever people in the information industry and they are all at The Economist, for how long ?

7:27 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Maybe it's because they write anonymously. That gives a certain freedom to not being labeled. When you're labeled you've let others define your identity. And that leads to defensive acts.

The Economist, however, is conservative and quite liberalist in its fundamental views. Sometimes, however, you can feel even these conservatives get a bit impatient about the fact that the world does not seem to want to move on.

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Constant opposition said...

In the ideology of the Brotherhood, including Hamas, resort to violence is justified only in the exceptional circumstances of “self-defence” and “occupation”—conditions which are deemed to exist in Israel, the West Bank and American-occupied Iraq".

As I've repeatedly pointed out before, for Hamas "exceptional circumstances" mean supporting suicide bombings leading to random deaths of civilians. Sorry to say but as long as this is the official stance of Hamas, I don't myself suspect very much why the EU has a reason to list it as a terrorist organization. If Hamas really wanted to start getting rid of the terrorist label, at least trying to condemn the death of innocent bystanders wouldn't be a bad first step and wouldn't cost them a rial or shekel.

If Hamas, by the way, is so much against anything bad done against Muslims, why don't they oppose the illegal Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, the state of the Arab minority in Iran, the terrible status of human rights in practically all Arab countries, let alone anything else happening in the non-Arab Islamic world? Is occupation by fellow Arabd somehow more justified than occupation by non-Arabs? Logically it shouldn't.

It's true that Hamas was more or less democratically (more or less because an election in an occupied territory is not one in normal conditions) elected into power but so were people not exactly praised in this log, including Bush, Blair, Fogh Rasmussen, and Hitler.


9:41 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

"for Hamas "exceptional circumstances" mean supporting suicide bombings leading to random deaths of civilians".

This is an interpretation of Hamas' words. Hamas did not support the attack in Tel Aviv. Neither was it Hamas that carried it out. It was done by Islamic Jihad which is not Hamas. Hamas only said the attack was understandable in view of what had happened with Israeli military raids.

This is not said to defend Hamas. You're right that Hamas ought - as a democratically elected organisation - to speak out against human rights violations in the Arab world. In the context of Palestine, however, Hamas represents a downtrodden people, and that's why the EU has an obligation to deal seriously with it - and not listen exclusively to what Uncle Sam wants.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Constant opposition said...

CD, Hamas declined to condemn the suicide bombing and instead regarded it as self defence. That's support. Killing innocent civilians is something to be condemned in all circumstances, whoever the perpetrator is. A representant of a downtrodden people - I'm now quoting you - should really understand that it's harmful for the downtrodden people it claims to represent if the representation consists of accepting random killings of civilians (and we know, also Arabs have died at least in previous suicide bombings in Israel, don't know about this time, however).

As an EU citizen (if such concept really exists), I'm ready to help downtrodden people but only if that helps doesn't go to organizations thinking random killings is just a nice pastime.

And, as if stated a zillion times before, if you don't like the EU bowing to Uncle Sam's decisions and harming the new PA financially, you always have the chance to donate some money to them yourself. You know, even a smallm sum might save somone's life, if you think it's worth it. You've got the contact details already.

In addition to their terrorism, my opposition to organizations like Hamas stems from my thinking that if they were in power, they would be worse oppressors, more antidemocratic and far less protective to minorities, women, other religions and all kinds of dissent than the people they think surrently oppress them, let alone quite likely turn into corrupt and inefficient nepotists like the former PA.

Also, the agendas of organizations like Hamas are moronic and hypocritical - see my examples of their silence on other problems in the Arab/Muslim world which are not caused by the evil West and Zionists or whatever they might call us, their enemies, but by Arabs/Muslims themselves.

A downtrodden people would, in my opinion, deserve better.


1:11 AM  

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