Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Boston Globe: The "Hamas effect"

Very informative, although puffy at times:
In the lobby of the House of Arkam school, a map shows a green wave washing over the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. ''The Muslims Are Coming!" declares a banner above the map.

The staid administrators of this well-appointed Islamic school have always maintained that Islam will one day replace secular governments throughout the Muslim world.

But the victory of the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas, just across the Jordan River in the West Bank, has invigorated Jordan's steadily growing Islamist movement and reinforced its conviction that democratic elections will pave the way to an Islamic republic in Jordan.

The school and the Islamic Action Front, the sole authorized religious party in parliament, are both wings of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that has followed the same blueprint as Hamas, cultivating support by running charities, hospitals, and schools along with its political party.

Now the Islamists in Jordan have set the stage for a major confrontation over the election law. Jordanians are going to the polls in 2007 to choose a new parliament, and the Islamists have sworn to push through a reform that would fully legalize political parties -- and could dramatically increase the Islamist representation.

Across the Mideast, analysts are calling this new optimism among Islamists the "Hamas effect."
Suggesting that the vote for Hamas was not merely rejection of PA corruption. There is quite a bit more to the article.

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