An Islamic group threatened to behead female TV journalists who don’t wear strict Islamic dress, alarming reporters in the Gaza Strip.
The threat to “cut throats from vein to vein” was e-mailed to news organizations by the Swords of Truth, a radical group that has claimed responsibility for bombing Internet cafes and music shops. The threat was the first time the organization targeted a specific group.
In many parts of the Muslim world, conservative policies keep women out of TV anchor positions or require that they wear head scarves on the air. However, TV journalists wearing head scarves are uncommon in Lebanon and Jordan and are prohibited on Egypt’s stations.
Most of the 15 women who appear on the Palestine TV station wear head scarves. But they also wear makeup and Western-style clothing, not considered strictly observant by extremists.
Some said they had received personal threats on their cellphones.
An anchorwoman who does not wear a head scarf said she was too frightened to go to work Saturday.
“It’s a dangerous precedent in our society. It will target all working women,” said the journalist, who declined to give her name.