There are many who claim that there is no difference between Hamas and ISIS. But in reality, there are many facts that make Hamas, which is short for Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-Islāmiyyah, different from the Islamic State.
Though there are several common factors, such as both are Sunni militants groups and both have been listed as terror groups by the US Department of State, Bureau of Counter-Terrorism.But Hamas is still different from ISIS.
In his speech even US President Barack Obama suggested that the two groups are the same and used the word "barbaric" to describe both of them.
But are here are four reasons why Hamas is not the same as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS):
Hamas is Elected Democratically
Despite Hamas being listed as a terrorist group by the US since 1997, the group is one of the two major political parties in the conflicted Palestinian region. In 2006, Hamas was elected as the Palestinian government after it won a legislative election. However, within a year, the two major political parties in Palestine overthrew the Hamas government.
But the Islamic State is still a militant group which wants to cleanse Syria and Iraq of all other religious minorities and establish an Islamic Caplihate led by the Sunnis.
Hamas Does Not Mind Co-Existing with Jews and Christians
While Hamas has time and again indulged in targeting the Jews, it is still open to co-existing.
Hamas' 1988 charter states that the group "strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine". However, Article 31 of the Charter also state that "Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions - Islam, Christianity and Judaism - to coexist in peace and quiet with each other".
Islamic State, on the other hand, has been executing Christians and other minority groups, such as the Yazidis. The minorities under ISIS have been given ultimatium to pay tax, convert to Islam or die by the 'sword'.
Hamas is an Accepted Political Group
Despite being listed as a terrorist organisation, Hamas is still accepted by the Arab and Muslim world. Several Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others, openly support Hamas.
According to Avi Shlaim, author of Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations, in the eyes of ordinary Arabs and Muslims worldwide, it [Hamas] is a patriotic group which fights with commendable courage against overwhelming odds.
The Arab leaders, however, view Islamic State as a fanatic group, which is a threat to the stability and security in the region.
Hamas Wants to End Isreal's Control of Gaza
Despite its military stance, the goals of Hamas are more political in nature, than of ISIS. Hamas wants an end to the Israeli blockade. Although Israel withdrew its forces from Gaza in 2005 and dismantled Israeli settlements, Palestinians claim that Israel still maintains an effective control of Gaza, making it an occupied territory.
Islamic State, on the other hand, seems to harbor a grant ambition that it started off with Syria and Iraq. ISIS has claimed that it wants to establish an Islamic Caliphate, governed by Sharia laws not only in Muslim countries but also in Rome, Andalusia and even Israel.