HAMAS bans male hairdressers from women's hair salons

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.”

Women had freedom under Israeli rule. They will rue the day that they voted in Hamas.

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 is under growing pressure from more radical groups to prove its fundamentalist credentials by imposing ever harsher edicts.

Al-Ghoul, who has cut women’s hair for 26 years, said a ban would be devastating. He said he has no other way of making a living. Islamic tradition forbids women from showing their hair to men who are not their husbands or blood relatives. Until now, though, exceptions were made for the eight known male hairdressers in women’s salons in Gaza City. Some of the male stylists have a devoted following, and their customers accept long waiting periods to get appointments.

Fares said Hamas’ new ruling takes away one of the last remnants of a more liberal lifestyle in Gaza that flourished decades ago, when the territory had cinemas and bars. Since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, small ultra-radical Islamic groups have sprung up. Known as Jihadi Salafis, they advocate holy war and a strict, fundamentalist brand of Islam, dismissing Hamas as too pragmatic.

Fares said a small pipe bomb was recently set off outside a male hairdresser’s shop, as a warning for him to stop working. Hamas is moving gradually to impose Islamic customs. In the summer, the Islamic group promoted a “virtue campaign,” urging women to cover up and sending out beach patrols to enforce modest attire. YNET NEWS

So if Gaza women have to to wear hijab (headscarves), why would they need to go to a hairdresser at all? I wonder if there’s a special hairdo that goes with becoming a suicide bomber?