OPINION

Somalia's Holy War - A Problem for the World

November 24, 2006
Liam Bailey

Since claiming victory in the battle for Mogadishu, Somalia's capital in late June, the Union of Islamic Courts have fought their way through southern Somalia. They controlled most of southern Somalia including Mogadishu but with the exception of a small area around Baidoa by September. Since September not only have they held the towns and regions they had taken control of in the south but they have also expanded their control by taking more towns and regions and are currently controlling most of Southern and Central Somalia, still with the exception of the area around Baidoa, where Ethiopian and Ugandan troops are assisting the Transitional Federal Government to hold the town (see previous link). Most recent reports are that the UIC has reached the town of Abudwaq in Galgadud region, where they were warmly received by residents.

The Union of Islamic Courts is spreading Sharia Law throughout Somalia as they gain control of more and more territory. They achieved more success in their goal Oct. 21 when the self declared autonomous region of Puntland's authorities announced it was adopting Sharia law. The move came after sustained pressure from the UIC, which led to clashes with Puntland forces Nov 6 as the UIC advanced toward Puntland territory. According to UIC vice-chairman Sheikh Abdulkadir Ali Umar Puntland forces attacked UIC positions near the Mudug town of Galinsoor, UIC forces repelled the attackers but did not pursue them. According to Sheikh Fuad Mahamud, one of Mudug's religious leaders, the announcement came after he and other religious leaders met with Puntland's leader Gen. Muhammed Adde Muse and recommended that Sharia law be adopted in the region. According to a local journalist Puntland leader [Muse] was also influenced by similar advice from religious elders on his recent visits to the Mudug town of Galkayo, close to the border with UIC forces.

Whatever influenced his decision, the announcement means that yet more of Somalia is under the -often brutal and oppressive- rule of Sharia Law. Since the UIC won the battle for Mogadishu in June and began taking control of most Southern Somalia, they have been imposing strict standards of behavioral and religious discipline. Not by issuing official directives but using punishment and propaganda to set the standards, slowly but surely imposing Sharia Law. However, the UIC is made up of 11 separate court systems, split into 27 sub systems inside Mogadishu, all running autonomously, this meant that civil liberties and freedoms were reduced more i.e. women being forced to wear the Hijab in some areas but not others, and in the same areas oppression was worse and harsh punishments like public floggings were being dolled out for minor infringements of the strict standards, like men and women selling drugs, chewing Khat and "immoral behavior"

A Mogadishu journalist told the UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) that his personal freedoms had changed in many ways since the takeover, "good and bad". "In some areas there is no music or cinemas, radio stations have closed down, we have no freedom to write, and they are doing public executions," there is a "wait and see" atmosphere.

UIC leadership told (IRIN) that centralization of the courts took place in late September, when they had been brought under a central authority the UIC officially established a judicial court under Sharia law. The Supreme Court of Benadir Region was opened and an appeal court set up in October. Representing all courts The Supreme Justice Committee now has to give the go ahead before and public execution or flogging can be carried out, photographs and videos of the punishments have now been banned by the UIC. Police Stations are not fully operational and sentenced prisoners are being held in Mogadishu central jail.

The fighting continues in Somalia, talks between the UN recognized Transitional Federal Government, holding only a small area around their base in Baidoa, rival Warlord controlled factions struggling to hold the North and the UIC advancing North from its controlled south and central regions collapsed when they couldn't agree on fundamental issues, such as ejecting the foreign troops in Somalia. Not only are the UIC imposing Sharia law on the regions they control but residents are also noting an emphasis on Jihad, including Jihad seminars for men and women; bringing a "visible" increase in militarization in the regions. Training camps are also being built to unite the new militia men and women into a centralized force.

One of the most worrying things for the rest of the world is the message the UIC's rampant success is sending to Islamic Jihad groups all around the world, and not only in their taking and holding control. We have all seen the disaster Iraq has become for the occupying coalition, Jihad is rife, apart from the sectarian death squads and rival militias killing each other Sunni on Shia, suicide bombs, car bombs, roadside bombs, grenade attacks and snipers have all added to the heavy death tolls for the occupying coalition. Afghanistan looks to be going the same way. Since the UIC have taken control in Somalia, despite the systematic removal of most civil liberties as the strict behavioral and religious standards were imposed, the harsh public punishments and increased militarization of the young population the residents have remained largely happy and their has been literally no resistance from Somalia's civilian population to the Islamic Courts gaining and keeping control. In fact some reports say they are warmly received by residents when they take control of new towns and villages.

It would seem that the people of Somalia, fed up with was tearing the country apart; brining lawlessness and insecurity throughout Somalia since the central government collapsed in 1991, prefer any form of law order and security to total anarchy. The changes in UIC controlled areas make the publics reaction understandable and are similar to the changes in Mogadishu, which I will now cover.

No more roadblocks and gunmen roaming the streets. The price of many products has dropped because lorries are no longer hi-jacked or have money extorted by gunmen. Traders make it home with their earnings, children go to school regularly without fear and hospitals can again concentrate on helping the sick without the constant trauma of conflict. A recent visitor from the Diaspora, who has not been to Mogadishu in six years, told (IRIN) that he was astounded by the changes. "I drove through areas no one has driven in 15 years - like Bermuda [named after the Bermuda Triangle, previously one of the most dangerous areas] - without any security escort or even a gun. Five months ago this would have been unthinkable, even with a heavy security escort,"

The renewed security in return for harsher controls and les civil liberties leaves Somali's at a bit of a quandary. One Businessman told (IRIN) that "There are two sorts of freedoms, going about our daily lives is the most important freedom we can have now." But he said one freedom may come at the price of another. "People do not want to lose their personal freedoms." The same journalist I quoted earlier in the report echoed his sentiments saying: "When it comes to security, we feel freedom. When it comes to personal freedoms, we feel worried."

The renewed stability in most of Somalia has allowed humanitarian aid back into Mogadishu, Leo van der Velden, Deputy Country Director of World Food Programme for Somalia told (IRIN) that the new authority had "done the right things and said the right things" to encourage humanitarian access, and that good security allowed transporters to safely carry and deliver. As a result food aid arrived at the newly opened port for distribution outside the city for the first time in over a decade. In the same INIR report CARE International confirmed that a consignment of sorghum from the United States had arrived in the port in October, and was successfully handled, transported and delivered to areas outside the city - a logistical achievement impossible for more than a decade, when the port and its resources became a flashpoint for factional fighting.

