"They (men) can also take a greater part in fighting disease by imposing stricter constraints on the movement and gatherings of the womenfolk, as broadly as possible."
In Islam, women are usually to blame for everything, except for the things that the Jews, the Christians and the CIA are to blame for. In places like Gaza where there are no more Jews and hardly any Christians, when swine flu hits, only women remain to be blamed for the disease.
Become a Niqabi. Stop spreading your filthy female germs all over the place. That's the message from the Hamas house organ.
Following a recent outbreak of swine flu in the West Bank, which later spread to Gaza as well, 'Issam Shawer, a columnist in the Hamas daily Falastin, wrote that women are the worst transmitters of diseases because they tend to gather in groups and to move from place to place. He advised them to wear a niqab, saying it protects them from infection, and called to limit their movement in the next few months in order to curb the spread of germs.
Isaam Shawer complains that when a family member dies, "women emerge from every corner and flock from every direction, even from afar, and then congregate in one place. They comfort [the family] and also trade stories – this is very important to them – and spread news and rumors, but also viruses that waft through the stuffy air. Then they disperse, and many go on to perform some other duty at some other home or function hall. This is why I think women are the fastest transmitters of epidemics."
Sure, Issam says, they sometimes wear face masks, but then they take them off. So there's only one answer.
"Some of them take the necessary precautions and wear face masks when they are alone, yet, when they meet, they remove the masks in order to chat and to do what they are best at: exchanging news.. we cannot avoid mentioning the advantage of the niqab, worn by devout Muslim women, in protecting them from contagious diseases.
I imagine that going around covered head to toe in a greasy cloth probably spreads more disease than it prevents, but so does killing aid workers vaccinating against cholera... so clearly that's not a problem for Islamists.
But he does have an answer.
"They (men) can also take a greater part in fighting disease by imposing stricter constraints on the movement and gatherings of the womenfolk, as broadly as possible... at least in the next three months."
Because the one thing that can make life in Gaza better is to make it more like Saudi Arabia.