Gaza Police Cracking Down on Gender Nonconformers

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com April 08 2013 2:27 PM ET

Police in Hamas-controlled Gaza are grabbing young men with unconventional hair and dress and beating them and shaving their heads, according to reports.

Two men told the Associated Press they were rounded up with, along with more than two dozen other men, by police, who shaved their heads against their will. The men who spoke publicly said they had long hair or hair that was styled with hair products. Meanwhile, three young men were beaten in Gaza City for wearing tight, low-rise pants, according to another report.

The police are trying to impose Islamic traditions on appearance, which strictly delineates between men and women. Hamas, an Islamic military group that many nations consider a terrorist organization, gained control of Gaza after a 2007 election.

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