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Hamas targets Sufis in Gaza

Sufis have opposed the way the Hamas government came to power, prompting the movement to shut down their institutions and restrict their religious activities.
Whirling dervishes perform during a festival at the mosque of Nabi Musa, where the tomb of Prophet Moses is believed to be located, in the Judean Desert near the town of Jericho, West Bank, April 8, 2016.

A number of Sufi mosques are spread across the Gaza Strip, and each sheikh practices his own way of Sufism. But they all participate in performing the weekly “session,” which is a Quranic session in which prophetic invocations and praises are chanted.

Sufism in Palestine can be traced back to the Mamluk era, and some Sufi families in Gaza have become well known, such as the Sa’afin and Khalidi families.

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