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Is Somalia a Terrorist Safe haven?

by Abdi-Noor Mohamed
Saturday, June 02, 2007

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Is Somalia a Terrorist Safe Haven? I often ask myself and give a weird and rather awkward reply to myself. in this short article I want to raise my voice to let the world know that there are misconceptions about the notion of terrorism in Somalia.

First the Somalis have been systematically made to understand that terrorists in Somalia are elements who are against the American interests in Somalia and in the wider region of the Horn, if not the entire world. They are insurgents who in the name of Allah wage jihadi wars against Americans with the hope that Allah will reward them Jannah in the life hereafter.

American warships today bombed a small mountainous town of Bargal in the autonomous state of Puntland, Somalia with the aim of destroying terrorist hideouts in that area.
That is true but no all true as Somalia has been in the mercy of terrorists over the past 16 years of anarchy and strife orchestrated by disgruntled warlords who wreaked havoc upon the nations and its people. If we restrict terrorists as those killing the Americans then we are producing a fabricated interpretation to misguide the general public of Somalia. Hence the division of the people along two lines: Those who support the Islamic Jihadists who vow that Somalia is a land of Moslems which should be allowed every Moslem to come and fight the infidels; and those who say fundamentalists may lead to a dictatorial rule based on the Sharia law; so we must cooperate with the west and neighboring secular nations to get rid of these jihadi elements who want to impose strict version of the Islamic religion by fomenting religious wars in the pretext of salvaging Somalia.

This rift of opinion and struggle will certainly create a situation whereby the Somali people are absorbed in a bitter global war between Arabs/Islamic groups on one hand and the west on the other, thereby trowing away their country in the hands of interest groups, forgetting their identities as Somalis as well as the ownership of their motherland.

I would like to say that in somalia we have been living with terrorists long before the twin towers have been bombed. The warlords were killing us for the last 16 years and nobody included them in the category of terrorists because they were not killing Americans. Their victims were simply Somalis who happened to live in this small but bountiful land though it was turned into an insignificant wasteland with the rhetoric of interest–oriented groups and nations.

For instance there were merchants of death who were importing expired food and medical drugs to bring a total extinct to the Somali people. There was well-designed terror infrastructure built in within the Somali clan system to generate manpower for the war machinery of the warlords and no where has such atrocities have been recorded as acts of terror.

Unfortunately Somalis were taught that terrorists are only three or four individuals who are hiding in Somalia because of their involvement in the bombing of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. So the ordinary Somali man does not know a warlord as a terrorist or merchants of death who made money out sucking human blood. They know terrorists only to those culprits Americans have implicated in the destruction of their embassies and some hotels in Mombasa and who have been suspected of having links with Alqaeda’s terror network. This is a catastrophe because a whole mass has been fed with concocted misconceptions that almost left Somalis fumbling in the dark.

On the other hand there is the misguidance of the religious groups themselves as far as religious orientation is concerned. They taught people only one chapter of the Qur'an, which is Jihad with the intention to spearhead an anti-American war.

It is a shame and an utter dishonesty and a set back to the Islam and its legacy as a divine religion to preach and spew hatred among the people expecially the youngsters by exploiting their innocence and shallow knowledge of the Islamic religion with the aim of  achieving a quick political and economic gain. How can one claim to be a Moslem when he does not tell his followers to live in peace with others of different religious and cultural backgrounds who happen to be living together in the same neighborhood.

In conclusion there is a deepening misguidance of both the west and the islamic jihadists who are tattering the very fabric of the somali nation by spreading scuh messges of war on terror and religious fundementalism. We seem to have lost ownership of Somalia by taking sides with these two groups.

Please share this poem with me:

Creeper Nation

Between the cruelty
Of carpet bombers
And the inhumanity
Of suicide bombers
Somalia has fallen
In the jaws of evil

Like a bunch of cattle
Feeding on a dry hay
Somalia is hoofed on
But like a creeper
Buried under bricks
It shall push itself up

On the rocks of success
It shall climb confidently
Reaching heights of love
Making a sweet laugh
When others are crying 

Abdi-Noor Mohamed
Mogadishu, Somalia
[email protected]

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