The aid in October would have been badly needed since September, when all humanitarian aid agencies in Somalia had announced their withdrawal from areas under UIC control in response to fears over their security. Fears caused by the murders in Mogadishu of an Italian nun and a foreign camera man and the assassination attempt on the TFG President in Baidoa. The aid agency withdrawal came just after talks began with the UIC, much to the dismay of moderates within the organization.

There is an internal battle in the UIC between the courts following hard-line Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who is widely thought to be responsible for the militant uprising that has swept the UIC to power in Somalia, and courts following moderate cleric Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.

Sheikh Aweys teaches the hard-line Salafism strand of Islam, an offshoot of the Saudi Wahabi school of Islamic thought. Salafist ideology is against rationalism and regards sports and television as -lahw- vulgar- past-times, hence the cinema's being closed down by hard-line courts. Salafist teachings are a rigid and literal interpretation of Islamic texts and view all other Islamic sects as deviants. Salafism teaches against compromise and holy war is the hinge pin of their ideology. Sheikh Awey's Salafist followers; the UIC's hardliners view security, defense of the country and religion as the priority.

Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed teaches the slightly more moderate Qutbism strand of Islam, from Egyptian Islamic teacher Sayyid Qutb's book In the Shade of The Koran. Qutb's teachings are primitive and less extreme towards modern western civilization than Salafist Islam. Sheikh Ahmed and his moderate UIC followers have called for engagement with the transitional government and the international community.

The moderates have their work cut out as the hardliners known as the Shahaab group, including some of the UIC most prominent members shun all contact with the non-Muslim world, advocate strict religious codes and punishments and invest heavily in militarization. One such prominent hardliner is Sheikh Abdullahi Mo'alim Ali 'Abu Utayba', according to local journalists the chief of security for Mogadishu said publicly that anyone not praying five times a day should be shot. Another, Abu Utayba appeared with other prominent UIC members in a Jihad video doing the rounds in Somalia and the Diaspora. Praising Osama Bin Laden the video shows military training camps in Mogadishu, and, calling Somalia "the new Afghanistan of the world" calls on "any marginalized Muslim to come to Somalia."

Fortunately some of Sheikh Ahmed's moderate followers are in prominent UIC positions. Head of the UIC foreign affairs department Professor Ibrahim Hassan Adow told IRIN that the greatest challenge for the UIC is to meet basic needs. "Our biggest challenge is to go beyond peace and provide social services, to provide the basic needs, whether it is food, medical care, shelter, education, employment. While we do this, we have to simultaneously show the world that we want to pacify Somalia and defend the Somali people, and establish a working relationship [with the international community]."

Leading UIC cleric and moderate Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said, also to IRIN that the UIC could provide security for international organizations to work in Mogadishu, and had encouraged humanitarian groups to take advantage of peace in the city.

"We had started negotiations and the process was going well, but then the humanitarian community declared it was leaving the areas where the UIC was in control. We regret that because we see it as a violation of people's rights."

A sentiment shared by Sheikh Ahmed's followers. According to IRIN: Key members of the UIC leadership are working to secure international support and assistance in rebuilding Somalia. There is consternation in the movement that, having successfully delivered peace and unity in Mogadishu after nearly two decades of chaos and conflict, the humanitarian community has pulled out. The moderates are concerned that isolation from the international community serves to strengthen extremism and undermines opportunities for humanitarian assistance.

There is clear division in the UIC but in a society currently ruled by the gun, it is likely that Sheikh Awey's militant strand of Salafist Islam will prevail, the failure and subsequent UIC reluctance to engage with the Transitional Federal Somali government suggests the hardliners already have more power in the Union. The Union of Islamic Courts is currently united against a common enemy, and Sheikh Aweys currently needs Sheikh Ahmed to pacify UIC critics at home and abroad, but it is widely thought that a fall-out is inevitable. Likely if the UIC defeat their enemies and take complete control of Somalia. If the Salafist arm of the Islamic Courts does prevail in Somalia, which, given Sheikh Ahmed hinting at resignation in London's al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper I have no doubt it will. Somalia will become a shining example to followers of militant Salafi and Wahabi Islam; making up terror networks like Al Qaeda and their affiliates worldwide that their aim of creating an Islamic state and imposing Sharia law in their respective countries can be achieved using the Jihad that their ideology revolves around. This will undoubtedly increase the number of young Muslim's, who may currently be, as hard-line Somali Sheikh 'Abu Utayba' said "marginalized" and undecided converting to Salafism and joining the revitalized networks.

*Liam Bailey writes regularly for the Palestine Chronicle and Arabic Media Internet Network. He is an advanced blogger on the Washington Post's Post Global and runs the War Pages blog. You can contact him by E-mail.
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Somalia's Holy War - A Problem for the World

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Author: Liam Bailey

 

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#1
Mo
URL
November 24, 2006
02:05 PM

"the announcement means that yet more of Somalia is under the -often brutal and oppressive- rule of Sharia Law."

What more needs to be said real??

You westerners have a deep HATE for Islam and anything that has to do with the Quran or the religion of Allah. Lets us be and let us decide!

It is none of your business what the people of Somalia choose. Look after your OWN countries and problems you are facing and the carnage that you are inflicting on places like Iraq. My God, more than 100 people die there DAILY on average.

Also if you care about the mythical talk you spread i.e. FREEDOM and JUSTICE and oh yeah DEMOCRACY! maybe you'd make the Palastinians taste it instead of selling Blackhawk helicopters and the parts for Merkava tanks so the Isrealis could raid and kill dozens of Palastinians every other day.

Let us be please, we have seen enough of your heroic spread of justice and democracy around the Muslim world.

#2
Liam Bailey
URL
November 24, 2006
02:43 PM

Eh hello... I'm on your side on Iraq and Israel/Palestine, I have written articles on Israeli war-crimes for god sake, check out my blog or my OhmyNews articles for proof. However, I don't condone terrorism or the radical forms of Islam that provoke it. I am campaigning against the demonization of Britain's entire Muslim communities based on the actions of an extreme few.

