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Dr. Kaukab Siddique Interview

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    Publisher: `Palestine could become rallying point of oppressed people Dr. Kaukab Siddique Interviewed by Ashahed Muhammad FinalCall.com News Feb 16, 2006
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2006
      Publisher: `Palestine could become rallying point of oppressed people'

      Dr. Kaukab Siddique Interviewed by Ashahed Muhammad
      FinalCall.com News
      Feb 16, 2006

      [On January 25, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas won 76 seats of
      the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council in a landslide victory
      over the ruling Fatah party. The Final Call explorers three differing
      viewpoints that provide insight into the volatile mixture of ideas and
      attitudes in a region characterized by unpredictability and conflict
      since Israel's creation in 1948.]

      Dr. Kaukab Siddique is an Associate Professor of English at Lincoln
      University and the publisher and editor-in-chief of New Trend
      Magazine, an Islamic publication dealing with current events and
      issues relevant to the worldwide Muslim community. He is the author of
      several books and head of Jamaat-al Muslimeen, based in Baltimore, Md.

      Dr. Kaukab Siddique
      FC: What are your thoughts on what is being reported as a clear
      landslide victory by Hamas?

      KS: Hamas' dominance in Palestine has been quite evident during the
      last five years. Israel's assassinations of its leaders failed to stem
      its popularity. In fact, the more the Israelis tried to destroy it,
      the more it grew in popularity. The election victory is a serious
      setback for Israel, coming on the heels of the Israeli withdrawal from
      Gaza and the brain damage suffered by [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel]
      Sharon. Hamas' landslide victory is quite genuine.

      FC: Were the results a vote for Hamas and against the current
      Palestinian Authority leadership, or was it a demonstration against
      the American/Israeli alliance in foreign policy?

      KS: The elections were primarily an internal affair. The Palestinian
      people have made a choice. They have shown that they trust the Islamic
      movement. By contrast, the Fatah Party's leadership is corrupt,
      un-Islamic and untrustworthy. Of course, in Palestine, the issue of
      U.S.-Israeli policy blends with the domestic issues. One reason for
      the secular regime's corruption was that it was reliant almost
      entirely on handouts from the U.S. and EU. The Fatah leaders have
      always believed that the U.S. is the key to a solution of the
      Palestinian "problem." By contrast, Hamas believes that Islam is the

      FC: Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted by the Jerusalem Post
      as stating: "Before our very eyes, Hamastan has been created." What do
      the results portend for the Israeli government, especially given the
      instability and poor health of Ariel Sharon of the Kadima party?

      KS: Israel today is the pariah of the international community. If
      Hamas organizes and consolidates its power as a government, Palestine
      could become the rallying point of the Islamic and oppressed people of
      the world. The Israelis, with U.S. help, will try very hard to make
      the Hamas government isolated and lacking in resources. It's a form of
      blackmail, meant to squeeze Hamas to recognize Israel, or fail. Will
      Hamas bow before American power and Saudi money? That's the key
      question facing the Muslim world.

      FC: Can you clarify the "two state" solution that is supposedly being
      advocated by George Bush, why it seems plausible to some and opposed
      by others?

      KS: The U.S. wants Israel to be recognized as a legitimate country and
      Palestine to be formulated in such a way that it would be a
      defenseless, client state, totally helpless before and dependent on
      Israeli power and American-Saudi economic resources [not very
      different from the Bantustans in South Africa under apartheid]. The
      "two state" solution simply means that Arabs, Muslims and Africans
      should accept the "right" of Europe and America to set up an
      artificial country, armed and funded by the U.S., in the heartland of

      Such a solution would be the victory of imperialism. Islam does not
      accept the victory of the oppressors. The Qur'an puts it very clearly
      that occupation of Muslim land cannot be accepted. It says: "Drive
      them out from where they drove you out."

      FC: Where does this leave Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas?

      KS: Abbas is seen by the majority of Palestinians as an Israeli agent.
      He often sleeps in Tel Aviv and has the protection of Israeli
      intelligence services. His time is over. The Israelis arrested
      hundreds of Hamas activists before the elections to help Fatah win,
      but it didn't work.

      FC: Will Hamas be forced to back down on some of the more strident
      rhetoric and positions towards Israel?

      KS: Hamas is not monolithic. There are elements in it that are very
      much influenced by the U.S. and its surrogates, such as Hosni Mubarak
      of Egypt. There will probably be an intense internal dialogue, perhaps
      even a tussle, to change the direction of Hamas. The U.S.' strategy is
      that "moderate" Islamic people should be encouraged, and these are
      seen as the best solution for the growing influence of "extremists."

      Observers say that one reason the U.S. allowed the elections to go
      through was the danger the Americans saw in further radicalization of
      the Palestinian people. There was a danger that if Hamas did not win,
      there would be big gains in support by Islamic Jihad and even
      al-Qaeda. The key to the future lies in the struggle within Hamas. But
      Allah is the best of Planners.

      FC: Thank you.



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