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More Sharia Law in Gaza: Hamas Crackdown on Mannequins

Hamas continues to enforce its interpretation of Islamic law in Gaza, this time targeting stores selling women's clothing.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 7/29/2010, 5:39 PM / Last Update: 7/29/2010, 6:56 PM

Flash 90

Hamas continues to enforce its stringent interpretation of Islamic law in Gaza. In its most recent ruling, the organization has laid out a list of rules that must be followed by stores selling women's clothing, according to AFP.

Earlier in the month Hamas declared that women and teenagers are no longer permitted to smoke hookahs in public.

According to new rules, women's clothing stores are not allowed to have dressing rooms. Stores also cannot have tinted windows, and cannot have cameras inside the shop. Any mannequins shaped like women must be dressed in modest clothing.

The new set of rules is aimed at maintaining “public morality,” Hamas spokesmen said.

Hamas has taken other restrictive steps toward enforcing Islamic law (Sharia) in Gaza. It has banned women from riding motorcycles, required men to wear shirts while swimming in the sea, and has ordered female attorneys to wear a headscarf while in court.

The Islamic terrorist group may be spurred by the opposition it faces from Salafi Muslim organizations, which claim to represent an estimated 11,000 residents of Gaza. Salafi extremists have accused Hamas of failing to enforce Islamic law enough, and have carried out bombings targeting music stores, Internet cafes, and even United Nations camps in which boys and girls are allowed to mingle.