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Will northern Sinai’s new cultural centers promote moderate Islam?

Egypt’s Ministry of Religious Endowments has opened an Islamic cultural center in each governorate to teach moderate Islam and fight radicalism; the volatile northern Sinai Peninsula, where the army fights religious fundamentalists, has three.
Egyptians attend on November 26, 2017 in the village of Saud, in the centre of al-Husseiniya in the country's northern province of al-Sharqiya, the funeral of Fethy Ismail, the Muadhin of al-Rawda mosque, who died in an attack by militants near the North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish.
Earlier in the week armed attackers killed over 300 worshippers in a bomb and gun assault on the packed mosque in Egypt's restive North Sinai province, in the deadliest attack the country has witnessed. / AFP PHOTO / MO
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CAIRO — The high demand for Islamic cultural centers in the conservative northern Sinai Peninsula prompted the Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments (Awqaf) to open more centers to teach moderate Islam in this volatile governorate, a high-level ministry official told Al-Monitor.

Gaber Taye, head of the religion sector in the Ministry of Religious Endowments, told Al-Monitor that the opening of three Islamic cultural centers at the beginning of the school year was “an unprecedented step in North Sinai,” a governorate where the Egyptian army and security forces struggle to purge the area of the Islamic State and its affiliates.

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