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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 74

Islamic Radicals Rise Via the Ballot Box

[b]Islamic Radicals Rise Via the Ballot Box[/b]

By Thalif Deen - Inter Press Service

United Nations, 04 February, (IPS): "You want democracy -- and we will give you democracy," was the taunting comment by a Hamas supporter, as he joined thousands of demonstrators celebrating the stunning victory of the radical Islamic party in Palestinian elections last week.

Perhaps one of the biggest single political nightmares for U.S. policy-makers is fast becoming a dreadful reality: What if you foster democratic elections all over the Middle East and only radical Islamists are voted into power?

The ambitious plans touted by U.S. President George W. Bush to "democratise" the Middle East are in danger of being derailed not only because of the Hamas victory but also because of recent electoral gains by radical populists and Islamic hardliners in Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Egypt.

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