So when Islamists impose their misogynist and extreme interpretations of Islam on the general, suffering population, who is to blame?
This context includes a young woman accosted by Hamas police on the beach, who then roughed up her male companions. It has also meant the harassment of shopkeepers displaying mannequins and lingerie packets. The background is a "virtue campaign" organised by the religious affairs ministry, which, in the words of the Hamas deputy religious affairs minister, is intended to "keep [people] away from sin".
While the rare incidents of physical violence are condemned by senior Hamas leaders, there is no doubting the pervasive atmosphere and policy direction. Government ministers from different departments have met to discuss a list of regulations to be implemented. As a piece in al-Akhbar noted two weeks ago, "women and the uses of technology seem to be the focus of the 'yes for virtue' campaign" whose purpose "according to Yousef Farhat, the general director of the public administration for preaching and guidance in the ministry, is to 'fight the non-ethical occurrences in Gaza'."
Do you even have to guess?
But why is this happening now? One answer is that these developments in Gaza are a consequence of the state of siege that the tiny territory has been under – a society that has been fenced-in, starved, and seen its very fabric torn apart by unemployment and wanton military destruction. In the words of a Gaza human rights worker, isolation bred "extremism and dark ideas".Why a "state of siege" naturally forces Hamas to impose Islamism on Gazans - something they promised not to do when they took over - is very unclear. But in the Guardian's universe, there is no path from A to an undesirable B that doesn't go through Israel.
In fact, White does have another reason why Hamas is subjecting Gazans to Islamic extremism. You see, Hamas is too moderate!
Already hit by criticism in Gaza by Islamic Jihad about a theoretical willingness to negotiate with Israel, it is possible that Hamas's leaders are seeking to safeguard its credibility and among the radical jihadist groups by off-balancing improving international relations with a domestic hard line.The only reason Hamas has improved its international relations is because of idiots like Ben White who bend over backwards to find evidence of Hamas "moderation" even in an article about its extremism.
Way to go, Guardian!