Hamas Unleashes Gaza Strip Boy Band

Hamas is trying to show a softer side, a more feminine metrosexual side of its forces. A culmination of music and militant philosphy to inspire a new generation of killers… Well I guess this is better than sending in suicide bombers… For now at least. I wonder what Fatah thinks about this after the who homosexual war between Hamas and Fatah, this should have Fatah wondering if Hamas is now a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell military force…

  Hamas boy band  to bring harmony to Gaza
The members of Protectors of the Homeland practise
their song at the police headquarters in Gaza City

Hamas militants have launched a new weapon in their struggle with Israel: a troupe of honey-voiced singers known as Protectors of the Homeland.

Wearing crisply pressed fatigues in urban camouflage blue, the six band members gather each day to practise in an old office within the Gaza City police headquarters.

The small room throbbed with energy as their dusty 12-track amplifier screeched with feedback before being tamed by an engineer.

To the accompaniment of a backing track from a laptop computer, the men then started polishing their routine of songs, almost all of which have strong Islamic and militaristic content and titles like Change and Reform. Such uplifting lyrics as “By the shrouds of the dead we are inspired” are typical.

“It is our job to inspire the foot soldiers,” said Maj Hosam Abu Abdu, a 40-year-old former police officer who now fronts the band. “We want to urge the soldiers and officers to push on, to make the effort needed in the struggle to end the occupation [of Palestinian land by Israel].”

Formed in the summer as part of the arts department of Hamas’s domestic security service, the Executive Force, the group has performed for police units around Gaza City.

But Maj Abu Abdu, who also uses his fine voice to call the faithful to prayer at a mosque, outlined ambitious plans for Protectors of the Homeland — to produce their first recordings for distribution, to build a theatre in Gaza City and even to start public dancing.

Being an Islamic group, the plans do not involve women and the band leader looked slightly shocked when asked if any of the activities might be unisex. “Not possible,” he said.

All the band members said the work beat the regular duties that included, back in June, helping Hamas in its bloody and ultimately successful battle with the Fatah faction for control of the Gaza Strip.

Music has always played a large role in the culture of Hamas, with songs praising the group and its leaders, including the wheelchair-bound Sheikh Ahmed Yassin who was killed by the Israelis in 2004.

As well as motivating serving Hamas members, the group also performs in prisons to try to re-educate criminals. “There is a strong psychological effect in music and we use it to try to improve the spirit of those who have committed crimes,” Maj Abu Abdu said.

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