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Hamas bans 'New Star' singing contest in Gaza
Published Monday 16/01/2012 (updated) 19/01/2012 11:43
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GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip has banned residents of the coastal enclave from participating in the national reality singing show "New Star."

The first episode of "New Star," which follows the format of popular shows like "American Idol" and "The X-Factor," was recorded in Gaza City via video link in December, and around 120 people turned up to audition.

But the successful contestants will not be able to continue in the competition as the Gaza government media office has since banned the talent show, which is produced by Ma'an TV and broadcast on the Ma'an-Mix satellite channel.

Hasan Abu Hashish, who heads the media office in the Hamas-run government, told Ma'an's public relations director Ala al-Abed that the program was "indecent."

The contest contradicts the customs and traditions of the Gaza community, Abu Hashish said, adding that singing was the passion of a few and not in the interests of the majority of the community.

The show is in its second season. Singers from Gaza participated in the first series without incident.
1 ) EE / UK
16/01/2012 22:11
We understand - this is a real democracy and freedom with all its glory and power. Hamas is just doing what overwhelming majority of palestinians requests. President Carter will confirm that the decisions are in agreement with all known human rights. UN human right commission approves. No one has a reason to worry or complain.

2 ) southparkbear / usa
16/01/2012 22:18
even if all are jihadist songs? how about praying with the stars?

3 ) Line Khateeb / Norway
16/01/2012 22:31
"singing contradicts the customs and traditions of the Gaza community" ??? we are one people, whether from Nablus, Haifa or Rafah- why is our own people contributing to the isolation of Gaza by banning the participatino in an innocent song contest? People are singing songs of Fairuz or nationalistic songs, in addition to pop music- all sorts, and Palestinians ara all kinds of people. We do not want a seperate Gaza and a seperate West-Bank, we want a free people in a free Palestine

16/01/2012 22:33
Hasan Abu Hashish, who heads the media office in the Hamas-run government, told Ma'an's public relations director Ala al-Abed that the program was "indecent." The singing contest contradicts the customs and traditions of the Gaza community, Abu Hashish said, adding that singing was the passion of a few and not in the interests of the majority of the community. .........IS THIS SOMETHING NEW!!LOL!.EVEN THOUGH I HATE THOSE STUPID SHOWS.....WHO IS HE TO TALK SUCH WAY.FK OFF HAMAS.. AND FATAH...

5 ) Malone / Hfx
16/01/2012 23:23
Lol,back to the 7th century.

6 ) matt / usa
17/01/2012 00:07
wow...such freedom in gaza

7 ) Mel / USA
17/01/2012 00:11
"The singing contest contradicts the customs and traditions of the Gaza community"? LOL! Hey,If it's based on American Idol & X-Factor, I don't blame them,they're terrible shows&artistically "indecent"to the senses,very often,LOL! BUT HAMAS? Don't stop local Gaza artists expressing their freedom,voices,music,art?They are REPRESSED enough by Israel! Let them express.Just find a format not so US Plastic,& with more taste,LOL.Chill out Hamas!Let your MUCH DESERVED youth breathe & sing with joy!

8 ) Robby / USA
17/01/2012 03:37
Perhaps if the content of every song included "death to Israel" chants HAMAS would permit the show to go on. Oh, and a few "kill the Jews" here and there wouldn't hurt.

9 ) Ashraf / USA
17/01/2012 04:39
I really feel sorry for the pals of Gaza. They are treated like animals, with war and sanctions. As an outlet to the prison they try to entertain themselves. But the sad truth is that imitating the west is what will lead them to despair. Western freedom is s a cruel joke played on the Muslim world. And then the losers will say that Hamas is taking freedoms away. It doesn't make me proud to see my daughter or wife singing to entertain others.

10 ) Sami Ramadan / USA
17/01/2012 06:41
This contest is not appropriate for Palestinians, especially in Gaza. And what's the objective of this program and who funds it? Ma'an should be ashamed of pushing trash like that.

