Friday, June 24, 2005
In Gaza, Arab 'Party of Love' provokes death threats. (Hat tip xavier86)
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
A psychologist from the Gaza Strip who announced his intention to establish the first Palestinian [sic] Party of Love has received death threats from many Palestinians [sic], who are accusing him of promoting "immoral" values.
Dr. Hassan Nurani, a resident of Deir al-Balah, first came to the attention of the Palestinian [sic] public earlier this year when he declared his intention to run for the elections to succeed Yasser Arafat as chairman of the Palestinian [sic] Authority.
Nurani, who founded a small party called the Movement for Justice and Freedom, was able to collect the requisite 5,000 signatures to submit his candidacy but couldn't afford the $3,000 needed to register for the election.
Desperate to run, the psychologist tried to sell off his small parcel of land and his home furnishings, but he still wasn't able to raise the sum and was eventually forced to drop out of the race.
Nurani's platform called for the building of a "civilized and moral society" free of corruption and gangsters.
Now, six months after the election for the chairmanship of the PA, the psychologist is back in the news – this time with the idea of establishing the Party of Love to fight the "culture of death and hatred in Palestinian [sic] society."
Nurani said the idea to establish the new party was formed in the wake of growing anarchy and lawlessness in the Palestinian [sic] territories.
"Love is the only way to salvation," he explained. "Once love prevails among us, the signs of hatred, ignorance, bigotry, fear, death, corruption and anarchy will disappear."
Nurani distributed a statement in the Gaza Strip urging Palestinians [sic] to abandon violence and support his Party of Love. "The stupidity of death must be stopped," he said. "Love purifies our souls and enlightens us. Let's open our hearts and minds and declare the launching of the Party of Love."
Nurani's statement, published in the Gaza-based Donia al-Watan magazine, drew sharp criticism from many Palestinians [sic].
"Some of the reactions to my initiative included death threats," he said on Monday. "Some people called on the armed groups to prevent the establishment of the Party of Love."
One Palestinian [sic] wrote to Nurani that his idea was nothing but an "American-Zionist plot." Another Gaza resident responded: "May God protect us against such weird and dangerous ideas. The next thing we will hear is that we need a party for gays and lesbians."
A third Palestinian [sic] sent the following question: "Do you want to die soon, Dr. Nurani?"
However, the psychologist said the death threats would not deter him from pursuing his plan. "These negative reactions have only strengthened my determination and belief in the idea of love," he said. "They also underline the need to confront the culture of hatred and death that has struck its roots in the minds and hearts of many of us."
Nurani said he was convinced that many Palestinians [sic] had misunderstood his "love revolution" by interpreting it as a call for "disseminating immoral behavior" among young people.