Hamas is a bulwark in the face of radical and militant ideas and trends. Policies whose aim is the isolation or marginalization of Hamas will not only fail but will also set the stage for the spread of extremist thinking in occupied Palestine. Allowing Hamas to participate in the Palestinian political process will encourage the growth and development of pragmatic ideas and instruments of political action. It will also allow tolerance and respect for pluralism and diversity to strike root in Palestinian political culture. The West should ask itself whether it wants the moderation and realism of Hamas or the dogmatism of radical groups that subscribe to the clash of civilizations theory.
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