A friend just emailed this,
Somali forces ban, burn Muslim women’s veils
MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somali security forces are seizing and even burning Muslim women’s veils in Mogadishu to stop Islamist insurgents disguising themselves for attacks, authorities and witnesses said on Wednesday.
The Western-backed government’s crackdown on veils is a highly symbolic turnaround for the Somali capital. When it was under Islamist control in the second half of 2006, women were instructed to cover their heads.
Backed by Ethiopian troops, tanks and warplanes, Somali forces ousted the rival Islamist leaders in January and are trying to secure the capital after a surge of bloody fighting.
There’s a security aspect,
“Every policeman and government soldier has orders to confiscate veils from veiled women,” senior police officer Ali Nur told Reuters, saying various recent attacks had been carried out by people in disguise.
“Some of the remnants of the Islamic Courts have been caught wearing veils. During the war, these remnants, pretending to be women, killed so many government troops.”
Somalis are generally moderate Muslims and most women traditionally cover their heads but not faces. Officials say some suicide attacks have been carried out by men disguised under full face-veils, known as indhasharer in Somali.