Hamas to use shari‘a as governing basis; churches urge peace

Movement might moderate positions temporarily
Hamas intends to apply Islamic law, or shari'a, as the basis for running the Palestinian Authority after its landslide win in the late January elections for the legislature, officials from the group said. But they added that people would not be forced to comply with shari‘a.

The victory of the militant group in the elections has stirred concerns by more liberal Palestinians that the Islamist group might enforce its views after defeating Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s secular Fatah movement.

Nevertheless, Anglican bishop Riah Abu El-Assal joined 12 other Christian leaders in Jerusalem in a January 31 statement congratulating the Palestinian people “for their democratic performance in the recent parliamentary elections.” The group, which includes patriarchs and heads of church bodies, also prayed for “all those who will govern in this difficult period” that they may be committed to “justice and peace.”


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