Gaza: Hamas bans men from women's hair salons

March 4, 2010 15:59

Hamas on Thursday announced men are banned from working in women's hair salons.The Hamas Interior Ministry says those violating the new ban face legal consequences, but would not elaborate.

Islamic tradition forbids women from showing their hair to men who are not their husbands or blood relatives. Still, until now allowances were made for male hairdressers working in women's salons in Gaza City.

Thursday's announcement comes amid a Hamas campaign to impose Islamic customs on Gaza's 1.5 million people.

Since seizing Gaza in 2007, Hamas has taken gradual steps in that direction while avoiding a frontal assault on secularism. However, the movement is under growing pressure from more radical Islamist groups to prove its fundamentalist credentials.

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