#3
Anamika
URL
November 24, 2006
04:54 PM

Interesting article Liam. Thanks for focussing on a part of the world that is often ignored. Look forward to more of your writings.

#4
Liam Bailey
URL
November 24, 2006
11:18 PM

Nuur Waddi:

You've obviously read the article carefully...

I note how much the UIC have increased security, and stability, allowing Somalians to go back to their normal lives, children back to school, hospitals treating the sick etc. My point is that many Somali's used to following moderate Islam are now being forced to adhere to the strictest behavioral and relgious codes set out in Salafist Islamic teachings. A quote of a Mogadishu journalist, from my article "When it comes to security, we feel freedom. When it comes to personal freedoms, we feel worried."
They are worried whether they're increased freedoms to live life normally again will come at the price of other freedoms, like freedom of speech and dressing whatever way they choose etc. They are also worried by the harsh punishments in Salafi Sharia law.

Read the article again, and read it all the way through this time. People like you -reading the first few paragraphs and making scathing criticisms- give commenters a bad name.

#5
Adam
URL
November 25, 2006
06:35 PM

Mr. Liam Bailey

I doubt you fully realize what is going on in Somalia behind the scenes or otherwise.

I recommend that you read the following 2 articles first.

The Union of Islamic Courts in Somalia has the support of the majority of Somalis. And the majority of Somalis do not oppose the creation of Islamic State, the sharia law, and WANT the reunification of all ethnic Somali lands (given to Ethiopia and Kenya by the European colonialists) with Somalia.

At the same time, that is not to say that there is ZERO opposition to the ICU in Somalia i.e. the powerless and so called Transitional Federal Government who are led by Ethiopian puppets who LIVED in Ethiopia (and in the case of the so called prime minister of TFG Mr. Gedi for 21 years! and married to an Ethiopian)....

To make a long story short, the great majority of Somalis support these guys (the ICU) because if they didn't, they would NEVER have come to power and restore order in a place like Somalia. No even the Americans and the UN could do it.

Please read these 2 articles and see where the real guilt lies in the developments in horn of Africa.



http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/38039

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article18768

#6
Mo
URL
November 26, 2006
07:01 AM

Meles Zenawi is just an American circus monkey. The world will see what becomes of the Ethiopian troops in Somalia when war breaks out.

I also predict it will be THE END of this brutal Meles minority regime in Addis Ababa

Somalis love it or hate it eat, breath, sleep, and dream war. They are battle hardened and God willing the ICU will rout the Ethiopians and their Somali traitor puppets a like. All I fear for is for the civilians that might get caught in the cross fire. These people here have been through a lot of extreme hardships, not the least of which was just few months ago when the ICU and the American backed warlords were battling it out in the streets of Mogadishu.

Somalia isn't some Arabic country in the Middle East and we will not simply lie down and be invaded and occupied by anyone, and certainly not by the lowly Ethiopian enemy.

If you thought the killing of the 19 US special forces (Army rangers, Delta Force..etc) and long with some countless 'peace keeping' (heh) UN troops in Mogadishu was by ONE Somali clan (Aideed's Habr Gidir clan militia) was something, wait till you see the slaughter of these poorly paid Ethiopian troops coming in truck loads into Somalian soil.

No power on earth can take Mogadishu, NO POWER!! without first carpet bombing it back to the stone ages more than dozens of times. Even then it won't be easy for anyone as the ICU I am sure has at least anti-aircraft weaponry to handle Ethiopian air power, if not warplanes of their own (which they don't). Do you think these (ICU fighters) are just a punch of guys running around with Kalashnikovs and technicals (trucks mounted with anti-craft guns)?

Outgunned by what the Americans are providing to the Ethiopia regime they might be, but they also got their own arsenal and Ethiopia I think knows it too. Otherwise they would have already been tempted to rushed Mogadishu with those soviet era migs and tanks.

Wouldn't it be something if this thing blows up in the US's face again (on top of the fiasco in Iraq) and their proxy Ethiopia suffers a defeat in Somalia i.e. if they fail to shake the ICU in anyway after few days or even weeks in the conflict? Hence here, the illegitimate and meaningless puppet government which they are trying to prop up remains just that - a bastard and meaningless entity who no one in Somalia except some western old guy in a suite sitting in Brussels recognizes and of course the historical enemies of Somalia in the region.

#7
Abdallah
URL
November 26, 2006
07:43 AM

Liam,

I strongly support everything you said accept one thing... "Often brutal and oppressive- rule of Sharia Law"

Honestly as Muslim and one who knows and understands the Sharia law very well there is nothing oppressive or unjust about it, however, what it's oppressive and unjust is having a handful of tribal-based-military-styled-self-serving-ignorant-misdirected so called mullahs take oath to up hold the laws of Islam that they really don't practice in their own houses..!

This is another Taliban in the making; anyone who says otherwise is really either as dumb as Bush or lost the realities on the ground big time. The only word of advise for Bush and his bunch of idiots is "watch out this is gonna be really messy"

The saddest part of the whole thing is no body in the international community really cares what happens to poor, hapless and hungry Somalis, I bet even majority of Somali's don't care much about it to some extent other wise they put all their forces togather to chase those crazy bearded guys out of Somalia and to hell were they belong..!

Banning TV and beating up desolate women will not bring peace and prosperity to Somalia but just create and other Afghanistan..!

Introduction of Sharia Laws goes further then someone pushing down peoples thoughts, it needs preparations, it ahs to be on whole hearted consent and in sense it most be voted on and everyone participate not by some fools who think they got the whole country under their thumb.

You are very right they have some what twisted thoughts of Islam and since when was a Salfism or Qutbism in Islam, you have to keep remaining yourself that who keeps these guys in the war, in other words who is giving them all the money to wage wars as if Somalia needs more wars or can avoid continues civil strive for decades..? once you find the answers to that you know you are tailing pretty much an other Taliban.

Get hand it to you, you gonna make a fine juarnalist one day so keep up the good work and I'm sure you gonna go all the way to the top..!

Good luck to you.

