Recent reports from North Sinai in Egypt suggest that ISIS is altering its tactical strategy. Normally, ISIS attacks soldiers, police, and their informants to establish military control but recent attacks on Christians have attempted to establish moral control. ISIS has established a ‘morality police force’ called a Hisba to monitor citizens’ behavior. The Hisba will stop and beat those who ignore the rules ISIS establishes as appropriate for Muslims. This is a dangerous situation for Christians to be living in.
2017-05-02 Egypt (Reuters) – One Monday in early April, Shaher Saeed was driving south of the city of Arish in Egypt’s North Sinai when he came upon a group of Islamic State militants who had stopped a truck carrying cigarettes.
“I saw them forcing the driver from the vehicle and stripping the upper part of his clothing before tying him to the door of one of their cars,” said Saeed, who lives in the area. “They hit him on the back more than 10 times, then burned all the cartons of cigarettes … They let him go after warning him not to trade cigarettes again.”
Interviews with residents of North Sinai and reviews of Islamic State videos suggest the group’s local affiliate, known as Sinai Province, is seeking to impose its hardline interpretation of Islam on the local populace for the first time. According to Sinai Province videos reviewed by Reuters, the group has created a morality police force, known as a Hisba, to enforce strict rules against such behaviour as smoking, men shaving their beards or women exposing their faces.