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By Dr. Ali Said Faqi

In Somalia where there is no foreseeable future for millions of people because of the inexorable madness, any new change is perceived as very positive. Somalis inside and those in diaspora are debating the implication of the recent victory of the ICU in Mogadishu and in Somalia as a whole and are forming up their own mind carefully. Despite the fact that the major base for the ICU supporters is the same as the one that supported the Mogadishu warlords for the last 16 years, nevertheless; ICU has gained some genuine followers across Somali clans. To their credit, ICU will be remembered as a political group that succeeded to bring peace and security in Mogadishu, a city which most analysts would admit to have been a very dangerous place.

ICU instituted Islamic Court in Burhakaba (above)  but not in Afgoye and Wanleweyn.

On the other hand, the ICU failed miserably by deliberately sidestepping to disarm Mr. Yusuf Indha adde and his cronies, who have been illegally occupying the land and the resources of the natives of the Lower Shabelle and Jubba. As a testimony to my statement, I would like to remind the readers on a very particular episode. A couple of weeks ago when ICU militia left Mogadishu to institute an Islamic Court in Burhakaba they did not bother to disarm Mr. Hussein Cirfo, and Mr. Sharuub who illegally occupy Afgoye and Wanleweyn, respectively. For those of you who are not familiar with Somalia or who were very young to remember, let me orient you a little bit about what I am talking about. There is only one main road that connects Mogadishu to Burhakaba and that road goes through Afgoye and Wanlaweyn. These two cities and many other cities in the Lower Shabelle and Jubba are ruled by warlords who are not different in terms of brutality from the rest of the warlords recently ousted by the ICU. So the big question is why were these individuals left untouched? I will leave this to be answered by those who are calling themselves the SHURA of Islam.

Allah says in his Quran “ O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor:For Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts); lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.  (The Noble Quran, 4:135)". This very basic principle of Islam is what a true believer would like to see implemented and practiced.

Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys "We came here by the wishes of the locals not by force"

In several interviews Mr. Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, the leader of ICU indicated unmistakably that ICU has no plans to remove from the power the warlords forcefully ruling the Lower Shabelle and Jubba. He emphatically insisted that there is no need for change describing these regions as peaceful. In contrary Mr. Aweys while addressing the people of Cadaado (his native region) on the occasion of the opening ceremony of an Islamic court said “ We came here by the wishes of the locals not by force ". This clearly means that he does not believe the will of the locals in Benadir, Lower Shabelle and Jubba is crucial? This is utterly ridiculous, and his contradicting statements are nothing but clan bigotry and should be fully rejected. It is this kind of rhetoric that makes people wonder whether there will ever be peace. Any decent human being would question why someone who claim to have submitted himself to the will of Allah; would discriminate against others based on a tribe affiliation? Is this ignorance or a calculated political hypocrisy? For me ICU seems to be picking and choosing its friends and foes merely on a clan basis. Unfortunately, tribal allegiance will always be stronger than the faith for Allah in Somalia, an ideology which clearly contradicts to Islam.

The barbaric rule in the Lower Shaballe region for example collects illegal taxes including a 40,000 Somali Shillings a month per house from residents of most districts of the Lower Shabelle who do not have jobs and sources of income. Anyone who does not pay these fees either goes to jail or loses his property. The revenue generated from illegal taxation, chopping trees for charcoal and over fishing is used as a financial source for acquiring military arsenals to maintain the illegal occupation. Let me remind you again that these are the only places in Somalia where outside clans abuse the locals and impose rigid rules. It is a religious and moral responsibility to speak out against injustice and evildoers and this is what I am doing.

ICU established Islamic courts some hundreds of kilometers north of Mogadishu empowering the natives of each city to be in charge of the administration by physically removing the warlords, while cities just thirty to seventy kilometers south of Mogadishu were left deliberately to the very same people who been abusing them over a decade to be the ICU commissioners. It appears that the criteria posed by the ICU to qualify for self-rule would not make these residents eligible as they are either considered inferiors or carrying no great weight in the eyes of the ICU leadership.

Islam calls for peaceful coexistence and harmony between communities. Tribalism is an enemy of Islam and civilization because it calls for the systemic killing of rival clan members. A general consensus is that tribes are unruly and thus pose a threat to the society and to peace as a whole.

Let us examine the current scenario that has been put in place by the ICU to some residents of Mogadishu including Hamar Weyne and to Lower Shabelle and Jubba and explore whether it makes any sense. Everyone would agree with me that the clan militia in Hamar Weyne, lower Shabelle and Jubba are now part of the official militias of the ICU. Imagine then this, an individual who have been harassing your neighborhood for years and all of a sudden you find him representing a religious authority. Also imagine the person who have looted your farm or property, molested your daughter or sister, killed your neighbors is suddenly calling your head to be chopped if you don’t show up in the mosque. These are very scary thoughts, unfortunately are real facts in Benadir, Lower Shabelle and Jubba. The natives of these areas have waked up to realize that ICU spokespersons in their respective districts are no one else, but the very same individuals who they badly wished and prayed for to be kept away from the society for years. Little knowledge and hatred against anything different, clan in this case is the basis for extremism. I am appalled and extremely saddened about the abuse of Islamic basic principles in Somalia. A raw model for our lovely religion should not be a criminal element of the society; we ought to have respect to the religion that we dearly care and worship. ICU’s tolerance on the illegal administrations in Lower Shabelle and Jubba is nothing, but clan chauvinism.

We must remind ourselves that Islam is the only thing that Somalis share and cherish together; everything else has been already tarnished and tossed to the trash and it wholeheartedly saddens me to see it abused.

Somalia is a country that went to a brutal civil war, where the only sin to cost people’s life was to belong to a rival or unarmed clan. If peace has to prevail reconciliation is the best way to proceed. Changing names and shirts will only extend the chaos and may win time for those who are not interested in peace. Rhetoric must stop and dialogue between rival communities should be honestly encouraged. True issues should be debated and the natives of Southern Somalia should be allowed their rights for self-determination.

The Land grabbing policy is the main issue of conflict in Somalia and neither the ICU leaders nor TFG will be willing to admit and face it and it is this issue that makes both institutions morally corrupt. The ICU will not be different from the other failed political organizations as long as they are ignoring the facts in the south. Islam is a religious that has no dual face of worshipping and I am quite sure that it does not call for a tribal loyalty. Manmade constitutions call for establishments of justice in the society, insure domestic tranquility, and promote general welfare of the communities as the basis to coexist as a nation. I believe Islam calls for more than that, therefore, let us face the Somali issues seriously and stop the hypocrisy once for all. I am for peace and justice and for the full integrity of Somalia.

Dr. Ali Said Faqi
E-mail: [email protected]

The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "Hiiraan Online"

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