#8
null
URL
November 26, 2006
03:16 PM

Sniff sniff...I smell a dirty Somali traitor around here. [Edited: Verbal Threats And Absurd Postulations Are Not Tolerated] Just by your talk I can easily tell this rather easily.

#9
Abdallah
URL
November 27, 2006
01:19 PM

Dude....! Couple of insights for ueh! (I'm assuming you are a male, usually ladies are little bit less hostile) :-)

A- I'm not Somalian,
B- Do care in great deal what happens in that country (once thriving and beautiful) and now all dead, buried and forgotten by the rest of the world, accept few neighborhood vultures!
C- I getta handed to u, vulgarity ain't gonna win you friends in here and I can I do u anytime of the week but I won't because it ain't right.
D- Who are these folks that you think are gonna salvage the poor wretched country and with or by what means, more blood..! If 100% of Somalis are Sunni Muslims then why resort to Taliban tactics from get go...?

Easy does it buddy, you got no beef with me, perhaps you need to less wishful thinking and wait and see what these guys are up to though I can ensure you it's Taliban all over again..!
Catch 22..! Or is it not so!

Later killer!

Peace/Salaam and rest of it..!

Abdallah

#10
null
URL
November 28, 2006
10:05 AM

Stop it man. Since you are calling them Islamic Courts "tribal militias" lol, you definitely do sound like a definite Somali-oppostate-traitor-Ethio/US-puppet. But whatever, it doesn't even matter you see.

And if you aren't even Somalian, then how would you know the realities on the ground??? Why because you read some papers saying they were the second coming of the Taliban, beating up women and etc.? Those are all mostly lies and false propaganda I can TELL you that because I have BEEN there and members of my own family fly to Somalia monthly. These propaganda are spread by enemies of the courts i.e. the puppets and Ethio/US agents. The ICU had done nothing other than BAN drugs and narcotics of ALL KIND and close down PORN houses, yes PORN houses...NOT video and world cup soccer showings. That is a joke because I have BEEN there. The closing down of PORN houses is translated to false propaganda meaning the closing down of basketball games and football/soccer matches. What a joke!!

Secondly. By the way, we in Somalia do not differentiate between Sunni and Shii, that is the nonsensical talk that the westerners would have you buy into so we can kill each other and our Muslim brothers.

A Muslim is a Muslim and your brother if he or she takes the shahada that there is no God but Allah and Mohammed (pbuh) is his messenger...let Allah judge the rest. This is also applies to the differences between us and the Jews and Christians compared to the other world religions you see.

Every time I hear the word Sunni and Shi'i I get sick. This isn't even an issue with us in Somalia. It is a Middle Eastern culture and their rivalries with the other Arab groups (Shiites) and the Persian. One brought on by ignorance and idiotic Sheikhs in mosques issuing fatwas against Shi'i and vise versa.

It is their disease, and it is one that I will pray Allah lift from the Muslim Ummah. I don't have more love for Saudis Muslims than I do for Iranians or vice versa. They are all the same to me.

Sallam

#11
Liam Bailey
URL
November 28, 2006
11:31 AM

Thank you for your kind comments Abdallah, they are few and far between. Most people use their comment to make themselves look good by ridiculing someone else's article/argument, rather than take the risk of putting their own thoughts down on paper. Like Mr null, whoever you are.

null, the things you are dismissing as western propaganda, because you have Been There, unless you went there and did a tour of every single village, towen and region in Somalia you are in no place to dismiss anything. Like I said in the article some areas are ruled by courts following -Qutbism- the moderate cleric Sheikh Ahmed, personal freedoms have largely been maintained in these areas. Other areas are ruled by courts follwing the -Salafi- hardline cleric Sheikh Aweys. In these areas there is public executions for immoral behavour, cinemas and radio stations being closed down and women forced to wear Hijab's, courtesey of the BBC, not Ethiopian puppets.

#12
Abdallah
URL
November 28, 2006
12:30 PM

Null is coming in from the cold..!(I don't mean that in a bad way), great points, sure, I do see some valid points putting the "personalization" a side. I'm not be from Somalia and may not need to read any papers and yet may equally know as much about the current affairs of Somalia as any Somali. Furthermore, I'm totally discounted your knowledge of what is going in the country or your contacts you have. To the contrary, that is why I agreed on some points with you. But again, I do know something you that you don't know and that does not make you any lesser but dents the facts and your point of view.

So here I put few questions to, use reason not emotions and please if you want us to talk to each other "As two brothers in Allah, refrain from personalization of the debate, say nothing about ill about me and shall not......Is that a deal? If so here you go..... and good luck to you,

1- The courts, lets call it as such are mainly made of Hayiyah and few of their surrogate of mainly Southerners clans? True or not..? Just the Pushtan Talibans..?

2- You believe that anyone who rules over the Ummah has to be "elected" or in the Islamic word, "Mubaya'ah" has to take place, let's just call a spade for what it is, would the court accept and election to be held in the parts of Somalia that is under their control, I don't mean today as they have more pressing matters, but is part of their agenda? Yes or no and the first part true or false is good enough..!!

3- Their definition or interpretations of Islamic jurisprudence and Law leans highly towards on the Salafi strand of the Imam Abdul Rahman Ibn Al Wahab faction and to a lesser extant the teachings of Imam Ibna Taimiyah. Again in variance of some who are Azharis and so on but do not you see any similarities with the Taliban?
Remember, Liam's analyses earlier.

An extra point for you to ponder, As a good Muslim, your are only concerned to deal with the "Thawaher" or what's know of all matters, including actions and not "Ghaibiyat" or what is unknown to you but only to Allah (SWT) including intentions of folks like the courts, so how can you tell from out side they don't really resemble so much like the Taliban?.

4- Are the courts elected or had gone true that system or "Mubaya'ah"? Simple yes or no will suffice..!

5- Yes, I'm all for the courts rooting out all the evils left behind the world lords who room freely in Somalia for all most a decade, but does that gave them legitimacy to the "seat of power and governance"? Again take the easy option, yes or no.

6- If the courts are so great, how come they would not least want to broker power sharing deal with the interim government..? Why always my way or no way is is the solutions with these folks..? No middle road?