11 ) Nour / One State
17/01/2012 06:48
The Emirate of darkness is cultureless, primitive, and fanatical, and apparently, oppressive. Pitty on Palestinians in Gaza for their silence or indifference. What have The Taliban of Gaza done to foster culture besides those silly Guiness records?

12 ) Ahmad / USA
17/01/2012 07:20
Abu Hashish: Kus Immak

13 ) Yep / Palestine
17/01/2012 10:13
Yep, since when singing was a part of Palestinian culture... Oh, sorry, I forgot Hamas has nothing to do with Palestine..

14 ) Rami / Ramallah
17/01/2012 11:01
Just when I thought that Hamas was beginning to change, they had to reconfirm my first belief that they are still a bunch of idiots. Singing is "indecent" yet I can guarantee you that every single member of Hamas watches Haifa Wehbe shake her money maker on Rotana or Mazzika satellite channels. They probably have half a dozen Fairuz and Um Kalthoum cds in their cars and know the words of popular Abdel Halim Hafez songs by heart. In reality, Hamas are hypocrites and yes, IDIOTS.

15 ) puzzled / USA
17/01/2012 12:03
What is Hasan Abu-Hashish smoking? What is indecent about people singing? Why is Hamas repression more important than allowing the people to be happy?

16 ) Nour / One-State
17/01/2012 14:58
#9 Ashraf, if your wife doesn't want to sing and entertain others for a living, that's her choice and not yours. If it makes you proud or ashamed, again, we don't give a toss. However, Palestinian culture is known to have elevated women to their rightful place in society, to sing, to speak in public, and even to participate in car racing. In brief, the indigenous Palestinian culture respects women. What you offer is a Taliban model which blames the West for all it woes. Get real Ashraf.

17 ) Mel / USA
17/01/2012 15:02
As long as all Palestinians are expressing themselves freely,within their own land,as each prefers,then that is democracy.Whether it's a take-off of GHASTLY circuses American Idol&X Factor(yuck)or the equally bad Eurovision Song Contest(yuck)? Hey that's democracy.But Hamas should really work with Gazans, to allow their artists a voice.POW's need distraction?Give them a break Hasan,Israel's caused enough pain,you get on the stage FIRST?Haniyeh!Mishaal! U older guys,get up there too,FOR PALESTINE

18 ) Nour / One-State
17/01/2012 15:16
I think I've got it....Hamas thinks it owns Gaza!

19 ) Rami / Ramallah
17/01/2012 15:39
#10 Sami Ramadan living in the United States...do you ever miss any episodes of Jersey Shore? Have you ever watched a Rated-R movie? Have you caught yourself looking at girls in bikinis on television, movies, magazines or at the beach? That's what I thought. Shut up. Flush the trash in your head before you try to impose your ideas on Palestine. Do us all a favor and stay in the United States.

20 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh
17/01/2012 17:45
How this singing competition is going to stop the bombs dropped by the F16s or break the illegal siege imposed on it's innocent population? Well these are real issues that should be addressed. What good of a singing competition would do to a Gazan if the only music he gets to hear is the relentless buzzing of drone? Get a life and stop debating on useless issues. Besides I have frnds who regularly participate in singing and dancing events in Gaza. Either way, they are not obliged to answer to u!

21 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh
17/01/2012 17:54
@Nour: Your lack of understanding of Palestinian cause and it's aspiration makes me feel really sorry for you! Hamas is an ideology, not only a group! The ideology of resistance. And resistance comes with all shades and colors. True, they are not perfect, but who really is? You say they are primitive, but you have no knowledge of all the great minds this revolution had. Zionists have occupied it's last sky, all the land and sea.. with your attitude Zionist would as well take out it's culture.

22 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh
17/01/2012 18:12
@Rami/Ramallah: Before you point your finger at Hamas ask your self what you have done for the Palestinian cause! For the first time ever only days ago The PA headquater came under protest, not by Hamas but by Palestinians living in West Bank! Of course you were too busy to attend there. Try to see what PA is doing to the Palestinian cause by stopping the medical aids bound for Gaza or by attending meetings with Zionists. Change begins with us! Before blaming others make your self better.

