The Hamas position is much more radical than the headline. Hamas is a radically Islamic religious organization that is bent on war against everything non-Islamic. That is a non-starter for the free world. It is as radical as the Muslim Brotherhood that gave birth to it. Egypt has thrown out the Muslim Brotherhood for its extremism.
Muslims who cannot amend their beliefs to become tolerant and respectful members of the world community are unwelcome. Those who want a war to fight for intolerance have found one, and it isn’t just in Israel. As seen throughout the world where Islam intersects with the free world, there are wars or the potential for them.
There are alternative ways forward:
- Muslims can advance leadership who pursue modernizing and moderating their beliefs.
- Muslims can cling to their beliefs that are deemed contrary to the free world.
In choosing the latter course, Muslims are at war with the free world. What happens when some Muslims choose to assimilate while others choose a radical course? The war for freedom becomes more complex.
There are Muslims from sects who reject one another with the hostility that they reject everyone else. The policy and values of rejection and intolerance are at the core of the problem.
It may be that being a “moderate Muslim” is not possible without there being a modern day savior. The modern-day savior would have to rework religion. Then again, freedom from religion may be the free world's saving grace.
History shows that humanity invented religion as a form of community governance. At another point they invented government. At that moment, religions and governments had to reconcile their coexistence. In modern times, free world governments may evolve to replace religious involvement in governance beyond individual and personal behavior.
By the way, the entire conflict in the Middle East isn't about loving or hating Arabs. Arab people are not the problem, it's the adoption of religious extremes that is.
Today’s mix is unworkable.
“Hamas was born along with the First Intifada. The word “Hamas,” which is an acronym for the Arabic phrase “Islamic Resistance Movement,” means enthusiasm or zeal, and correctly describes the attitude with which its members carry out its main mission—namely, the destruction of Israel.
Hamas began as an offshoot of the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood, and was created in 1987, during the First Intifada, the Palestinian uprising against the Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The founding sheikh was Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. In 1992, Hamas’ military branch was founded, named Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, named after a Palestinian nationalist. Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas bomb-maker known as the “Engineer” who was killed by the Shin Bet in 1996 has also taken on venerated status in Hamas lore, and members often refer to themselves as “Students of Ayyash.”
Hamas’ fundamental beliefs are simple. They believe in the absolute authority of Islam in all aspects of life, and that resisting the “enemy” (i.e. Israel) is a religious duty required of all Muslims. Hamas’ charter states that their goal is to “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.” Hamas does not recognize Israel, and believes that all of Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, rightfully belongs to the Palestinian people. While Hamas has offered that it will “settle” for the West Bank and Gaza in exchange for peace with Israel, many Israelis are skeptical that any true peace can be achieved with Hamas. In fact, Hamas never talks of “peace,” but only of a “hudna”—a temporary truce—leading many in Israel to believe that should their government accept such an offer, it would only be a matter of time before Hamas set out to realize its original goal and occupy all of Israel.
Hamas believes, based on religious writings, that the land of Israel belongs to them, and as the rightful occupiers, they are legitimate in their attacks on the Israeli “occupiers.” They believe the land is non-negotiable, and Hamas’ charter calls loudly and clearly for the destruction of the Israeli state and an establishment of an Islamist government in its place. Hamas has claimed over and over that there can be no peaceful negotiations with Israel, only jihad (“holy war”). Hamas has said that their beliefs are not anti-Semitic, just anti-Zionist, but a number of their statements, such as denial of the Holocaust, smacks of the contrary.”