The Backward is the Forward’s annual satirical Purim edition. Enjoy!
In a surprise development following its recent endorsement of women rabbis, Hamas announced last week that it is preparing to embrace gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals for new roles in its own community.
“We think they would make excellent suicide bombers,” Hamas deputy political director Mousa Abu Marzook told the Backward in an exclusive five-hour interview in Cairo. “This is a really prestigious calling, and our Shura has decided it’s a calling these, ah, persons are ready to answer.”
Marzook, who is generally seen as being on the liberal end of the spectrum within Hamas, said debate on the issue had been long and hard within the Shura Council, which sets Hamas policy. The group’s political director, Khaled Meshal, who often takes a harder line, reportedly opposed the reform, adamantly claiming that it was a distraction from more important issues for the council, such as a Muslim woman’s right to choose.
According to informed sources, Meshal was finally persuaded to accept the move in response to intense pressure by some of Hamas’s closest allies. “The gay thing is just killing us at Berkeley,” one Shura member told the Backward.
Nevertheless, final approval of the LGBT move appears to have hit a last-minute snag. Islamist theologians affiliated with Hamas are locked in debate over whether LGBT suicide bombers would be rewarded with 72 virgins in paradise after blowing themselves up — and if so, what gender they would be.
“It’s very confusing,” said Sheikh Omar Ibn Al Baz, a Shura Council legal expert. “What if a transgender person is gay?”