Culture War in Gaza

Michael Kimmelman reports on the banal aspects of governance in Gaza where, among other things, the ruling Islamist movement would like to clamp down on people’s access to pop culture resources but where political pragmatists say it’s necessary to bow to reality and let this stuff slide.

This reflects a larger pattern that we’ve seen around the world for quite a long time now. Sunni Islamist movements have a lot of success in opposition to incumbent regimes that are seen as corrupt and undemocratic. But Islamist ideology, when put in practice, has an overwhelming tendency to fail as a governing agenda. The popularity these movements are able to garner as an alternative to the status quo doesn’t really extend to all that much of their detailed agenda.