For much of the world, 69-year-old Greta Berlin, spokesperson and co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement, is a hero.
Along with other leading members of her movement, mostly retired and well-to-do California-based women,
According to The Guardian, Greta's colleagues are from the generation who protested in the 1960s as part of the anti-Vietnam movement. The four leading activists, who led communications and legal activities during the flotilla operation, were grey-haired grandmothers and pensioners aged between 65 and 85.
Back in August 2007, two months after Hamas's bloody military takeover of Gaza where Hamas killed off its political Fatah opponents, Berlin stated on Radio Free Europe (Aug. 13, 2007) that:
The world is busy starving the Palestinians of Gaza into submission, simply because they exercised their human right to vote democratically for the party they wanted in power. I find it obscene that, just because the US,
It is ironic that these self-professed humanitarians, with Greta Berlin in the lead, choose to side with and support Hamas, the radical Islamic terrorist organization that seeks to drastically limit the rights of Gazan women and eradicate any form of liberalism in the Gaza Strip.
Since coming into power, Hamas has implemented strict religious decrees, in compliance with the Sharia Islamic law, into public life in the Gaza Strip. Last summer,
The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights issued a statement describing the new dress code for female lawyers a " dangerous violation of personal freedoms and women's rights."
Gazan female lawyer Sbubhiya Juma responded that the law was "dangerous" and " taking away our personal freedoms."
Since Hamas's rise to power, modesty patrols scour
From musical concerts to hair salons, Hamas has stamped its interpretation of Islamic Sharia law into every imaginable aspect of everyday life. Three months ago, in March 2010, Hamas banned men from working in women's beauty parlors and hair salons, which have been the target of explosions and other attacks since Hamas took over three years ago. Anyone breaking the new salon law, according to Hamas, will be arrested and tried.
In April, Hamas sent police to break up the first major hip-hop concert in
Under the Hamas regime, groups of radical Islamic Salafis, or fundamentalist Muslims, associated with al-Qaeda and more extreme than Hamas ideologically, have been growing at an alarming rate. In May, masked gunmen stormed a UN summer camp for children after fundamentalist Muslims accused the UNRWA organization of "teaching schoolgirls fitness, dancing and immorality." Such Salafi groups have targeted internet cafes, burned down institutions associated with Christianity, and have attacked foreign schools and wedding parties in Hamas's controlled Gaza Strip.
Hamas legislator and preacher, Yunis Al-Astal, noted that it wasn't a coincidence that youth were the targets of these strict Islamic laws. "We are working on young people, the next generation to be more correctly Islamic," Al-Astal has stated. Al-Astal was among those individuals banned from the
Indeed, if this is the kind of "free"
Another Gazan resident, Lama Hourani who campaigns for the rights of working women in Gaza also told BBC, that the way Hamas presents Islam, "the liberties of a woman are always subject to the consent of a male relative. They don't look at men and women as equal."
In her media campaigns to generate support for her
The political freedoms that Greta Berlin enjoys living in the USA as an American woman and the political freedoms enjoyed by women living in Israel — Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike — are almost non-existent for the women of Gaza and many other Muslim countries. This is a fact of life in
It is shameful that women of Western and liberal mindsets do nothing to support the rights of Muslim women in countries where political freedoms are allotted only to the men who support the political parties in power.
Anav Silverman, a native of
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.