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World Briefing / Gaza Strip

Female lawyers told to cover up

July 27, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Gaza's top judge said he had ordered female lawyers to wear head scarves when they appear in court, the latest sign that the Islamic militant group Hamas is increasingly imposing its strict interpretation of Islamic law on residents of the coastal strip.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdul-Raouf Halabi said female lawyers would be required to wear head scarves and long, dark cloaks under their billowing black robes when the court returns from its summer recess in September.

Halabi said his order was designed to ensure that women dress in accordance with Islamic law, which requires that women cover up in public, wearing loose garments and showing only their hands and faces.

"Showing a woman's hair is forbidden [in Islam]," the Hamas-appointed Halabi said. "We will not allow people to corrupt morals. This [dress code] will improve work in the courts."

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