Have you ever wanted something so badly that you would have accepted it from anyone, even if you knew that person placed absolutely no value on you, your family, your future, or your right to go on living?
That's exactly what hundreds of single people are doing right now in Gaza, the southern coastal region of Israel that was ethnically cleansed of Jews and surrendered to Islamic terrorists by the Ariel Sharon administration four years ago.
According to the Associated Press article "Hamas gets into matchmaking biz," Hamas' Tayseer Association for Marriage and Development in Gaza is now in the profession of introducing men and women seeking marriage partners. Tayseer, which handles the more mundane functions of the Hamas political/military outfit that runs Gaza, bills itself as the "humanitarian" arm of that terror organization – quite a turnabout for hoodlums whose only accomplishments to date consist of robbery, rape, kidnapping, murder and plotting to overthrow the country that gave them refuge when their own homelands kicked them out.
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It is not my intent to denigrate people who apply to Tayseer's marriage program. Meeting potential spouses can be tough when you're cloistered off, under pain of death, from half the world's population. But surely even these individuals must wonder, somewhere in the back of their minds, if turning to Hamas for true love is really such a good idea. I mean, why not the KKK or the Mafia? Tayseer's applicants may not care what I think, but if any more red flags went up in my head I'd be able to open a used car lot. Here are some that come to mind:
- Hamas-arranged marriages are likely to be (gasp!) to Hamas terrorists. Ya think? Call me a cynic, but the primary obligation of any special interest group is to its own constituency. How nice would it be for a Tayseer counselor to give cuts to some woebegone local shopkeeper, while the characters who make Hamas what it is have to wait in line for their women? That's right, it wouldn't be nice. Might not be safe, either.
- Hamas-arranged marriages are physically dangerous. Let's see ... you train a guy to hate, kill and destroy; send him to work for a terror gang whose very name means "violence"; plant him in an administrative area that has no laws against domestic abuse; and force on him a religion that commands him to beat his wife. What could possibly go wrong?
- Hamas-arranged marriages are polygamous. Polygamy, as in all Islamic societies, is legal in Gaza. For husbands, that is. Actually, the Palestinian Authority does allow the bride to have a no-multiple-wives clause written into her marriage contract, so that if her husband takes a second wife she would have the right to divorce him. But that only prevents marital philandering. Extra-marital philandering, as in raping war hostages, kidnap victims, slaves and infidels, is still fair game. Don't argue with me if you don't like it; argue with Muhammad.
- Hamas-arranged marriages are not love matches. It may boggle the Western mind, but in this culture parents continue to choose mates for their children, with or without their consent. With little or no opportunity to talk privately, engaged couples often end up marrying total strangers, never having inquired about each other's feelings, morals, deepest thoughts, or dreams for the future. If they don't like what they discover afterwards, at least for the woman there is no way out.
- Hamas-arranged marriages are not fun. If you can't have personal safety, or faithfulness, or love, can you at least have fun? Sorry. "Allah did not create man so that he could have fun," Iran's Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini preached in one of his sermons. "There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun or joy in whatever is serious." Just makes you want to rush out and grab one of those ideologues before they're all taken, doesn't it?
- The Hamas courtship model starts with lying to the girl's parents. According to the article, this type of matchmaking is strongly frowned upon in Islamic society. The male Tayseer client is advised to have his relatives tell the girl's parents that they heard from a "well-meaning stranger" that their daughter would like to get married. Bad idea, even for the morally bankrupt. Can you think of a less promising way to win the respect of your future in-laws than making up a story like that? (Well, actually, "Hi, I'm Ahmed, and Hamas has sent me here to marry your daughter" might not do it, either.)
The wife might end up having to work two full-time jobs. Parents are loathe to let their daughter marry and move out, the article says, because they don't want to give up the extra income from her job. You think a Hamas-furnished husband is going to want to give up that income, either, especially if he is too busy terrorizing people to look for a job himself? As for his sharing household chores, well ... somehow I just can't see that passing muster with his swaggering comrades down in the smuggling tunnel.
- Al-Qaida has infiltrated Gaza. Under the oppressive rule of Al-Qaida and its even more evil twin the Taliban, women in Afghanistan are no longer allowed to leave the house unless accompanied by a male relative. Aren't you glad you're not some poor, new, Tayseer-issued wife having to explain to a hungry, angry, terror-trained husband, just home from a long, hard day at the bomb factory, that you can't make him dinner until he takes you to the store?
- The author of the article is a Hamas sympathizer. Diaa Hadid is an apologist for the "Palestinian cause" and a propagandist for ITTIJAH, an NGO network that has refused to renounce terror or reject anti-terror clauses in funding agreements. "Israel's assault killed hundreds of civilians, and Gaza's residents hunkered down in homes and shelters during the shelling, not knowing where bombs would fall next," she managed to whine, even though that was patently false and had nothing to do with the subject she was writing about. Of course they knew where bombs would fall next, Miss Hadid, because the IAF told them. Hamas knew too; that's how they were able to lure human shields into targeted buildings to maximize the body count for the evening news.
- Life could be a lot worse. Depression, psychologist Rollo May said, is the inability to construct a future. But even when you're young and lonely there are worse things than being alone and depressed. There is, for instance, the distinct possibility of getting your head beaten in nightly by the Hamas-trained terrorist with whom you will have to share your home and bed for the rest of your life. That's not their goal, of course, but in their quest to live happily ever after, these deluded and desperate women are reaching out to murderers. They hope to catch something better, but they are fishing in the world's murkiest waters. I hope it works out for them, but I have little confidence that it will.
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Marylou Barry is a journalist and Christian Zionist with a special interest in the Middle East. Visit her blog at Marylou's America.