7- Yes the Interim government is weak, shabby and has no powers in most parts of the country accept the part of Puntland (I bet the judgment is out on the Dulbahantah whether they go Somaliland or Puntland) so that leaves Majertenia (exclude Bosaso and it's folks who only interested in commerce more than anything else) and some parts of Mareehan and their associates and up to some part the Ogaden clan in the south west parts. So my brother who does the world recognizes the shabby, corrupt and weak interim government. Not the courts..? A simple and to the point answer will do wonders here...!

What number is next, I lost counting...yeah..:-)

8- What is wrong with constructive engagement..? If the courts do mean good and are god sent to safe the country... why wage more wars with the government that everyone from D.C to Zurich everyone recognizes...? Yes they must and should wipe the Hawiyeh or Rahanwaien or Mareehan warlords once and for all and kick them out of the country and they did a good job at that I may add, but that does not include the interim government, at least since it's the only face or norm of central government friend and foe would like to do business..!

So is it the court or the country that is more important to, sometimes, one need to evaluate the Islamic concept of interest of the national or "Maslaha" versus the impairment "Madarah" of the nation. Courts for all they have done and will do will achieve the last if they don't put Somalia as whole before their own personal gains.

9- We have saying in Arabic that is roughly translated into "When a camel is fallen, lots of knives are aiming at it" Somalia is not different, it's dog eat dog world today so Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya are making the best of all that is wrong with Somalia, so what the courts are doing about it..? Zilch, actually they become a tool to for Bush's Proxy war; they are making Somalia a battle ground for settling old scores..!
Please allow me to ask you, Why would they want do that..? Don't they see the big picture....!

10- Courts need to understand the reality of global geopolitics, Bush's war on terror propaganda and the state of the country and the conditions Somalis in the country and out of it live..? I don't need to go on any further then to ask you where all the money is coming from so they get plain load of weapons and food supplies..?

Please, remember how Taliban started..? by sorting out few evils and rooting some an Islamic and immoral acts, at the end they turn Afghanistan in to a living hell....Trust me and I swear no one with iota of humanity in his or her heart would want that for Somalia or Somalis or for any other country or nation for that matter....!

Let's see how well you score, keep in mind, reason not emotions, logic not wishful thinking, cool head will prevail and make an enjoyable discussions for all of us.

Many thanks and don't these as retorts but simple response..!

Wassalaamu Alaikum Warahmah,

Abdallah,


P.S. as for the reference to Somali's been 100% Sunnis, that does mean I believe in this hog shit, burden my French, but it's a reality and it started in the days of Abu Sufyan and some of his offspring and has nothing to do the West preaching or drilling it into our minds, western politicians, media and planners (strategists) make the most of it big time and it ahs become, "it's one of the modern tools of dived and rule" antics and tactics. Pure and simple....!

#13
null
URL
November 28, 2006
01:09 PM

Liam

If your wife and daughters were being raped by teenagers and youth in their 20's called the dreaded mooriyaans (in front of your sight while you are helpless simply due to you being from a weak minor clan) which ransacked the country for 16 years and kicked the Americans and UN in the nuts on the way?

If you didn't see or have a friend get shot dead in the streets of Mogadishu because of the 50 dollar cell phone he is carrying or Nike shoes.

If you didn't live through in towns and country where the only form of justice was that of the jungle (i.e. you kill me, my cousins and extended family and clan will come after your and kill MORE OF YOURS!}

If you didn't have to put up with check points every two blocks for a gang of mooriyaan thugs working for warlords looking to extort money from you or you aint passing this way today (or worse yet rub them off the wrong way and your brains are spilt)

THEN you have no right what so ever to criticize the Union of Islamic Courts and great heroic works they have done in southern and central Somalia and ESPECIALY the worse city on earth b4 they showed up MOGADISHU. Not only was it the most MILITIRISED city on earth a wash with ALL KINDS of weapons, but Mogadishu before them made cities like gang infested slumps of Rio de Janeiro look like a play ground.

For God's sake, these guys not only neutered the warlords and their dangerous militias (who even the American marines and then YET, yet even their special forces! Rangers and Delta after that (men the American military swears by...and the numerous UN forces too) couldn't do jack squat - but they (ICU) are even also cleaning up garbage and debris flying around in city. They are opening the countries biggest international ports, and airports. Now for the first time not only are civilian Somalia populations not having to travel to farther safer areas from Mogadishu to actually board a plane out of the country, but even UN relief agencies can unload their humanitarian cargo at the main international port without having to fear warlords and militias from hitting the shipments and using them for themselves or re-selling them for profit. Before the Union of Islamic Courts, what little humanitarian agencies that were present in central and south Somalia had to pay other gang of thugs ludicrous 'protection' money to safeguard their lives as well as the humanitarian cargo. Not only would they (militias) not settle for their cash but they would also demand to take a portion of the food and medicines for themselves and that was happening all the time. Ask anyone.

The Union of Islamic Courts is a God send for the people of Somalia. That is not to say that there probably aren't some loonies among them (BUT EXTREMELY FEW). Some of these believe it or not are other Somali agents based on places like Puntland close to Ethiopia and Transitional Federal government, who try to ferment trouble and give the courts a bad reputation by committing criminal acts and then running.

Have you even heard of the Pirates who were stored and arrested in the high seas by ICU commandos after they hijacked a ship of the Somali coast?? A minister WITHIN the so called Transition Federal Government of Somalia based in Baytown was behind it and it was proven. They (the pirates) were using his boats to attack the ship and were firing from his boats towards on coming Union of Islamic Courts soldiers coming to rescue the ship and its crew.

http://somalinet.com/news/world/English/4848

http://www.afrol.com/articles/22457

http://www.shabelle.net/news/ne1678.htm --- *A Somali MP is involved in the hijacked cargo vessel*

#14
Abdallah
URL
November 28, 2006
01:45 PM

Hey bro, I agree with one 110 percent. but what Liam was talking about was not what they have done or have done what is next..?

Yes, I tell you they did a wonderful job and I'm happy that they have done all that great work..! Then what..?

When all is said and done where do go from here..? I may be bit judgmental or harsh in my first post, I may be to personal in my initial views but that does not change a thing..! we are back square one..?

