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Hamas says it will gently push Islamic law

By Mohammed Assadi

Hamas will use Sharia as a guide for legislation after winning Palestinian elections, but has no plan to enforce strict Islamic law, to close bars, or to stop men and women mixing in public, a senior leader said yesterday. Hamas’s victory in last week’s parliamentary election has stirred concerns among more liberal Palestinians that the Islamist group could enforce conservative views after defeating President Mahmoud Abbas’s secular Fatah movement.

”We will not intervene in any aspect of Palestinian life . . . except to convince people in a polite way,” said Mahmoud Ramahi, a member of the Hamas politburo who won a seat in the new parliament. ”We are making efforts so that the Sharia will be the source of legislation, but in order to implement Islamic rule, this needs a state. When we get a state, we will leave it to people to choose,” he said in an interview.

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