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    Japan to cease project aid to Hamas government

    Japan will freeze some of its aid to the Palestinians as a reaction to the Hamas victory in the elections:

    The government, in a move that aligns it with the US and the EU, which have announced cessations in aid, aims to force a reversal of Hamas’s policy of armed struggle [with Israel].

    The aid cessation will be limited to that which would have gone to new projects to build social capital and infrastructure; the plan is to continue to respond to requests from the Palestinians for humanitarian aid, such as food.

    The article mentions Ministry of Foreign Affairs Taro Aso, who usually has something fabulously undiplomatic to say about this kind of thing. No such luck this time, unfortunately.

    On a related matter (and for those who’ve managed not to see it linked yet), Jonathan Rauch’s latest National Journal column is reproduced in Reason On-line. It’s about what the T in WOT should be understood to mean. His recommendation, which synthesizes approaches in a few new scholarly works:

    Jihadism is not a tactic, like terrorism, or a temperament, like radicalism or extremism. It is not a political pathology like Stalinism, a mental pathology like paranoia, or a social pathology like poverty. Rather, it is a religious ideology, and the religion it is associated with is Islam.

    No single definition prevails, but here is a good one: Jihadism engages in or supports the use of force to expand the rule of Islamic law. In other words, it is violent Islamic imperialism. It stands, as one scholar put it 90 years ago, for “the extension by force of arms of the authority of the Muslim state.”

    Viewing Jihadism as the enemy could make it easier to confront its religious element squarely without seeming to implicate all of Islam. I’m not sure using the word would work quite as Rauch seems to think–even the much-talked-about moderate Muslims could be somewhat miffed by outsiders who try to tell them what one of the central concepts of their faith should mean. But the term certainly gives more focus to our own side of the struggle than “terror.”

    3 Responses to “Japan to cease project aid to Hamas government”

    1. Alan says:

      Well, honestly, moderate Muslims don’t seem to have have helped the war effort much in any way, so their complaints might ring hollow in my ears. Besides, we’re just using the word as defined by the religion of peace’s most esteemed imams.

      Surely you’re not in line with certain world governments attempting to ban use of the word in favor of more “sensitive” variants?

    2. Alan says:

      Well, okay. I don’t mean to say you’d ban the word or anything. I should say “preferential” of not using the word “jihad” as an attempt to describe just what is going on.

    3. Sean Kinsell says:

      “Surely you’re not in line with certain world governments attempting to ban use of the word in favor of more ‘sensitive’ variants?”

      Which word do you mean?

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