Saturday, May 1, 2010
Somalia: Back to pre-Islamic Era of Ignorance
Just today, in Somalia's wretched City of Mogadishu, two remote-controlled bombs simultaneously went-off in the famous Ali Shideye mosque crowded by worshippers killing over 30 people and injuring almost 100 others. The prime target of the bomb was Sheikh Fuad Shongole, a naturalized Swedish citizen and a high profile in al-Shabab's assembly of sheikhs. According to a spokesman for al-Shabab, Sheikh Fuad survived the bombing though he sustained injuries to the hands and other parts of the body. So far no one has claimed responsibility.
Today's bombing of a religious stronghold manned by al-Shabab demonstrates the emergence of a powerful opposition force that is capable of inflicting considerable damage to any future militaristic ambitions by al-Shabab and her allies. Forces opposed to al-Shabab seem to be reinventing their war strategies by coming up with superior tactics that could cause collateral damage to where unleashed.
Of late al-Shabab has been capturing new grounds from AhluSunna Wal-Jama (ASWJ) in the central regions. Al-Shabab's provocative actions prompted ASWJ to join the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). This collective initiative will empower the unified government to marshal a dependable, effective, and loyal force to counter al-Shabab's continued aggression. According to media reports, leaders of ASWJ have been quoted as saying that they will entirely eradicate al-shabab from Somali territorial soil through coordinated efforts. Perhaps, it could turn out to be a dream come true.
Besides al-Shabab, another faction by the name of Hizbul Islam (HI) has its head up in Somalia's mangled politics. HI is headed by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, a former Somali army colonel who fought the government of Ethiopia in his heydays with al-Itihad al-Islami. Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys and the current president of the TFG, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, under the banner of the Union of Islamic Courts hereafter referred to as UIC, meticulously executed the defeat of the dreaded warlords in 2006. The two buddies parted ways when Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was inaugurated president of the TFG a year ago in a ceremony conducted in Djibouti under the auspices of the international community.
HI is closely allied with al-Shabab in ideology though the two technically remain at war. In the past HI lost large swathes of land in the southern part of the country to the forces of al-Shabab. Recently, Sheikh Hassan Turki, formerly a staunch ally of HI and leader-founder of Muaskar Ras Kiamboni, after thorough negotiations and tough deliberations, switched sides by pledging allegiance to al-Shabab in a well-arranged ceremony. Such is the ideological delicacy and political intricay of the lackadaisical multifarious forces josstling for power in the name of Islam in Somalia.
One other ideological reject is Sheikh Ahmed Madobe who is holed up in Somalia's southern border with Kenya. Rumor has it that Sheikh Ahmed Madobe is a close relative of Sheikh Hassan Turki. What prompted Hassan Turki to abandon his brother when he needed him most will remain shrouded in mystery. In the meantime, Sheikh Ahmed Madobe conducts guerilla raids on villages and towns straddling Somalia's southern border that are predominantly inhabited by his tribesmen but under the control of al-Shabab.
As you can see from the topic above, Somalia is headed for the era of ignorance-the era before the forces of Islam swept the Arabian peninsula. It was an era when women had no discource; children suffered at the hands of their own biological fathers especially girls who were buried alive in the scorching sands of the Arabian desert; tribal wars erupted frequently and the golden rule was "whoever has the gold rules". The hostile tribes of pre-Islamic Arabia committed excesses that included worship of idols, highway robbery, plunder, murder, and a host of crimes equal in enormity to what is happening now in Somalia.
Dear reader, the sanctity of houses of worship have been violated and human life given to the dogs. Can you imagine at the time this ugly incident happened hundreds of people had gathered for the obligatory noon prayers and all of a sudden a deranged person detonates devastating bombs just to seek revenge. Revenge in the House of Allah? To what religion do they belong those who commit such crimes? Can we call them Muslims?
Islam means peace, submission to the will of Allah; it means obedience. When inside a mosque a Muslim is supposed to submit wholeheartedly to Allah with sincere devotion and forget the allure of this world. A Muslim is the one who observes the divine laws stated in the Qur'an and the Hadith. Furthermore, according to Islamic teachings, the punsihment for killing an innocent person in the hereafter is to dwell in hell forever.
Somalia has been without a central government since 1991 when the ironfisted military government paved way for clan warfare, warlordism, and anarchy. The succession of administrations in the name of Transitional Federal Government never had complete control of the country except being holed-up in Villa Somalia-the delapidated presidential place.
It is a clear fact that war can only be declared by the head of a sovereign state and not by criminals forcefully imposing unjustified laws in a lawless country. The current transitional president, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, because of his unending adventure travels, remains a president in name only otherwise he is a president-in- absentia.
Unless someone claims responsibility, it will be absolutely hard to uncover the perpetrators of today's bloodshed. To this day, last year's unsolved despicable crime that cut short the lives of a dozen graduating doctors remains a mystery. A government that controls a few blocks in a city of a million people whose survival is at stake must not be expected to avail a comprehensive and conclusive forensic report now and in the future because it is already showing signs of imminent departure from the political spectrum.