"A love letter to the whole world from Hamas"

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Sixty thousand flag-waving onlookers packed into a Nablus stadium the other day, but they weren't there to see a soccer game. The flags they were waving were Hamas banners, and a local sheikh used the sound system to berate the U.S. and Israel, but the spectators hadn't gathered for a political rally, either.

They were all wedding guests. Hamas (yes, that Hamas) had decided to sponsor a mass wedding ceremony involving 226 couples. Why? According to the BBC, "Organizers said the ceremony was an attempt to show a different side to Hamas, which has carried out numerous suicide bombings in Israel." Perhaps if Hamas wanted to show a different side of itself, it might have chosen a side that didn't make everyone else think of Rev. Moon's Unification Church, but that's their business.

The mass wedding was also intended as "a show of strength for the organization, which is contesting Palestinian parliamentary elections," according to the Beeb. A local Hamas leader told the AP that the mass ceremony "says that Hamas is a part of every aspect of Palestinian society. This is a message to the world—we are not terrorists."

The couples seemed pleased. All 226 grooms wore green Hamas scarves, and stood on a stage separate from that of their brides. The brides were veiled, of course, and wore green Hamas scarves with their dark abayat. Hamas apparently doesn't like the white wedding gowns otherwise familiar throughout the region.

One of the brides told AP that, "This is a love letter to the whole world from Hamas."

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  1. Perhaps if Hamas wanted to show a different side of itself, it might have chosen a side that didn’t make everyone else think of Rev. Moon’s Unification Church, but that’s their business.

    It could have been worse: They could have chosen the Jehova’s Witnesses as their role model.

  2. Any word on how the reception went?

  3. Curious-

    Since this is Hamas that we’re talking about I’d assume that the reception was a real blast.

  4. I think the bottom line message borrows a line from the old Jay Leno commercial. It compares potato chips to the war on terror:
    “Go ahead. Kill some. We’ll make more.”

  5. “Organizers said the ceremony was an attempt to show a different side to Hamas”

    Yes, they not only slaughter people like sheep, they march them around like sheep, too.

    Inn’t that nice?

  6. This reminds me of that one time the Nazis hosted the Olympics. That was awesome. Well, the part where Jesse Owens embarrassed Hitler in front of the entire world was neat. I don’t know what the analog would be – maybe if there was a Jewish couple hidden among the other couples, and their marriage survived while everyone else got divorced or something? That would be SO cool.

  7. “Any word on how the reception went?”

    Pigs in a Blanket? What the f*ck!

  8. Hamas has been trying to “normalize” itself for a while and flex its muscle in other ways besides violent attacks.

  9. And what better way to “normalize” your group than to emulate Rev. Moon? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    When Hamas’s leadership first floated the idea of switching to a less violent persona, most of their members were willing to give it a shot ;->

  10. thoreau,

    I seriously doubt that they are trying to adopt Moonie practices (or even know about them for that matter).

  11. I wonder how common mass weddings have been in Islamic history?

  12. It’s a public declaration of faith in the future and it’s a little bit silly.
    What’s not to like?

  13. I think it’s great that they’ve evolved from incredibly retarded publicity stunts like blowing up Jews to only fairly retarded publicity stunts.

  14. I wonder what the divorce rate is in Islamic societies? I know they do divorce, I have been told varios times by that marrying a divorced woman is an acceptable way of marrying a non virgin. But I am led to believe that divorce is very rare. I guess very rarely do you not get along with your cousins?

  15. Don’t be a good neighbor to her. I’ll send you a love letter straight from my heart, fucker. Do you know what a love letter is? It’s a bullet from a fuckin’ gun, fucker. If you receive a love letter from me, you’re fucked forever. Do you understand, fuck? I’ll send ya straight to Hell, fucker!

  16. What the fuck are you talking about, Frank?

  17. “This is a love letter to the whole world from Hamas.”

    That’s what he’s talking about.

    This is the kind of love letter that sends people running to get a restraining order.

  18. Hakluyt-

    I also doubt that they are deliberately emulating Moonie practices.

    Which is why I was totally joking.

