The annual Gaza Marathon organized by UNRWA, the UN agency that perpetuates refugee status for Palestinians, was cancelled after Hamas banned women from competing.
The reason given was respect for local Islamic customs, but can that the real motive? Women — more modestly dressed than the men — were allowed to compete in the two previous runnings of the event, and 266 of this year’s 551 registered local runners were women.
Is it custom or fear that drives Hamas? Could the real reason be that those big boastful, tough Hamas men were scared of being beaten by a mere woman? Hamas isn’t afraid to use women as suicide bombers, so why are they scared of competing against them?
Is religion just a veil for Hamas to hide its inadequacies?