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Tribal Jihad

Dr. Abdishakur Jowhar



Mogadishu Librated. The era of chaos and street checkpoints where people are openly robbed in the middle of the day has come to an abrupt end. The ordinary thieves and thugs who turned warlords, who turned into mercenary dogs of war in America’s anti terror crusade, were eventually and thankfully chased out of Mogadishu like so many rats. One or two are still remaining, clinging tenuously to the hope of being saved by the tribe (or at least they did when I started writing this piece in morning of July 9, 2006; such is the pace of events in Mogadishu these days that change is measured in hours and days). Collectively the warlords must be cursing the day they met the first whispering agent of the agency. Collectively they must be bemoaning the millions of dollars they accepted from the CIA that only succeeded to buy them refugee status in Ethiopian camps.  We thank the CIA for their benevolence and we encourage them to give some more to the last few warlords standing for we really want them to buy a refugee status in some god forsaken Ethiopian refugee camp. Langley let us get this job done.


Peace in Town.  Oh sweet peace; you can walk out of your dwelling in Mogadishu fully confident that you will return alive, and confident that you will not have to step over a dead body or two as you go about your day. You are startled by the occasional sound of gunfire in Mogadishu; your ears are becoming more accustomed to the absence of the perpetual gunfire that accompanied the massacre of ordinary people like you daily in your immediate environment.  Oh sweet peace; you can carry a cell phone in Mogadishu openly and you will not be killed for it. Oh sweet peace; you will see the sun rise tomorrow, you will breath in the ocean smell and you will be there to experience it. Oh peace, sweet peace.


The price:  The price is simple, steep may be, but surely simple. The Sheikh Aweys and his fellow cultists spell it out to you clearly:  Submit and dare not question. Fall down on your knees and pray to Allah for delivering you from the criminals of yesterday. Let me see the mark of those who submit on your face. No. No. Don’t touch that beard. Trim, may be. Henna, may be. Shave, never!  And those pant; cut them a bit higher. And ye women cover up. Avoid bright and provocative colors in your tents with the slits for the eyes; more earthy tones should be the fashion. It is no longer sufficient that you are a Moslem. You shall look like one, talk like one and appear to others like one. The Sheikh Aweys says: From now on consider me your guide in style and you will not go astray. I am your Giorgio Armani, your House of Gucci, your Tommy Hilfiger and your Iman all rolled into one.


The Sheikh Aweys Prohibitions will be observed strictly on the pain of severe punishment of the physical kind (preferably public flogging but even torture to death if warranted). Stripped off their religious jargon and justifications these prohibitions are fairly simple and straightforward. There is nothing new or original about them. They have been implemented before in Afghanistan and in every household in the world where the Taliban way of life is observed. 


A prohibition on Pleasure: You shall not sing. You shall not dance. You shall not listen to music. You shall not celebrate. These are the signs of the infidels and apostates. The punishment for the infidel and apostate who refuses to submit is death. We are the court. The United Islam Court. UIC (not USC mind you).
And so we rule.


A Prohibition on Entertainment:  You shall not watch movies. You shall not watch soccer; even world cup soccer. You shall not partake in theatre. You shall avoid the debauchery of mixed company. You shall refrain from taking pictures, being in pictures or holding pictures in your hands.  Tremble and Obey. For the punishment of the infidel and the Apostate is slow torturous death here and now and the fires of hell in eternity in the hereafter.


A Prohibition on Sex: Sex leads you astray. Look at the AIDS epidemic. Sex is prohibited. Even fleeting thoughts about sex have to be eliminated and are prohibited unless of course it is about your wife.  If you are a man you shall not touch women. You shall not look at women. You shall not think of women. If you are a woman you shall become invisible. You shall keep yourself locked indoors at all times. If you have to go out (God forbid) then you must go out in a tent. You are of course allowed to have slit in the tent for your eyes.


Prohibition on Mixed Company: To avoid sexual temptation, to kill any thoughts about sex even before they arise the whole of society will be reorganized to achieve complete segregation of men and women. Women will have their own schools, women’s only women doctors, women’s only hospitals, women’s only markets, women’s only busses, and women’s only world. And one more step each and every household will have to be re-divided so that there is a women’s only part.


A prohibition on the Wrong Thoughts: You shall talk in ways that pleases god. You shall refrain from useless non-pious thoughts like innovations, superstitions and abominable practice of Idol worship and Shirke. You shall fill your head with the right thoughts. Just follow the lead of the Sheikh and you shall know. And you will become a student (Talib) of the faith as expounded and taught by the great Sheikhs of the past the likes of Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdulwahab and Sheikh Ibn Taymiyaa. And you shall know the ways of the Pious Predecessors (El salaf as-Salih) who lived in Year Zero of Hijra Calendar. Let the rule of Sheikhs begin. Let theocracy blossom.


A Faustian Bargain


And so once again the people of Mogadishu are forced to make choice when there is only an illusion of options. And the great people of Mogadishu have rejected the intolerable evil of the rule of the jungle and absolute lack of order as represented by the warlord era in favor of the equally intolerable, suffocating and at least ordered world of Sheikh Aweys and his Year Zero Cultists.


The Sheik is getting himself ready to rule. He is expanding his fiefdom. He is a true leader in that he is not satisfied like Ali Mahdi or Abdiqaasim Salat with few streets of Mogadishu under his control. He is sweeping the tribal lords out of Mogadishu. His main weapon is Jihad. Tribal Jihad based on his sub clan but that is ready to accommodate all the tribes in the region on the basis of the Ideology of the Salaf El Salih. Those who still believe that there is democratic union of spontaneously created Islamic Courts that are working with business people and the “civil societies”, whatever these are, should look again.


 In short order the Sheikh will be ready to do battle with his primary nemesis Abdillahi Yusuf who heads a government by UN bureaucrats for UN bureaucrats that has been transplanted to Somali society with Somali faces in front and UN paper pushers behind. I sure don’t think much of the Transitional Federal Government. I think even less of its leader Abdillahi Yusuf. And alas I find myself in a predicament lost in the wilderness of non-choices that face my people and me; a Faustian choice between two colonels both of whom I find cruel and distasteful and destructive.

Dr. Abdishakur Jowhar
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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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