  19. C’mon guys – Frank Booth was Dennis Hopper’s character in Blue Velvet

  20. ?make everyone else think of Rev. Moon’s Unification Church

    Orthodox Jews, Muslim extremists, and Fundamentalist Christians, all cut from the same mold. But they wear different hats, so of course they have to kill each other.

  21. Warren-

    You forgot the Hindu nationalists who attacked a mosque in India in the 1990’s.

    And although I have no clue how they would rationalize it, you know that somewhere out there a few crazy Buddhists are calling for the death of those who have not attained enlightenment. “I am the serenest! Death to the unserene!” Yes, I know, Buddhism is the ultimate religion of peace, but you know that somebody somewhere will take it way too far.

    In another thread I proposed a “Darwin Day” where those who want to are given free rein to do really stupid, deadly things. Maybe we should also have something similar for religious fanatics. Hold a big party, invite only the craziest of the crazies from various religions, and make sure that nobody is checking for weapons at the door. Whatever happens next is up to them.

    What scares me is that they might discover that they have something in common (craziness) and instead join forces against the rest of us.

  22. thoreau,

    There are carvings in Sri Lanka that depict the Buddha torturing sinners in hell.

  23. joe-

    Doh! I knew there had to be a catch somewhere!

  24. yeah, but they’re temporary hells. like being stuck at the dmv for a really long time.

    a tibetan buddhist once told me that people who abuse animals are sent to a sort of animal hell waystation, where they’re pursued by this gelatinous version of the animals they hurt, smashed into bits and pieces, reformed then smashed again over and over until they’ve burned off their burden and get shot back into the meatsphere. it’s pretty creative, as far as punishments go.

  25. thoreau, here are some reported incidents of “violent extremism,” to use the new lingo, that involved (or were suspected to involve) Buddhists:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4089001.stm

    http://millenniafever.org/nucleus/index.php?itemid=22

    http://www.worthynews.com/newsroom-buddhists-sri-lanka.html

    http://www.washtimes.com/world/20050714-102209-4076r_page2.htm

    All of them do seem to be in Sri Lanka, however.

  26. Orthodox Jews, Muslim extremists, and Fundamentalist Christians, all cut from the same mold. But they wear different hats, so of course they have to kill each other.

    But they all hate them fags, so maybe they can come together on that.

  27. Keith: you can probably throw some Buddhists in there, to. Well, going on the theory that some portion of them fail to make the fine bad actor/bad actor distinction that the Catholic Church, Dalai Lama, etc. make.

    (Yeah, Dalai Lama. I had great fun awhile back pointing out to some DL fanboys who weren’t too keen on the Catholic Church that it wasn’t remotely hard to Google up direct quotes from the Dalai Lama on the morality of homosexuality that could have come out of the then-pope’s mouth.)

  28. Perhaps if Hamas wanted to show a different side of itself, it might have chosen a side that didn’t make everyone else think of Rev. Moon’s Unification Church, but that’s their business.

    The moonies also publish the Washington Times. Maybe the next part of the trend is for all of the newlyweds to start right-wing newspapers.

  29. keith,

    The one thing that got Christians, Jews and Muslims together in the Levant recently was a gay pride parade through Jerusalem. Leaders of all three religions had a joint press conference (as I recall) where they demanded that the parade have its permit revoked.

  30. SR,

    There used to be buddhist guerilla units in Tibet, or along the Tibet border (they were funded by the CIA for a time).

  31. now that we’ve all had some fun with one-liners, anyone care to tackle how an organization like hamas can be viewed by millions as a positive cultural force that improves the lives of muslims? because i think we’d all learn a lot more from that exercise than by reassuring ourselves that hamas bad, us good.

  32. The moonies also publish the Washington Times. Maybe the next part of the trend is for all of the newlyweds to start right-wing newspapers.

    Justin Moon, son of the founder started Kahr, a company that makes nice handguns.

    Though there is some debate as to whether or not he is still affiliated with the church.

  33. now that we’ve all had some fun with one-liners, anyone care to tackle how an organization like hamas can be viewed by millions as a positive cultural force that improves the lives of muslims?

    Oh, come on, some of those one-liners were pretty funny! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I’d imagine it has something to do with the fact that Hamas talks a lot about religion and fights a war against people that their constituents don’t like.

    Fortunately, people like that could NEVER become popular in the US.

    Right? Um…never mind.

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