So they clean up the mess that just piled up over the last 19 yrs or so, granted they keep it up but these guys are not here just do MSF "Doctors without Borders" job there are here to stay..! to govern and run the country... that is there intention so how are they going about it..!

I do sympathize with you and lots of others and appreciate your valid pints but problems of Somali are not only confounded between the 47 degree and 42 Degrees parallels, i.e. its all Somalia is not what lies between Galkayo and Kismanyo...!

Yes, there is an urgent need to solve the immediate lawlessness in some parts and to deal with tribal feudalism in others but keep the big picture framed right at your eyesight..
No body wants to wake up one early morning to another Mullah Omar as your next door neighbor..!

That's my point.....as they once bitten twice shy and I'm always quite sumptuous folks who wear funny clothes (specially imported ones like what most of the top leaders of courts wear, them looking like some poor labors in Jeddah) and use the Noble Quran to political ends .!

Good going..!

Abdallah

#15
null
URL
November 28, 2006
04:23 PM

Abdallah

1- By the way it is called the 'Hawiyeh' - it is a major Somali clan making up about 1/3 of All Somalis and they live in the south and central Somalia. And yes, the Union of Islamic Courts and their leaders are mainly belonging Hawiye clan. It is simple really, other areas of Somalia i.e. semi autonomous Puntland and Somaliland regions in the north have been relatively peaceful for a long-time, and in Somaliland's case right about from day 1 ever since the collapse of the dictator former Somali president Said Barre and his regime. And in Puntland, a while later.

You should also know that the WARLORDS which the ICU kicked out and destroyed mainly all belonged to the Hawiye clan in the south and central Somalia also as well as their militias. It only makes sense that a power which rises from a particular region be it Islamic or criminal warlords, will be composed of the particular inhabitants of that region, Hawiye clan.

Also the ICU is trying very hard to set up Islamic Courts in places like Puntland and Somaliland with their own NONE Hawiye local leaders in order to diversify the movement and leadership all over Somalis. But this is not easy because of the local Puntland Ethiopian allied administration. They are threatening to kill or deport (to the south) anyone of their clan Sheikhs who starts up such a movement in their back yard aliening themselves with the Union of Islamic Courts.

2- I believe that the leader of the Ummah (qalif) has to be one that is elected and not necessarily a blood descendent of the prophet or assume power that way (I know where you are going with this). The leader of the ummah has to be one who is fair and will benefit the ummah with his knowledge of Islam. He has to be one with which the majority agrees with or whose ideas based on Islam we see eye to eye with. And yes, I do believe that elections and a fair system of governance will be part of the ICU rule in Somalia if they are successful. If not, trust me, they will bite the dust and will not last. Part of the reason that Somalia have been lawless for 16 years since the fall of the Siad Barre regime is that Somalis are extremely rebellious and do not like to be oppressed unlike many other Muslim countries. One dictatorial regime will not be replaced by another. Believe me, if this were to happen, I would be the first to pick up a gun and fight these guys.

3 - No I don not. Taliban were Afgan/Pakistani. These are Somalian. Totally different and even THEY will tell you that. Other than our faith in Islam, we have different cultures and customs. And don't be a fool letting anyone telling you Somalia was any less religious or how do they say 'moderate' than ANY Muslim country. As a matter of fact, me and my friends as children would head out to the 'Dugsi' (place where you learn Qumran and ahadith and such) 4 AM in the morning in the dark! Till like 9 AM. Where then we would head out to go to so called regular 'school' to learn math, science, history and such till 3 PM. We would take a nab get up and 6 PM and head out for 3-4 more hrs of Quranic time in the evening before we sleep and get up at 4 and start the cycle all over again till you become haafidulqur'aan.

So therefore, do not for even one second think that Somalia has been any less of devout Muslim nation than say Afghanistan. YET, we always had our differences in culture. In fact, Somalia has been a MORE religious country and STILL is than MANY Arab countries if not all.

These guys (ICU) are only successful in their endeavors in Somalia because Somali public are were not only sick of the warlords and impressed with the work that they did bringing un imaginable peace unlike just a year ago, BUT they are also responding to their religious call and stance against the enemies of Islam. Many neighboring Ethiopia rules by (yet even if dictatorial) Christian regimes that especially oppress Muslim ethnic Somali Ethiopian and Muslim Oromos. Also the works of the US and Washington supporting the warlords (which has become clear) in their fight against the Union of Islamic courts in Mogadishu is another rallying cry which the ICU has benefited from even further.

4 - yes and no, yes because their leaders have been elected within their sub clans and neighborhoods. You see the courts movement first started in parts and areas with in Mogadishu. Each small court was set up and took care of matters pertaining to their neighborhoods and sub clans. Over time these courts came together and sought to spread the security and benefits of their rule to greater areas other than their own sub clans and back yards. Hence you had the union. I can tell you that if there were elections held today of the Union of Islamic Courts vs. the so called TFG of Somalia - the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) would win by a LANDSLIDE.

The TFG leadership was set up and voted on so called 'clan' elders OUTSIDE of the country in places like Kenya - in meetings and sessions mired by extraordinary bribes and controversy. That is why they are totally powerless now with in Somalia and most of the Somali public doesn't even recognize them other than some old westerner in an Armani suite in Brussels.

And (continuing with yes and no) no because there haven't been FORMAL elections determining the head leaders of the courts. I say formal because this would have to be an election with ALL Somalis participating in it, if the ICU was to eventually rule all of Somalia.

5- Certainly YES, as long as they are welcomed and wanted by the people to rule over them. Why not? They after all freed the land from the evil of the warlords.

6- The courts have proposed a middle ground, BUT in order to even start the negotiations, the demand was ALL Ethiopian troops in Somalia occupying the country and trying to prop up the illegitimate TFG should withdraw. You do not negotiate with a party while they have invited foreign countries armed forces to prop them up - making it clear to you right there that they can not even establish their own support among Somalis at large and force to face off against the union of Islamic courts. And why is this so?? Low and behold almost all the MP and even the PRESIDENT HIMSELF is a former WARLORD who has killed even his own people and who has blood in his own hands. Basically about the only 'clean' people in a position of power in Somalia are these 'wadads'and 'Sheiks' who where not former warlords themselves. That is why they are trusted.


