Arab Israeli Salafists Take Aim at Sport and Culture

(AFP) Majeda El-Batsh - Salafist Islamists are increasingly asserting themselves among Israel's Arab population. Citing their strict interpretation of Sunni Islam, Salafists have taken their campaign to cultural institutions and local governments, opposing anything they view as immoral. When Hanin Radi, who has finished third in the Tel Aviv marathon, sought to stage a marathon in her hometown, she received death threats from radical Islamists who believe it would violate their rigid ideas about women and modesty. In the middle of the night, "shots were fired at my house and my car," she said. Recently, radicals in several towns banned performances of a play and a concert featuring Palestinian singer Haitham Khalailah, a runner-up in the "Arab Idol" singing contest, as "contravening Islam and morality." Activists also succeeded in having a high school Arabic teacher fired for showing the Oscar-nominated Palestinian film "Omar" to his students.

2016-06-03 00:00:00

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