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Congratulations to Hassan Mahamdallie on a beautifully argued riposte to the vile Martin Amis (Feature, Socialist Review, April 2008).

As the Financial Times - not normally known for its liberal views - pointed out in response to the 2006 Hamas landslide victory in Palestine:

"It has long been clear that Islamic revivalism has a broad, well rooted following. More recently it has been equally obvious that Western policy - on Iraq and Israel or in support of despotic and corrupt rulers who deny their peoples' rights - has helped the Islamists perform politically well above trend. It is the scorched earth tactics of the autocrats [fostered by the West], who have left their opponents nothing but the mosque to rally around, that have furnished the Islamists with their following."

It concludes - unlike our bigot Martin Amis - that the West can only contribute to undermining Islamism by genuinely supporting democratic principles.

Annie Hawes
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