7- First of all the Mareehan that you speak of in the central/southwest along with the Ogaden people are all but allied with the Union of Islamic Courts now despite their difference in belonging to 'Hawiye' and 'Darood' clans (i.e. Mareehan, Ogaden, Majeerteen..etc tribes belong to Darood clan). The Ogaden people were the first to openly join the Hawiyes making up most of the ICU. For instance I don't know if you had heard but one of the senior leaders of the ICU Sheik Hassan Al-Turki himself is Ogaden. On top of that the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) rebel group currently battling Ethiopian forces for the liberation of the region known as the Ogaden (Ogaden region which makes up roughly 25% of present day Ethiopia is inhabited by both Ogaden and as well as other ethnic Somalis i.e. Hawiyes tribes i.e. Habar Gidr and so forth) are allied with the Union of Islamic courts because they seek reunification with Somalia the motherland. This is also another MAJOR goal of the Union of Islamic Courts, other than the rule of Sharia Law in Somalia. They want to reunite all Somali peoples with their ancestral homeland after decades and decades of being annexed by Ethiopia and Kenya respectively in their dealings with the European colonialists. These people seek to reunite with Somalia feel oppressed and certainly rebel groups like (ONLF) seek to do just that.

Now coming back to the Mareehaan tribe, just recently the ICU was WELCOMED into their largest city and stronghold in Somalia called Abudwaq. The great majority of Mareehan's despite their 'Darood' clan affiliations and the centuries 'Hawiye' vs. 'Darood' stupid clan rivalries and rifts have welcomed the Islamists. That is not to say that there aren't few tribalists and once closer to the TFG and what have you looking to cause trouble.

http://www.garoweonline.com/stories/publish/article_6151.shtml

Also by coming to this very strategic town, the ICU would be able to better deal with a full-scale invasion of Ethiopian forces since it is a border town in west central Somalia with Ethiopia. And also it gives them direct contact and easier access in dealing with the ONLF since they are located just across the border into the Ogaden region.

Also most o the entry routes into southern Somalia is severely flooded and will be so for at least another month, so if the Ethiopians want to invade southern/central Somalia now that is the only logical place to do so from their own borders. Either than or they can invade from the north since they are already occupying and are in Puntland in great numbers. Or they can seek to fight out from their trenches in Baidowa.

But both scenarios are extremely difficult as forces and peoples fiercely loyal to the ICU (Hawiyes territory also) are and live at both fronts facing Puntland and Baidowa, which is in the South. Also there is such a heavy ICU military buildup just outside of the Baidowa area past the town of Buurhakaba surrounding The Ethio/TFG coalition.

Abudwaq bordering Ethiopia and inhabited by Darood's (Mareehan) people that were expected to oppose the so called 'Hawiye' courts at least as far as the Ethiopians and their Puntland controlling allies Majeerteen were concerned didn't materialize. The ICU is now in full control of the town and waiting for the start of the conflict. If it does and Ethiopia invades, you can be assured they will enter Ethiopia as well and further arm the ONLP rebel groups as well as the Oromo rebels to destabilize the Meles Zenawi regime.

http://www.stratfor.com/products/premium/read_article.php?id=281102


To answer your other point - the WESTERN world recognizes the shabby weak and fake so called TFG because they fear Islamist who have called to create openly an ISLAMIC STATE. They also accuse them of ridicules things of i.e. having links to Al-Qiada and garbage like that.

Oh yeah, and just the other week they accused of most Muslim Arab nations of helping the ICU and ICU of sending 720 Somali fighters to Lebanon to battle the IDF along side HizbAllah.

The world? Most Muslims in the outside world see the TFG as a puppet entity just like majority of the Somali population. About all Arab/Muslim nations except maybe Yemen who has close ties to the corrupt Puntland regime and who's US puppet dictator president is also battling THEIR OWN so called anti-US presence in the region 'Jihadists'.

8- look to above answers to find your answers to this question.

Please, the courts ARE putting the interests of Somalia and the people before their own personal gains. Otherwise they would be cutting their own deals with some of the corrupt black African UN and NGO officials, who are known to roam countries in Africa including Somalia recently stealing their donor's money and driving expensive outrageous SUV. The ICU leaders are men who most of them are from poor families yet they NEVER steal a cent from public funds intended for the Somalian people, which they are administering. Corruption and stealing is the LEAST you could accuse the ICU leaders and even their militias with thank God. The same cannot be said for that other meaningless entity made up of former warlords (TFG).

If that isn't putting the interests of the people and nation ahead of yours as far as the ICU is concerned, then I don't know what is. The ICU is highly admirable by their conduct and even western agencies have said this, who THEMSELVES are sometimes accused of wrongdoing and corruption by the Islamist they work underneath.

As for the peace and reconciliation process, Ethiopian forces should withdraw from our soil because ICU should frankly never allow former defeated warlords and former Somali warlord as well as Puntrland former dictator president-and Ethiopian puppet Abdulahi Yussuf with in the TFG to rule Somalia.

9- I disagree, Somalia here is either controlled by the ICU and becomes a Muslim state with it's own Islamic constitution and law by it's own people, or it becomes another Iraq were outside forces try to install puppet regimes and it is mired by violence and bloodshed.

I can tell you this much with a firm belief, come hell or high water this current TFG leadership so closely allied with Ethiopia will NEVER EVER rule Somalia even if the US was to do the grand of grands....were to invade Somalia themselves! And not use proxy Ethiopia.

10 - again ICU is not Taliban reincarnate, I can tell you that much. That said, I've only heard of the stuff being said about the Taliban on TV not experienced it first hand in Afghanistan. If stories about US army private Jessica Lynch and her fairy tale in Iraq could be so skewed and plain out fabricated and lied about to in the news sources fed to us in the west (only the shameful truth to come out much later) then anything could be lied about, including the Taliban.

But unlike them Taliban, I have experienced the ICU rule in Mogadishu and places in south central Somalia, and I can tell you it is nothing like I've seen on TV or heard from the news (most often if not all according to western sources).

wassalamu alykum....

