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Friday, December 25, 2009

Gaza Islamist group criticizes Hamas over rappers

Ma'an reported:
Seven Palestinian rap groups battled for the top spot in a Norwegian-funded competition in Gaza City on Monday night.

Screaming, fans crammed into a concert hall in the Red Crescent complex for the show, applauding each group on stage. The Norwegian sponsors joined via videoconference.

The competition (titled Riasalatna - Our Message) was organized by young Gazan women as the end product of a number of workshops in Gaza and the Norwegian city of Tromso. The workshops were about how to execute a project supervised by Norwegian specialists.

Norwegian judges were supposed to choose the winner of the rap contest on Monday, but the decision was delayed due to problems with the video link.

Judges said they were thrilled to participate in the event, saying it was an expression of support for the Palestinian people.

The competition’s Gazan coordinator, Nour Afana said she chose to focus on hip hop for her project because it was a point of cultural intersection between Gaza and Norway.
Now, the fundamentalist Hizb ut-Tahrir group is strongly criticizing Hamas for allowing such an event to take place. They consider rap to be a purely Western genre with no Islamic application, and says that such a competition
aims to remove the roots of Islam gradually from the hearts of our sons, and dilute Islamic values and concepts, sometimes with dancing, sometimes with mixed sessions between the sexes, and sometimes advocating the slogans of democracy, freedom and human rights that are meant to replace the legislative source of the Islamic faith.
Even though Hamas didn't sponsor the competition, it will be interesting to see if Islamist Hamas will try to defend itself.