Hamas Bans Singing Competition In Gaza

By Salon Staff

Published January 19, 2012 4:09PM (EST)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Organizers of the Palestinian version of "American Idol" say the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers have banned residents from participating in the popular reality show.

The ban appears to be a new attempt by Hamas to crack down on behavior it sees as being contrary to its conservative interpretation of Islam.

Alaa al-Abed, the chief producer of the "New Star" program, said that Hamas called the program "indecent."

He said the edict would prevent Gaza's 12 contestants from competing in the upcoming second round of the competition Thursday night.

The high rated show is broadcast on satellite television in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel. It's in its third season.

There was no comment from Hamas.

Salon Staff

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