Sunday, April 11, 2010

Benny Morris on Hamas imposition of Sharia in Gaza

Benny Morris has a very interesting review of Russia and the Arabs, a new book by Soviet-era foreign minister, diplomat, and "KGB operative," Yevgeny Primakov. Morris not only offers numerous corrections to Primakov's overly rosy account of the Soviet role in the Middle East, but also his "naïveté (or dissimulation)" on such topics as Hamas propensities to impose Sharia:
Hamas may not have announced the imposition of sharia law, but it has gradually and relentlessly imposed it in the area that it has controlled since 2007, the Gaza Strip, without fanfare, without proclamations. Women are forced to wear headscarves; separate male and female venues are enforced (in private weddings, at beaches, and so on); no cinemas operate; and Christians and their sites (a library, a bookshop, a school) are intimidated and forced out or closed down. Sometimes it is the Hamas police that are the explicit agents of coercion; and sometimes Hamas allows “extremist” (to use Primakov’s phrase) gangs to do the dirty work. But the work gets done—and so Gaza increasingly resembles Iran . . .
See the rest of the review for other realities that should be pointed out more often.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

No comments: