Daily Israel Report

Senior Hamas Member Attacks Western Values

Mahmoud al-Zahar attacks western values, defends Islamization of Gaza, and calls for the annihilation of the State of Israel through jihad.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/3/2010, 3:23 AM / Last Update: 11/3/2010, 3:20 AM

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Senior Hamas member Mahmoud al-Zahar, who serves as Hamas’ foreign policy advisor, recently attacked the West's values and permissive lifestyle and expressed adherence to the goal of the annihilation of the State of Israel through jihad, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported on Monday.

The reported cited a recent interview given by al-Zahar to Reuters in which he strongly attacked Western values and the West's lifestyle, and in particular tolerance for homosexuality, secularism, gender equality and sexual permissiveness.

“We have the right to control our life according to our religion, not according to your religion,” said al-Zahar during the interview which was published last Thursday. “You have no religion, You are secular. You do not live like human beings. You do not (even) live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticise us?”

He also denounced France, which recently passed legislation that forbids women to wear full face veils [burqas] in public. He said: “We are the ones who respect women and honor women ... not you. You use women as an animal. She has one husband and hundreds of thousands of boyfriends. You don't know who is the father of your sons, because of the way you respect women.”

The report also cited a recent speech Al-Zahar gave on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the death of Palestinian Islamic Jihad founder Fathi Shqaqi which was reported on Al-Quds TV. In the speech, al-Zahar stressed his opposition to any negotiation with Israel, and reiterated Hamas' objective of founding an Islamic state on “all the territory of Palestine.” He promised that Hamas would not abandon the path of jihad and added that the Qur’an proved that “there is not future for the Zionists among us.” In another interviewed in the London-based Al-Hayat, al-Zahar defended Hamas’ restrained policy of rocket fire since Operation Cast Lead by saying that Hamas had a “right” to arm itself by all available means to “defend the Palestinian people.”

During the Reuters interview, al-Zahar addressed the criticism towards Hamas and the stringent laws it imposes on the residents of the Gaza Strip. He defended the Islamization of Gaza by saying: “Is it a crime to Islamise the people? I am a Muslim living here according to our tradition. Why should I live under your tradition? We understand you very well, you are poor people. Morally poor. Don't criticise us because of what we are.”

A report released last week by Israel’s Security Agency has revealed that Hamas is continuing its efforts to gradually impose an Islamization process on the residents of the Gaza Strip, using modern tools such as the internet, as well as print media and changing the education system in order to accommodate its Islamist policy.