Ramallah fashion show draws condemnation from Hamas

Event featuring designs of famous Italian designer of Palestinian descent dubbed "immoral and corrupt" by radical Palestinian groups.

Taslaq Fashion 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS)
Taslaq Fashion 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A fashion show that was held over the weekend in Ramallah has drawn strong condemnations from Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups.
The show took place at Ramallah’s new Movenpick Hotel. It featured some 40 designs by Jamal Taslaq, a famous Italian designer of Palestinian descent. 
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The Italian women who participated in the show wore clothes that combined modern designs with Palestinian heritage, including the colors of the Palestinian flag.
The show was sponsored by the Italian Consulate-General and the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Culture.
Hamas representatives reacted with outrage to the event, dubbing it “immoral and corrupt.”
Yunis al-Astal, a Hamas legislator from the Gaza Strip, lashed out at the PA leadership in Ramallah, accusing it of corrupting young men and women by holding such fashion shows and beauty contests and licensing casinos and night clubs.
“These acts are aimed at normalizing ties with the occupation,” al-Astal said. “This is a new crime that will be added to the many crimes of the Palestinian Authority against its people.”
Sheikh Hamed Bitawi, a prominent Hamas figure in the West Bank, said that the fashion show was in violation of Islam and the interests of the Palestinians.
He added that the show was “harmful” to the Palestinians because it presented to the world a people living in comfort and with time to organize fashion shows.  He too accused the PA leadership of spreading “corruption” among Palestinians.