A YORKSHIRE politician has warned that fundamentalism could spread rapidly across the Arab world.
Conservative Euro-MP Edward McMillian-Scott headed a 26-strong group that monitored last week's elections in Palestine.
Now he fears that extreme Islamic politics such as that practised by Hamas - who shocked the world by winning the elections - is set to spread.
Mr McMillan-Scott, the Vice-President of the European Parliament, said: "On the streets of Palestine we heard the clamour for choice and change.
"We heard the noise of democracy. We found that, as one of my colleagues put it `the process was perfect.'
"Voters went freely to the polls, men, women, young and old.
"The polling stations, usually in schools and administered by teachers, were efficient and well-organised. By and large the Israeli forces kept out of the way.
"The process was perfect and there is no doubt that the result reflected the wish of the people. But the product more reflects their despair of Fatah than their love of Hamas.
"We are about to see the emergence of fundamentalist Islamic politics across the Arab world of 250m people.
"We must now engage consistently and thoroughly in correcting the missing elements - the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities.
"To these we usually add a free media and a market economy."