Sunday, January 29, 2006

Hamas To Institute Shari'a Law In Palestine

Last Friday I wrote,
Hamas, on the other hand, seems to know how to use its power and authority to gain and maintain control over a population. It has taken a preeminent lead in providing health services, support and education (especially of the "get a good Muslim education so you can blow yourselves up so as to take as many Israelis with you as possible" sort of curriculum). Whatever Christian Palestinians remain in Gaza or the West Bank will surely be the biggest losers since Hamas, as an Islamist group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, will now count non-Muslim Palestinians as second-rate citizens even though they have lived there for hundreds of years longer than the Muslims themselves.
Earlier today (Sunday) I wrote,
Even if they develop an inclination to govern and improve living standards and security in their territory they will probably achieve those ends by suppression of freedom and the imposition of social change by threats and by force. Some form of sharia is inevitable and the next wave of fighting will not only be between Fatah and Hamas but between the more "extreme" and the more "moderate" leaders within Hamas itself.
Now I read that Hamas leaders are, indeed, planning to institute shari'a law in Palestine, beginning with the education system.
Mr. Abu Teir, who was No. 2 on the Hamas list of candidates for Wednesday's election, said introducing sharia -- a controversial moral and legal code based on the Koran -- would be the first act of the new Hamas-controlled Palestinian Legislative Council.

"The No. 1 thing we will do is take sharia as a source for legislation. Sharia has a soul in it and is good for all occasions,"

He made it clear that one way Hamas planned to encourage the next generation to follow sharia was to revamp the Palestinian education system, separating girls' and boys' classes and introducing a more Islamic curriculum.
Hamas leaders indicated that they were not planning on imposing full shari'a law in the West Bank and Gaza. Alcohol would still be permitted, they said, and women would not be required to wear the hijab (Islamic head covering).

Teir also declared that,
"We are centrists, we are against any kind of extremism. The motto that we operate on is that in religion, you cannot force people."

Palestinian Christians, many of whom have expressed concerns about being ruled by Islamists, have nothing to fear, he added.