23 ) elias / palestine
17/01/2012 18:16
@ 21 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh17/01/2012 17:54 HEY SINCE WHEN CAN YOU TELL ANY PALESTINIAN.SORT OUT YOUR OWN COUNTRY.

24 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh
17/01/2012 18:22
@Southparkbear: I think you have got too much bear to think straight.
@Line Khateeb: May be your idea of uniting Palestine by singing competition isn't shared by all! Why don't you pay them a visit and know the view points!
@Malone: And what was Europe then! Your civilization started with Spain when we made you civilized! Read your history book.
@Robby/USA: I read a report IDF is recruting ppl to spread propaganda on net! So are you on their pay list? Please clarify :P

25 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh
17/01/2012 19:28
@Elias: Palestine is for every Muslim. It is our holy land. So I can tell others when I see things fall out of it's places. And don't use capital letters in comments. Looks like you are screaming at the top of your voice!

26 ) southparkbear / usa
17/01/2012 22:38
#25 calling gaza holy land makes workers in mustang ranch in NV blash

27 ) Malone / Hfx
17/01/2012 22:39
#24...rafi from islamland...I don't live in Europe...you're not civilized yourselves...how could you civilze anyone else?

28 ) Robby / USA
18/01/2012 01:44
24 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh - I am not on anyone's payroll, all opinions are mine. I see that you tried to pick everyone whose comments were unflattering (and presumably pro-Israel) to criticize, is that because you can't believe someone would have a different opinion than yours? Or should I ask you the same question, are you on someone's payroll?

29 ) Business / Israel
18/01/2012 05:05
@25: Israel belongs to all the Jews - it is the Dar al yahud. You may live in submission to us if you pay the poll tax. But you must know your place. No building new mosques and do not insult our religion or a rampaging mob may come after you. Sound pleasant?

30 ) Ashraf / USA
18/01/2012 08:54
@ 16) Nour who is the "we" you talk about? I am not putting down Pal women. The west which still uses women to sell cars and the US that can't elect a woman president aren't exactly our role models. And yes if some of our people (like Abbas and Co.) were not collaborating with Israel and the US we could have solved our problem a long time ago. However, I believe that before we can develop our own norms of civil society we need Israel and the US off of our necks so yes I blame the west.

31 ) Rami / Ramallah
18/01/2012 10:35
Dear Mr. Rafi. What have YOU done from the comfort of your home in Bangladesh?? I live in Palestine. I live in Ramallah. I hold no affiliation with Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. In fact, I'm an active member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and have been for many years. I've helped send food, clothing and medicine directly to people in Gaza AND the West Bank. I've dedicated most of my life to helping my people. What have YOU done?

32 ) Rami / Ramallah
18/01/2012 10:59
@ Rafi. Palestine is for every Palestinian Muslim and Christian. It is your holy land but it is also the holy land of the Jews and Christians as well. Respect all other religions, is that not part of Islam as well?

33 ) LOL / Palestine
18/01/2012 11:05
Heh heh:) Rafi, news flash for u: Palestine is NOT for every Muslim, it's for PALESTINIANS.

34 ) EE / UK
18/01/2012 15:16
It does not look like palestinians have a bright future ahead. At least this future will be quite, without anyone singing.

35 ) Jamal / Palestine
18/01/2012 16:51
#34 if you could spell "quiet," it would make more sense.

36 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangaldesh
18/01/2012 19:18
@Rami Ramallah: Gaza is facing another genocide at any time! Do you disagree? I know I can't bring down the F16s or stop the tanks but I am doing what I can to improve my self to do something better. But I won't brag on it since no matter what I do won't bring back those who left us, or comfort those who lost everything. Yet Inshallah I won't sit idle since I said it is my Holy Land and Palestinians are my family. And where the hell you got any sense that I was disrespecting other religions???

