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Hamas bans women from riding on backseat of motorbikes
Khaled Abu Toameh
10/07/2009
Hamas bans women from ri
The Hamas government has banned women from riding motorcycles in the Gaza Strip, saying the move was in keeping with "Arab traditions." The decision to ban women from riding motorcycles was published by the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the movement's security forces in the Gaza Strip. The decision is seen in the context of Hamas's efforts to enforce strict Islamic teachings in the area. Two months ago, a Hamas judge issued an order requiring all women who appear in court to wear the hijab. Men and women who are seen together are regularly stopped by Hamas policemen or militiamen who question them about the nature of their relationship. Explaining its latest decision, Hamas said it was taken to "safeguard the safety of residents and to maintain the stability of traditions and customs in Palestinian society." The Hamas statement said that men would not be allowed from now on to carry women behind them as they drive their motorcycles.
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