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"Democratically" Elected?

Reader comment on item: A Million Moderate Muslims on the March
in response to reader comment: They DO Exist!

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Jun 19, 2007 at 14:05

I get tired of listening to endless comments in the Press and by public figures that "after all, Hamas was elected by the people".

It seems to me that this case, of journalist Shoab in Bangladesh, is evidence of the real attitude of Moslem societies to any of their members who advocate genuine peace with Israel, or a host of other stands associated with modern, prosperous or developing, peaceful societies.

How physically safe would it be for any individual in Gaza, or the West Bank, to say what this fellow is saying? I seem to remember many reports of individuals in the 1970's an '80's murdered for moderate views, until the PLO came in after 1993 and clamped down on all meaningful political dissent, and any political except the hatred of Israel which is at the heart of their educational and religious system.

So not only do I not believe that democratic electorates can vote with legitimacy for any program whatsoever, such as the extermination of Israel or the practice of Jihad against Western societies (see John Stuart Mill on this, although I don't have the language I've read from him on this issue at hand), but I don't really believe Hamas was truly democratically elected by the secret ballot of an unintimidated electorate.

Put another way, what is the evidence it was so elected? Ron Thompson


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