The Islamization of Gaza under Hamas

[Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center] Reuven Erlich - Gaza is ruled today by Hamas, whose ideology is radical Islam, which it aspires to impose on the entire Palestinian populace. Since the Hamas takeover in June, it has increasingly imposed a compulsory radical Islamic lifestyle which influences the daily life of all Gaza residents. One of the most visible signs is the increasing number of bearded men. Some Gaza residents said they were doing it because they were afraid of Hamas, whose operatives were detaining and interrogating everyone who looked secular. Hamas' Executive Force, the movement's main enforcement arm, also functions as "morality police" to impose Islamic social codes on the population in Gaza. The force operates along the Gaza coastline and prevents young men from congregating in places where there are many women. The force disrupts weddings where, it claims, songs are played which "inflame passions." At least two popular singers were detained after they appeared at events of important figures affiliated with Fatah, and were charged with singing immoral songs. On July 22, Islam Shahawan, a spokesman for the force, announced that an Islamic legal committee had been formed to replace the PA district attorney's office.

2007-09-04 01:00:00

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