Hamas: more than meets the eye.
Nadz, as I understand it, is a Palestinian/American woman, who has some very interesting ideas about being a female and a Muslim in America. [See comments. She says she doesn't consider herself a Muslim. I was wrong.]
Today, her post got me thinking. She wrote:
"Hamas' new "anti-corruption" unit (not the PLO's awe-inspiring corruption, but the kind involving women's ankles) killed a woman for walking in public with her fiance. You read that correctly. They then mutilated her body after shooting her, just in case the murder alone didn't convince you that they're a band of crazed, fundamentalist butchers."
Yes, of course, this is awful. Hamas doesn't have a monopoly on this sort of crap though. The Saudis regularly flog women in public for minor infractions and in some cases even behead them. [See The Religious Policeman for more on the Saudis.]
Yet, they are one of the U.S.' closest allies in the Middle East. We invaded Afghanistan partly to stop the Taliban from abusing women, supposedly. The only difference between the Saudis and the Taliban, though, is that they have tons of oil and they don't fight and die for their Jihad, they pay the likes of the Taliban to do it for them.
[See my post on the Saudis from last year for more on their very enlightened rule.]
I felt compelled to post a comment on Nadz's post because this issue is so complex, I felt it needed a little fleshing out.
And here it is: [Sans some bad mispelling and a change at the end.]
"Hamas is undoubtedly an "Islamic fundamentalists" movement, which runs counter to the secular nature of the PLO and Palestinian culture in general.
Just as the "Muslim Brotherhood" in Egypt gained popular support by providing health care, education etc. because the government would not, so Hamas has taken advantage of Israel's crushing occupation and the inablility of the PLO to provide basic services, because of corruption etc.
More than just take advantage, I would point out just for historical perspective, that Mossad actually created Hamas as a divide and conquer strategy.
Events in Palestine don't occure in a vacuum. Israel is the most powerful country in the Middle East. Anything that goes on in the occupied territories, in particular, doesn't go on without Israel's okay.
From Global Research:
"According to Zeev Sternell, historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, "Israel thought that it was a smart ploy to push the Islamists against the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)".Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Islamist movement in Palestine, returning from Cairo in the seventies, established an Islamic charity association.
Prime Minister Golda Meir, saw this as a an opportunity to counterbalance the rise of Arafat‚Äôs Fatah movement. According to the Israeli weekly Koteret Rashit (October 1987), "The Islamic associations as well as the university had been supported and encouraged by the Israeli military authority" in charge of the (civilian) administration of the West Bank and Gaza. "
They [the Islamic associations and the university] were authorized to receive money payments from abroad."
Many horrible things happen in the occupied territories. An Israeli soldier pumping 15 bullets into a schoolgirl's head just to make sure she was dead is pretty horrific too. He didn't do it because of any religious conviction, but because ultimatly, the occupation has debased both Israel and Palestinian society. It's tragedy all around. There is a pox on both their houses. "