31 May 2006

Link: A dangerous game in Somalia

"Ideology, Islamic or otherwise, has never been much of a factor in Somalia's ugly conflicts. But with $100 million up for grabs, opportunistic warlords have been only too happy to give themselves a name to appeal to American deep pockets…"

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-ed-somalia25may25,1,1112155.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

5 comments:

Aiman said...

Salaam alaikum,

I would recommend this link as well: Is the US Govt Fueling Civil War in Somalia?

Nim'o said...

Wa aleykum assalam, Aiman, thanks for the link.

Aiman said...

Salaam alaikum Nim'o,

News is out that Islamic militants have seized the capital of Somalia from the US-backed warlords after 15 years. Any opinions on this?

Nim'o said...

Salaams Aiman,

Er….I think they have been controlling part of the capital for quite sometime anyway( more than a decade), So I do not think this is a big deal. I also think because they are popular with the average Somalis, ‘’the victory ’’ has not come surprise.

However, I do not think they are going to expand their authority across the country, for the simple reason that they belong to just one clan. It is not possible for them to seize other cities that are dominated by other Somali clans . By the same token, It is not going to be a revolution or something like that. But it is a good thing and step forward for Somali peace negotiation, now that certain warlords are out of the sight, the ‘’new government’’ may get some support from them(them-- the Islamic courts). Because ultimately the majority of the Somalis would be happy with a government overtly Islamic. It is all about gaining the hearts and minds of the people. After all the Somalis are Muslims, they would only support a government based on Islam.
On international level: In my opinion, the future depends on how you deal with them, though. It is easy to make an enemy than a friend or is it the other way around? For this reason, they should be negotiated with and not sidelined as extremists. I personally have my reservations regarding their application or rather misinterpretation of the shari’ah at times, but I think they have succeeded in establishing the law and order, in part of the capital which they have been controlling over, more than anyone else. I think given time they would grow out lot of things and will mature in the process.


I think negative depictions of them by the media would help no-one. should they be viewed as a hotbed for ‘’extremism’’?. This merely stokes up fears.
I read in the news that they ‘’are going ‘’to establish a ‘Taliban type of Islam’’ whatever that means, but I do not think that would be the case. Instead ‘Somali version of Islam’ would always be upheld.


I also think ’’ the seize’’ poses neither global nor local challenges. They are not interested in jihad against the West or something like that, though they have rather naive and unsophisticated tone of anti-American, anti-west slogans. But it stops there. They are just words.

Now they (the Islamic militia) have responsibility to the people of Mogadishu, who welcomed them: they should denied any terror link and that they should work with the international communities, the clan leaders, the secular and women’s organizations, above all they have to accommodate the ’secular’ aspects of the Somali society.
.



Having said that, I do not think the Somali conflict is black and white. I mean we cannot really say the fight was more to do with Islamic ideology verses secularism, because there is no such thing in Somali politics. It is more to do with control, power and clan affiliation. But as long as they are left alone they get along.
Outside intervention especially from the neiboring countries and the US ( supporting rootless warlords) just prolongs the instability in the country.


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Aiman said...

Salaam alaikum,

Thanks for your explanation, Nim'o. Yes, it does seem that when any Muslims are involved in resistance they're branded as "Islamic militants". I think this expression is incorrect and boxes all legal Muslim groups in the same file as Al Qaeda. America backing the warlords seems to reinforce the view that the war on terror is a war on Muslims even if the Muslims are right. Islam is such an open religion and the Muslim community is certainly not monolithic as they see it.