No dancing and no gays if Hamas gets its way
By Stephen Farrell
A VISION of an Islamic society that bans mixed dancing and sternly disapproves of homosexuality has been given by Mahmoud Zahar, the most senior leader of Hamas in Gaza.
After controversies when a Hamas-led council halted a dance festival and Islamist gunmen stopped a rap band performing in Gaza, Dr Zahar defended the enforcement of a strict interpretation of Islam.
“A man holds a woman by the hand and dances with her in front of everyone. Does that serve the national interest?” Dr Zahar said on the Arabic website Elaph. “If so, why have the phenomena of corruption and prostitution become pervasive in recent years?”
Because of successes by Hamas in municipal polls and its likely strong showing in January’s parliamentary elections, secular Palestinians fear that it will try to impose its ultraconservative vision on them. Its Gaza heartland has no cinemas or bars, yet the West Bank has a brewery and Ramallah restaurants serve wine.
Dr Zahar condemned homosexual marriage, saying: “Are these the laws for which the Palestinian street is waiting? For us to give rights to homosexuals and to lesbians, a minority of perverts and the mentally and morally sick?”
He denied that Hamas wanted a puritancial regime, and said its political and social institutions included women.
It's amazing that the major religions of the world can't get along...really...they want the same things.