Coming soon: Niqab News Network. Sharia Alert. “Fundamentalists in Gaza threaten to behead ‘immodest’ women broadcasters,” from the Associated Press:
A Muslim extremist group threatened to behead female TV broadcasters if they
don’t don strict Islamic dress, leaving the women terrified and marking a further downward spiral in Gaza’s anarchy.
The threat to “cut throats from vein to vein” was delivered by the Swords of Truth, a fanatical group that has previously claimed responsibility for bombing Internet cafes and music shops.
The new threat was the first time the organization targeted a specific group of
people, and adds to a growing climate of extremism, fear and suspicion in Gaza.
In many parts of the Muslim world, religious conservative policies keep women
out of TV anchoring positions or only let them take the jobs if they wear headscarves. But
in some countries scarves are uncommon, like Lebanon and Jordan, and Egypt even keeps
newscasters who wear them off its TV stations.
Most of the 15 women broadcasters on government-run Palestine TV wear
headscarves. But they also wear makeup and Western clothing, which is not considered
strictly observant by the extremists.
The Swords of Truth issued the statement Friday in an e-mail sent to news
organizations. “We will cut throats, and from vein to vein, if needed to protect the
spirit and moral of this nation.”
The group accused the broadcasters of being “without any…shame or morals” and said it knew where to find the women.
Prior to the statement, some women broadcasters said they had received personal threats through their mobile phones. It was not clear if those threats were from the same group.
One anchorwoman who does not wear a headscarf said she was too frightened by
the threat to go to work on Saturday.
“It’s a dangerous precedent in our society. It will target all working women,”
said the broadcaster, who declined to give her name out of fear. “The statement frightened
Another presenter who wears a headscarf, on Palestine TV, said she couldn’t
understand why they were targeted. “I hope they take it back. I hope not a bullet will be
fired at us,” she said.
Understatement of the year:
This is not the first display of recent Islamic extremism in Gaza. Only
last month, Muslim hardliners lobbed a bomb at a UN-run school, accusing the world
body of “turning schools into nightclubs” for holding a display of traditional
More from the Jerusalem Post:
According to one official, “The day will come when we will miss Hamas. These
are extremely dangerous groups that are trying to take Palestinian society back to the
You’re off to a great start.
A leaflet distributed by the Righteous Swords of Islam specifically referred to the women who appear on Palestine TV. “The saying these days is that the enemy has withdrawn from the Gaza Strip and so have our morals,” it read. “It’s indeed disgraceful that the women working for the official Palestinian media are competing with each other to
display their charms.”
Referring to the fact that most of the female presenters were not wearing
the niqab, a veil covering the face of Muslim women as a part of hijab, the leaflet
asked: “Where are the decision-makers in this regard? Have we lost our conscience? Have
the brothers, fathers and husbands stopped caring about their women?”
The group warned that its members would strike with an “iron fist and swords”
against the women who are refusing to cover their faces. “We will destroy their homes,” it
announced. “We will blow up their working places. We have a lot of information about their
addresses and we are following their movements.”