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Call for Common Sense and Diaspora Counsel.

by Shaacir Mataan



The union of Islamic courts and their victory of ousting the despised warlords of Mogadishu could prove to be the driving force that might eventually bring about a lasting peace to Somalia if they, that are the courts, opt to use caution and common sense.


First, the courts should take note of the failures of the defunct clan factions, mainly the USC that ousted Siad Barre, Somalia’s former dictator. These clan factions had no strategy whatsoever to fill the power vacuum and to lead Somalia to peace. The factions were in fact the ones who fashioned the callous warlords and monsters among their ranks and file. The same warmongers of these defunct groups are still around and may again re-ignite the destructive clan animosities if they are not confronted before it is too late.


The courts, by knowing that Islam being a complete religion, system and way of life that has no place for clans, nationalism and self interest, should avoid expanding and proliferating the clan based courts as the building blocks to solidify power in Mogadishu and Benadir region. Such proliferation of clan courts may work now for practical reasons but it has destructive potential if not curbed. The warmongers are overtly vying to go in with the courts as convenient means for Machiavellian ends. The warmongers and petty politicians know only how to turn tables to ignite clan animosities and ruin popular uprising. We have already seen a preview of that clan rally in Sheikh Muhyideen’s temple where some of the disgraced warlords sought sanctuary. The Clan is the bug that carves up the hearts and minds of many Somalis. And knowing the catastrophic cost of the clan system, the Islamic courts should ultimately steer clear of clan based course and should avoid associating with all clannish agitators for good.


There is already a buzz and hearsay among skeptics that the Islamic union wants to establish courts in every hamlet and canton and it may eventually create a big clan based regime under the leadership of guileless clergymen, with no governmental and public administration know-how. How that will go down is a question and an impediment the courts need to be aware of. Even if that is the aim now, then it would be wiser if the courts call and consult with Somalia’s many technocrats who idly dispersed around the corners of the world in exile and refuge. These skilled expatriates could compliment, don and tutor the candid clergy to at least carry out some clerical functions.


Second, the courts should be aware that they have both internal and external enemies. The post 9/11 world is full of pretenders with hidden agendas who associate anything positively Islamic with terrorism. The pretenders who have proven hitherto to swindle and dupe America and its intelligence agencies are still around and abound. The same punch of double-dealing warlords and their overbearing guarantors in evil are still around and abound. The same evil-doers who led the Americans to an indignity in Somalia’s counter-terrorism proxy war are still around and abound.


Even the blundering TFG in Baidoa is formulating ways to use the Islamic courts’ victory to their advantage. The useless TFG leadership has yet to renounce its call for foreign neighboring troops. The TFG have first to acknowledge the courts have done a remarkable job that they didn’t have the guts and courage to do it. Mogadishu is stabilized and it’s high time for the TFG to relocate and come to its constitutional capital. Any collusion of the TFG and its backers in other lands should set off fire alarms and the courts should be mindful of that. The courts should not forget that the same warlords they ousted were, and still some are part and parcel of the TFG. The courts should bear in mind that the president of this useless TFG, a warlord himself, is the same and still is a puppet of Ethiopia who used the terrorism card again and again. The “terrorism card” have been overplayed and used by all mendacious actors in the TFG to the point where fabrication and fraud became the blueprint to woo American support.


Now we all know that the American mulish intelligence is not up to the task and their backing of the despised warlords not only backfired but was really an embarrassing ignominy. How many cautionary correspondences have been sent to the State Department by well-meaning and sincere Somalis to caution against listening to Ethiopia and its warlord puppets? How many concerned Somali-Americans, who have both America and Somalia at heart have personally tried to appeal to the American administration? All of these gestures were ignored. America listened to jive turkey and voila, now we see the fruits of stoicism and snub. The same well meaning and conscious Somalis are still around and willing to work with the courts if they are called for. So far the Islamic courts’ willingness and openness to combine forces with free-thinking civic minded Somali intellectuals inside the country is commendable and positive. The Islamic court’s head, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed’s letter to the international community was a much needed catalyst to diffuse suspicion. However, more letters should be sent to the world-weary, wary and warring Bush Administration to reassure him that the courts are not Taliban or terrorists and Somalia is no haven for any terrorist networks. We cannot afford to incur the wrath of Uncle Sam. Iraq and Afghanistan should suffice to be our examples. Poor Somalia is already in rubble and our people are already suffering of drought and despair. The big bully shouldn’t be antagonized at our expanses. Let us leave that to the wealthy and satiated Arabs in the Gulf.


Finally, the Islamic courts should know that Somalia needs visionary leaders who are very diplomatic and very cautious. Somalia needs moderate politicians who in tune to western world. Let us do away with the familiar extremist rhetoric. This should be a note to those fanatics who spew vulgar palaver against the West. They should appreciate the fact that Somalia’s lifeline of money and talent comes from the Somalis who found safe haven in Western Europe and North America. Close to estimated Billion dollars are wired by Somalis who now call home America and Europe. The cream of the crop that is willing to come back from exile is around and abounds in the West. The courts should summon them up to counsel and use them to do business with the West since they are familiar with their ways.


Shaacir Mataan

E-mail: [email protected]

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