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Hamas vs. the PLO: part of the Civil War

Reader comment on item: Rashid Khalidi's Appointment at Columbia University

Submitted by Glenn Klotz (United States), Sep 3, 2003 at 08:19

The civil war in the Muslim world can be seen clearly today in many places if one looks close enough. In the Israel vs. Palestine war it's between Hamas and the PLO (secular). In Iraq it's the Sunni and Shia fundamentalist vs. the secularist (Baathist,Communist, liberals, nationalist etc.) In Iran it's the majority of the young 75% of the population against the Mullahs that run the state and in Algeria it's the Socialist state against the Islamists. It goes on and on all over the Muslim world. The irony is that a similar although much more muted conflict is happening in the west as well. Call it an echo of the reformation wars but today we see religious conservatives and fundamentalist also mounting an attack on what they see as the "secular" nature of society and the state. The difference is that here the state has mounted a concerted effort to keep the violent elements of this movement in check. In the Muslim world because it's citizens largely lack any democratic rights the battle has been much more violent on both sides. I think Prof. Khalidi is probably more inclined to support the secularist forces in that struggle yet as in all wars he feels compelled to stand with his own internal enemies (Hamas) when confronted by an "outside" force in this case Israel and the U.S. Sooner or later the Prof. Khalidi's will come to realize in a Hamas state his kind will be the first shot. Oddly, though as their led off they'll blame Israel and the U.S.
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