Moderate democrats in disguise
According to this piece by Alistair Crooke, Hamas are 'Islamism's moderates'. This moderation is one they share, he thinks, with Hizbollah. Crooke is one of the directors of Conflicts Forum. On its website, the remit of the Forum is quoted as including a desire 'to challenge the prevailing Western orthodoxy that perceives Islamism as an ideology that is hostile to the agenda for global democracy and good governance'.
Moderation is a relative thing, so there is doubtless an extreme next to which Hamas and Hizbollah look moderate. The trouble is, not everything is relative in quite this way. Whether Israel is a legitimate state and whether the Jewish people have a right to national self-determination within its pre-1967 boundaries are yes-or-no questions. Both the Hamas charter and the programme of Hizbollah give non-moderate answers to these questions. They say things like: 'Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors'; and 'our struggle will end only when this [Zionist] entity is obliterated'.
The totalizing claims in Part I of the first document and the opening paragraph of the second (with the 'obeying the orders of one leader' stuff) suggest that the Conflicts Forum have a rather limited conception of what democracy and good governance require. (Thanks: SC.)