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Hamas to women: Don't laugh and talk in public

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |

With its establishment of Morality Units to supervise proper public behavior, Hamas appears to be going ahead with its goal of enacting Islamic law in Gaza.

According to a member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Kayed Al-Ghoul, Hamas wants to limit women's freedom, prevent contact between men and women, and impose morality restrictions on men. Hamas's Morality Units prohibit women from laughing and talking in public, and want women to go outdoors only when accompanied by a male relative.

The following is from the article in the Palestinian daily, Al-Ayyam:

Member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front, Kayed Al-Ghoul:

"Hamas in Gaza today maintains a type of tyranny... and seeks, through undemocratic means of coercion and despotism, to enact laws that enforce their ideology and their party's world-view on the entire Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip...
Hamas enforces [wearing of] the headscarf and long gown (hijab and jalabiya) on female lawyers and students; it acts to separate the sexes in government departments by imposing a separation between the sexes in offices and waiting rooms, and it has prohibited mixed folk dancing. Most dangerous, it has established Morality Units, run jointly by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which ask couples who walk on the beach to present a marriage contract, and ask any woman walking alone on the beach to have an escort [male relative], and prohibit laughing and talking for women [in public], and have issued a religious ruling (fatwa) prohibiting men from swimming in shorts, with the rest of their bodies naked."
[Al-Ayyam, Sept. 3, 2009]

To see PMW bulletins on Hamas's goal to establish Islamic laws, see:
Hamas enacts Islamic Shari'ah law
Hamas lies about preparing strict Islamic law for all of Palestinian Authority

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