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April 25, 2010

LA Times and the New/Old Phenomenon of 'Moderate' Hamas

moderate Hamas hair dressers.jpg

Gazan hairdresser Barakat al-Ghoul, forced by Hamas to stop cutting women's hair (AP)

The Los Angeles Times reports what it believes to be a revelation:

Hamas, the Palestinian faction viewed by many in the West as a nest of terrorists and Islamic hard-liners, is battling a curious new epithet: moderate.

In fact, this epithet is hardly new in certain circles. Again and again over the years, journalists have ventured that perhaps now a new moderate Hamas is emerging and it is fending off the true Islamist extremists in the Gaza Strip.

Edmund Sanders' article is one more in this genre. He reports:

Palestinian hard-liners say that instead of attacking Israel, Hamas has been fighting its own people: Islamic extremists, including some disaffected Hamas members who pledge allegiance to the terrorist network Al Qaeda and accuse Hamas of selling out.

But while Hamas may be battling groups loyal to Al Qaeda, it does not do so in the name of secularism and human rights, but rather Hamas hegemony. For instance, as reported by AP (but not by the LA Times) Hamas is battling its own people -- not just Al Qaeda loyalists but also male hairdressers attending to female clients -- a big no-no in Hamas' "moderate" book.

Posted by TS at April 25, 2010 07:21 AM

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