#16
temporal
URL
November 28, 2006
05:33 PM

null # 15 and abdallah:

CHECK THIS

and join DC and write for us

#17
abdallah
URL
December 1, 2006
02:08 AM

Temporal...that is quite tempting and very nice of you but what is the paycheck is like...:-)

Null#: If you allow me I suggest to USE and name or nick name coz there is another null (in this post) and I would want to confuse between the two of u..!

Look, I am not disproving o arguing against the wonderful stuff the courts did but that is not what my aim is. My question is, are the courts rule Southern Somalia or they have a Somali wide solution..? If so what is there solution..?

Bringing the Noble Quran and promising Shariah rule is not going to solve the problems of the country..? Bush is proposing to send UN forces to Somalia and that is what the interim government wants..? What is the courts answer to this proposal? Keep in mine Bush is not doing out of love of Somalis or gesture of kindness but out of fear..? Is the court prepared to fight everyone from Somalis who are opposing them to those who are backing the interim government and international community, primarily, US, African Union and couple of Western European countries..?

If you allow me for a slight correction while I'm at it, the concept that modern day elections pertain or apply to only "Khalifa" is a real deception and mischievous twist of truth introduced and successfully used by Arab nationalist parties such as the republicans among likes of Dubad Al Ahrar "Free Officers" from Egypt, the Baath Party in Syria and Iraq and other national movements who come to power elsewhere in the Arab world in mid to late 192's.

Their systemic and radical departure of Islamic Political System of government was to deny ancestral fact so the populist would not demand it, that fat lie we are still living with is what you have not and what everyone who wants to come to power without elections claims..! I.e. Mubayah or "Elect" is only to choose a "Khalifa".

What was good and applied to Prophet (PBABH) is good and applies to all of us, he was elected by his fellow companions and he requested the mubayah under the shade of tree and we must and should do the same, not necessarily under a shade of tree..!

for your info, the Taliban where made of a clan, had the clan affiliation early on, where practicing muslims irrespective of how much i disagree with their implementations and adaptation of Shariah code, but i can see a great similarities between them and the courts at least in the early stages..!

Thanks for sharing our pints of views,

Walaamu Alaikum,

#18
buna khadar
URL
March 13, 2007
06:27 PM

walaa waan kusalamau waa qabar anad ga rane walal magacayga waxa laidhahda ayaan walaal fuad waxan ahay gabadh kujecela ilaxad na waan kujecelahay waxanan joga magalada america walaal gabadh isaqaa ayaa ahay walasha oo kale ayaan hahay ilove you byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ayaan fuad omar

#19
Abdale
August 18, 2007
05:22 PM

The crazy Bush is doing what ever he wants, what ever crosses his mind, during his 7-year rule 4 muslim nations had been invaded, out of which 3 are occupied now, these are Afghanstan, Iraq, Somalia and the invasion on lebanon, so the war on terror means war on muslims every muslim person knows that with out doubt.
America failed in iraq, they no longer have solution for iraq, but what I am actually surprised at is the role of UN, the United nation organization should define it-self clearly to the muslims and world community as well, whether it's an independent neutral institution that represents each and every nation in this world that promotes global security and stability,or it's an institution where the US promotes it's political agenda, The war on lebanon could have been stopped with in the first few days, the UN should have intervened the issue much earlier, but to please US and give Isreal time to continue it's brutality and mass murder against lebanese innosent people, now the case is quite different in Somalia, Ethiopia should leave somalia as soon as now, other wise the consequence will be more disastrous and unforgetteble, The US should free the muslim nations occupied by it other wise No single American sitizen will ever be able to sleep in peace in this world because of the American policy,and Finally the UN should declare all these four occupations against muslim nations as illegal and try to prevent this from happening again.

#20
Abdale
August 18, 2007
05:31 PM

The crazy Bush is doing what ever he wants, what ever crosses his mind, during his 7-year rule 4 muslim nations had been invaded, out of which 3 are occupied now, these are Afghanstan, Iraq, Somalia and the invasion on lebanon, so the war on terror means war on muslims every muslim person knows that with out doubt.
America failed in iraq, they no longer have solution for iraq, but what I am actually surprised at is the role of UN, the United nation organization should define it-self clearly to the muslims and world community as well, whether it's an independent neutral institution that represents each and every nation in this world that promotes global security and stability,or it's an institution where the US promotes it's political agenda, The war on lebanon could have been stopped with in the first few days, the UN should have intervened the issue much earlier, but to please US and give Isreal time to continue it's brutality and mass murder against lebanese innosent people, now the case is quite different in Somalia, Ethiopia should leave somalia as soon as now, other wise the consequence will be more disastrous and unforgetteble, The US should free the muslim nations occupied by it other wise No single American sitizen will ever be able to sleep in peace in this world because of the American policy,and Finally the UN should declare all these four occupations against muslim nations as illegal and try to prevent this from happening again.

#21
Abdale
August 18, 2007
05:32 PM

The crazy Bush is doing what ever he wants, what ever crosses his mind, during his 7-year rule 4 muslim nations had been invaded, out of which 3 are occupied now, these are Afghanstan, Iraq, Somalia and the invasion on lebanon, so the war on terror means war on muslims every muslim person knows that with out doubt.
America failed in iraq, they no longer have solution for iraq, but what I am actually surprised at is the role of UN, the United nation organization should define it-self clearly to the muslims and world community as well, whether it's an independent neutral institution that represents each and every nation in this world that promotes global security and stability,or it's an institution where the US promotes it's political agenda, The war on lebanon could have been stopped with in the first few days, the UN should have intervened the issue much earlier, but to please US and give Isreal time to continue it's brutality and mass murder against lebanese innosent people, now the case is quite different in Somalia, Ethiopia should leave somalia as soon as now, other wise the consequence will be more disastrous and unforgetteble, The US should free the muslim nations occupied by it other wise No single American sitizen will ever be able to sleep in peace in this world because of the American policy,and Finally the UN should declare all these four occupations against muslim nations as illegal and try to prevent this from happening again.

#22
khadar Ali
URL
November 12, 2007
02:18 AM

So much truble in the world. ready for jihad [EDITED - WHY ADD TO THE TROUBLE?]

#23
khadar Ali
URL
November 12, 2007
02:25 AM

[EDITED - RACIST JINGOISM]

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