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Hamas Intensifies Gaza 'Islamization'

Hamas has been clamping down on young men wearing waist-down jeans and hair gel, the latest move in the ruling organization’s insidious campaign to “Islamize” Palestinian society in Gaza, writes Hazem Balousha.
Teachers stand among school girls during a queue exercise at al-Qahera school in Gaza City April 2, 2013. New rules from the Education Ministry of the Islamist Hamas movement ruling the Gaza Strip will bar men from teaching at girls' schools and mandate separate classes for boys and girls from the age of nine. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS EDUCATION) - RTXY5MN
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Hamas has recently started an undeclared campaign to combat Western clothing and hairstyles in the Gaza Strip, alongside other campaigns launched by the Ministry of Culture and the Hamas-affiliated student body to raise awareness and combat Western culture and behavior within the Palestinian community in Gaza.

The Palestinian police have detained dozens of young men for wearing “waist-down jeans” and hair gel, and having “Western” haircuts. This has sparked a wave of protests and public criticism on the part of human rights organizations, as they consider these measures to be an encroachment on personal freedoms without any legal basis.

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