Being in Gaza, it’s clear that a relatively strict interpretation of Islam is growing in public appearance. Many Gazans don’t subscribe to it, but for example it’s very rare to see a woman with her hair uncovered.
Senior Hamas officials had claimed, in the wake of Hamas’ June 2007 Gaza takeover, that the organization did not have any intention to turn the Sharia, Islamic religious law into official state regulations. Two years later, however, it seems that the Hamas government is slowly introducing more and more regulations in the spirit of the Islamic decrees.
The London-based newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi reported that the organization’s Gaza government had recently approved a series of laws, a Muslim code of conduct of sorts, meant to guard Muslim religion and morals. These guidelines join an increasing amount of reports from Gaza residents saying that modesty patrols were forcing women to wear head coverings, especially at Gaza’s beaches, and that they were inspecting isolated cars in order to prevent unmarried couples being alone together.