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September 07, 2009

Bad Headline of the Day

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The Bad Headline of the Day Award goes to the International Herald Tribune, for its page 4 headline:

Hamas feels religious pressure in Gaza

This headline, as well as the accompanying article, imply that Hamas is a victim of increased Islamization in the Gaza Strip, and is being bullied by more religious elements. The article begins:

An acute struggle is emerging within the Hamas movement, which rules this coastal Palestinian strip, over the extent and nature of the Islamist identity. Guardians of religious morality, some self-appointed, have south to impose their views in recent months.

So far, top government officials have pushed them back, but it remains unclear for how long. (Emphasis added.)

Is it true that Hamas is the victim of religious pressure from competing Islamist groups and overly ambitious mid-level Hamas officials, as the article implies? Or does the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center have it right, identifying Hamas itself as the source of the Islamization process? The center's report about the "Islamization Process Promoted by Hamas in the Gaza Strip" reads:

. . . Hamas's policy over the last two years has been characterized by enforcing a gradual process of Islamization on the Gaza Strip population. While the process is measured and calculated, it is carried out persistently, systematically, with tremendous determination (accompanied by a great deal of self confidence), and invasively (pertaining to all areas of life). Above all that, the final goal envisioned by Hamas is the establishment of an Islamic entity in Gaza, not immediately but rather in a gradual process, turing the Gaza Strip into a stronghold of radical Islam as viewed by Hamas (and not by Al-Qaeda).

The question boils down: Does Hamas "feel" the the religious pressure of the increasing Islamization of the Gaza Strip, or is Hamas the cause behind the Islamization process?

Posted by TS at September 7, 2009 04:33 AM

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