Hamas: Unwritten Chapters

Terrorism and Political Violence July-August 2011
Azzam Tamimi. Hamas: Unwritten Chapters. London: C Hurst & Co., 2007 .352 pp., £14.95 paper. ISBN: 978-18-506-5834-4.

The author, a London-based Hamas activist, inadvertently tells us more than he intends in this book. Just as his moderately couched pro-Hamas writings in British liberal newspapers like the Guardian belie his appearances at public meetings backing radical Islam, he is talking out of both sides of his mouth here. He does not set out to say that Hamas is calculating and untrustworthy, and that what it claims as principles challenge the norms of civilised society, making it impossible for the rest of the world to deal with it at face value. Yet the thoughtful independent reader may well take that message from this book.

When the Hamas Covenant, and other more recent Hamas documents not written for Western audiences, but “helpfully” included in the appendices by Tamimi, are carefully read in their historic context, it is clear that Hamas is much closer to Al- Qaeda in terms of objectives and the extent of its religious supremacist views than many will expect.

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