I do wonder why it appears to be universally accepted among religious extremists that female primary hair is particularly sexual and its display could lead to society’s demoralisation, but I suppose I’m simply not spiritual enough to concede with the implication that any strand of female hair will turn pious men into horndogs. Ach…
The LA Times reports:
Gaza’s Islamic Hamas government on Thursday banned men from working in women’s hair salons, the latest step in its campaign to impose strict Islamic customs on Gaza’s 1.5 million people.
Since seizing Gaza in 2007, Hamas has taken steps in that direction while avoiding a frontal assault on secularism. The majority of Gaza residents are conservative Muslims, but Hamas is under growing pressure from more radical groups to prove its fundamentalist credentials by imposing ever harsher edicts.
The latest measure irked one of the victims of the ban.
“Next thing you know, they will ban doctors from treating women, and will only let women treat women,” said Barakat al- Ghoul, a 44-year-old hairdresser. “Tomorrow, they will ban everything.”
[Read the complete article here.]
What’ll be next? Mandatory minimiser bras? Adhesive warts? Burquas? Training sessions with the Bnei Brak Va’ad HaTznius?
I’ll tell you what, Hamas, by banning male hairstylists from serving their female customers, you won’t tackle any problems concerning modesty religious forces might believe there are. You’re making concessions to religious extremists, and any such concession paves the way for another step forward into a more extremist direction. At that, you’ll be likely losing support from secular Europe – afterall, any support you still get is tied to the eventual establishment of a working democracy among Palestinians, not a theocracy. If you don’t care for any of that, maybe you should care for your own people as you’re making plenty of righteous workers, undoubtedly many of them the sole bread earners in their families, unemployed at one big swoop.
Oh, and Hamas, while we’re at it: I know several Muslim girls that wear hijabs, dress modestly yet stylishly – and simply look gorgeous. Even a hundred layers of cloth won’t change the fact that they are modern women, pursuing an education and careers AND enjoy fashion. Religiousness isn’t marked by what you can see on the outside but what people believe in their hearts. (Same goes for all European politicians that wish to ban hijabs in public buildings – you don’t change attitudes in doing so, you just create resentment and alienation. The hijab is not a problem, religious extremism is, and you won’t address that one if your actions lead to women being less-immersed in your society, not being permitted by their families to pursue secondary education and / or forced to leave the country as soon as they enter puberty.)
On a final note, I’d like to quote a line by Kurt Tucholsky, “Human stupidity is international.”