Why now?

PetraMB comments:

But why is this happening now?” — asks Ben White about the Islamization of Gaza…

Ben, it’s not happening only “now”, and it’s most definitely not happening for the (unsurprising) reasons you come up with — it’s happening because this is part of Hamas’s ideology.
Here’s a Spiegel report from more than a year ago:

One of them, and perhaps the most influential, is Marwan Abu Ras, known as “Hamas’ mufti.” The organization’s political leaders prefer not to be mentioned in the same breath with Abu Ras and describe him as “peculiar.” But Gaza’s top administrator, Ismail Haniya, and Mahmoud Zahar, one of the founders of Hamas, like to discuss religious matters with Abu Ras, who studied in Medina. … “We will take the best aspects of the Iranian and the Saudi Arabian system,” says Abu Ras … The Islamists’ influence is becoming more and more visible. Most men now wear full beards and many women are fully veiled. New minarets are being built throughout Gaza, alcohol is no longer available, and Hamas has restricted mixed dancing at weddings and extended religious study in schools. There have been arson attacks against Christian organizations and Internet cafés …

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,570463-2,00.html

So, Ben, the more appropriate question might be: why are you noticing only now?

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