The head of Beirut-based NGO Conflicts Forum makes a group of thugs seem almost cuddly:
Mr Crooke said that Hamas is a "moderate" organisation seen by many Muslims as a legitimate national liberation movement, but "demonised" together with genuine religious extremists by Europe.Which of the various Islamist groups do claim to receive instructions from God?
"If you talk with any Hamas leader, they say 'Look, I don't get messages from God. I don't get instructions about who should be the Hamas candidate. We believe the Koran sets out principles by which a human being should live and we try to find a practical way in which to conduct our policies based on these principles.' That's not dogmatism. That's not irrationalism. It's not in any sense extremism."
Anyway, the Hamas charter rejects Western peace efforts:
[Peace] initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement... Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of Islam... There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.Moderates my arse.