RAMALLAH, Feb 26 (JMCC) - Secular life in Gaza
is largely restricted to homes after four years of Hamas
rule, reports the Associated Press.
Hamas has bullied men and women to dress modestly, tried to keep the sexes from mingling in public and sparked a flight of secular university students and educated professionals. Most recently, it has confiscated novels it deems offensive to Islam from a bookshop and banned Gaza's handful of male hairdressers from styling women's hair.
The Hamas push toward religious fundamentalism is especially striking at a time of great change in the Middle East. With the Iranian-backed group firmly entrenched in power, Gaza seems unlikely to experience the type of pro-democracy unrest that has swept through much of the region.
In Gaza, defense of human rights and democracy has traditionally been the role of people whose world view is not shaped solely by Islam. Their shrinking influence could undermine those values.
Read the rest of the story
at the Washington Post...