Religious Conflict Between Palestinians
By Micah Halpern
Wednesday August 18, 2010
I've Been Thinking:
A serious religious conflict is taking between Palestinian political groups. The conflict is taking place now, right this very minute.
The Palestinian Authority has made it illegal for anyone not authorized by the Authority to preach or instruct in mosques in the West Bank. Why this? Why now? It is the PA's aka Fatah's response to Hamas.
Hamas has been recruiting in the West Bank. Hamas has forbidden the reading of the Quran (Koran) from the minaret before the call to prayer. The PA says this diminishes the teachings of the Quran.
What the PA is really saying is: this is a check against Hamas. Even though the PA and the residents of the West Bank are overwhelmingly Muslim, the PA is fearful of a religious government, like Hamas, taking over.
Hamas says that turning non-PA authorized clergy into criminals is an act of outright war on Islam. Hamas is correct, but they are like the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. Hamas does the same thing. Only authorized Hamas preachers may preach in Gaza - and no political or religious alternative views are ever, at all, permitted.
This is all taking place during Ramadan, the holy month during which peaceful coexistence between fellow Muslims is, or is supposed to be, a prime theme.
Unlike Ramadan, this tension will not be resolved at month's end.