37 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh
18/01/2012 19:43
southparkbear/usa, Malone/Hfx, Robby/USA: Talk with an idiot and it proves there are two.. so pardon me if my intellect don't permit me to enter in useless conversations with you lot!

LOL/Palestine: Breaking News for u: All those courageous Palestinians who are resisting the occupation has a special place in our hearts and they aren't as silly as you to argue on such things. When I say it's for all Muslims, it means it is our duty to share responsibilities for Palestine and her great people.

38 ) ABE / USA
19/01/2012 03:13
Just perfect! what is Hamas going to do next, arrest people for singing in the shower? Is humming against the law? some Democracy.

39 ) Jamal / Gaza
19/01/2012 10:29
To Mo Rafi - Instead of condemning Palestinians over a singing contest and forcing them to be in a constant state of war, perhaps you should support them for engaging their people through cultural activities that seek to reduce tensions caused by the occupation through non-violent methods. Or would you prefer that Hamas continues to shoot rockets into Israel, railroading any chance for negotiations, unity governments, state recognitions, or a cessation to the cycle of violence? You sir are dumb.

40 ) raheem / usa
19/01/2012 16:43
@mr rafi .could you be a worse zionist??

41 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh
19/01/2012 21:42
@Jamal/Gaza: I think you grossly misread my comments. My intention is not to condemn Palestinians over singing contest, I am merely supporting those Palestinians who don't want such things. It is not my problem if you don't consider Hamas as Palestinians. Neither do I advocate any war, but tell me what progress has been made by useless negotiations! I think you should spend some time reading the Palestinian Papers that was leaked. You don't have a choice Jamal, Israel won't ever show any mercy.

42 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh
19/01/2012 21:58
@raheem: Define Zionist!

43 ) John / USA
19/01/2012 23:15
41)"I am merely supporting those Palestinians who don't want such things". That's fine, no one is forcing anyone to sing. But you, a foreigner,are supporting the denial of the rights of those who want to participate. It is like me saying I support Hindus who want to ban Mosque loud speakers in Bangladesh. We really do not need this kind of intolerant stupidity coming from Bangladesh, we have enough of our own to contend with. Palestine is for Palestinians...Jews, Christians, Muslims or atheists

44 ) @42 / Palestine
20/01/2012 04:05
after reading your comments>its not for you to tell Palestinians how they should live,more so in Palestine.if they are muslim,christian etc,... you seem to tell Palestinians on here about the culture and resistance .i dont think you are knowledgable enough to tell us anything.you and posts 9&10 have kind of orientalist mentality.dont try downplay Palestinians like you have on here.

45 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh
20/01/2012 19:17
@John: Look who is talking from USA. A country that killed millions of innocents all over the world based on lies! And banning the prayer call (which has been done in many parts of India and Israel) and a so called singing competition isn't the same. Palestine has it's own culture and many might not like to mix it up with your materialistic one!
@44: Being a Palestinian doesn't mean anything unless u are ready to strive for justice. I love and respect all those brave souls that are resisting.

46 ) @45 / abughassan
21/01/2012 03:22
" Being a Palestinian doesn't mean anything unless u are ready to strive for justice. I love and respect all those brave souls that are resisting."> listen my friend, it's irrelevent what you think or say here.you arent in position in the usa to say who is Palestinian or not.although your earlier comments say otherwise,i wouldnt think 4million palestinian christians and 8millionpalestinian muslims would care much for your bigotted comments.you dont know the first thing about our Resistance.

47 ) @45 / Elias,Palestine
21/01/2012 11:46
.like i said dont down play Palestinians.

48 ) Mohammad Rafi / Bangladesh
21/01/2012 20:16
@46: Only proves u haven't read anything what I wrote..for a start I'm not from USA.
Again I'm wondering all u ppl who are claiming to be Palestinians here haven't really shared your views apart from telling like a stubborn child, "you don't know anything!" So enlighten us, please!
@29- Business/Israel: Such genocidal believes would only hasten the end of the Zionist regime..clock is ticking!
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