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1 CuriousLurker  Sat, Jul 14, 2012 7:25:35am

I'm somewhat confused by the photo gallery associated with the article as there are no "militants" depicted, just regular people. I'm including the Islamic scholars setting up Sharia courts to settle disputes in the absence of regular law enforcement as "regular people" since they are not, by default, militant (i.e. in a Muslim country it would be natural for them to fill the vacuum).

Ditto for the rest of the people, including the guys praying in the street. Nothing unusual about that.

The sign quoting the Qur'an "telling women they should wear the niqab, or veil" doesn't actually say that. The title says "Call to God" (i.e. calling the person, women in this case, to God). The surah quoted says:

O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And God is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful. —Qur'an 33:59

The actual word used is the plural form of jilbab, which is the loose fitting, coat-like outer garment worn by women. This would typically also include the wearing of a khimar or head scarf (not the face veil, though it doesn't exclude it). Together, these two articles of clothing would constitute hijab.

IOW, without wandering off into a bunch of other details, the sign is not explicitly telling women to cover their faces. It's not really much different from the sign in Kiryas Joel, NY, or others in Orthodox Jewish areas (of Israel) that ask women to cover up. I realize many find any such signs offensive, I'm just saying that it's not necessarily indicative of (violent) militancy.

Sorry for nit-picking, but I was expecting to see militant training camps filled with jihadis carrying machine guns & RPGs or whatever, not normal (for the location) people. If I didn't know better, the slideshow would leave me with the impression that there was something dangerous & sinister in the Muslims of Egypt's Sinai simply going about their typical daily routines.

2 CuriousLurker  Sat, Jul 14, 2012 7:41:30am

Since I didn't address the main point of the article, let me do so now.

If the Bedouin elders & security experts are concerned about the increasing lawlessness, then so am I and someone needs to take action, stat. The world doesn't need another Somalia or Afghanistan, especially on the border with Israel where things could quickly careen out of control.

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