Neues aus den palästinensischen Gebieten
Nach dem Sieg der Hamas in den Parlamentswahlen, ist die Situation in den palästinensicschen Gebieten angespannt. Christen und säkuläre Palästinenser haben Angst vor einer islamisierung in den palästinensischen Gebieten.
Palestinian educator Dr. Maria Khoury geared up for the winter chill with what was at the time a meaningless purchase: a black silk scarf with silver stripes to drape around her neck.
But now, on her daily excursions from the West Bank's Taiba to nearby Ramallah, the scarf serves as a political symbol of the changing times.
"Since Hamas took over, I cover my head in Ramallah," she says. "I don't feel comfortable."
In the largely cosmopolitan Ramallah, though they comprise some 10 percent of the population, Christians are becoming less and less visible.
The first time that Khoury ran into her local parish priest there with her head covered, he raised his eyebrows and laughed.
"I see more and more women covered up," Khoury says, explaining that for now, it's preferable to play it safe and assimilate on the street, even if she would never choose to cover her head otherwise.
With fear of government-supported religious coercion on the rise since Hamas's unexpected win in January's Palestinian elections, Christians across the West Bank and Gaza Strip are keeping a low profile, with eyes wide open.
Though no changes on the ground have affected their rights as of yet, they are watching carefully and anxiously to see if an already precarious "church and state" separation in Palestinian government is about to disintegrate.
Auf dem Tempelberg wurde indes dazu aufgerufen, ein Kalifat zu installieren.
Sheikh Ismail Nawahda, preaching to Moslem masses on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Friday, has brought it out into the open: the call to restore the Moslem Khalifate, or, "Genuine Islamic Rule."
A plan for the "Return of the Khalifate" was published secretly in 2002 by a group called "The Guiding Helper Foundation." The group explained that it wished to "give direction to the educated Muslim populace in its increasing interest in the establishment of Islam as a practical system of rule."
This past Friday, Feb. 24, however, the plan went public. Sheikh Nawahda called publicly for the renewal of the Islamic Khalifate, which would "unite all the Moslems in the world against the infidels."
The Khalifate system features a leader, known as a Khalif, who heads worldwide Islam. Assisted by a ten-man council, his decisions are totally binding on all Moslems.
According to the Foundation's vision of the Khalifate, significant punishment can only be meted out for 14 crimes, including "accusing a chaste person of fornication," "not performing the formal prayer," and "not fasting during Ramadan."