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Boycotting the Mixed Islamist-Secularist Conference (Asmara)

Jihadist Youth Movement (JYM)

Translated by Dr. Abdishakur Jowhar




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The rout of the Islamic Courts Union in Somalia in 2006 appeared to many like a solution to their problem; with the nature of “the problem” defined by varying interests that are decidedly different and often contradictory to that of the Somali people. And so for President Bush the contract on Somalia offered to Zenawi; was but one more field of operation against the followers of his arch enemy; UBL (Usama Bin Laden).  For Zenawi of Ethiopia the invasion of Somalia was more about an attempt of drowning his political opponents in a sea of nationalistic pride that he expected will accrue to his person from the momentous act of washing his feet in the Indian Ocean. And for Abdillahi Yusuf of Somalia it was a way out of homelessness and about securing a temporary abode in Villa Somalia even if it had to come at the point of the gun of the arch enemy of his people; a Judas once, a Judas always.


The defeat of the Islamic courts however has become a nightmare to all the actors in its causation. It hangs around their necks menacingly, like a curse, like an albatross. There is a universal wish, unarticulated but nevertheless real, that something could be done to undo that which was done in the ignorance and arrogance of the moment, if only the arrow of time could be moved in reverse.  The regret and lamentation is because all actors in the conflict, both victor and vanquished find themselves hopeless stuck in the vortex of the Somali whirling tar baby.


The defeat of the Islamic Courts Union was in essence a defeat of the more rational elements of the Somali Islamic movement. The more moderate, scholarly and peaceful elements of the Islamic Courts Union found themselves lost as refugees and wanderers in neighbouring states already buckling under the weight of the Somali exodus. The legitimacy achieved by the Union of Islamic Courts on the ground was inherited by those who were willing to defend it with an AK 47, in ruthless urban gorilla warfare. And so over the last few months the Shabab Movement of Somalia grew from strength to strength. The have taken up the black banner and the nom de guerre of Harakat Shabab Al Mujahid (Jihadist Youth Movement). JYM under the able leadership of Ayro were the more radical and initially inconsequential component of the Islamic Courts Union. Now their numbers have swollen and their operations have become much more daring and much more successful. They have grown beyond their wildest dreams and they  are now a force to recon with.


The defeat of Somalis at the hands of the Arch enemy- Ethiopia, the vengeful return of blood sucking warlords now under the protection of the national enemy, and the massive repression of the populace by the occupying forces have given JYM sufficient room to recruit and radicalize the young and the desperate. In a world were all hope is lost, where reason for survival disappeared and where pride and humanity is wiped out by the heavy boots of repression, in this miserable world of post occupation Somalia, the Shabab stepped in, to provide the young with a good reason to die; revenge and death with dignity. And so just like in Iraq, the Contractor’s Wars on Alqaida (the new euphuism for Mercenaries) gave birth to results that are the exact opposite of its intended goals.  

UBL must be laughing all the way to a new Fatwa. Just as the Bush administration, in a classical Bushism with boomerang qualities, declares its own Fatwa on Eritrea as yet another “Islamic Terrorist State”, of course with the expected “unexpected” consequences of squeezing out the last moderates standing in the Somali political tragedy.  


In the following pages I bring to you a translation of the official document from Jihadist Youth Movement declaring its final break with the moderates in their movement and charting a new course for itself.  The original document is written in Somali and Arabic. It is a document written in a beautiful peotic language with a tight logic and clear tone. One may disagree with the JYM ideology but no one can accuse them of lack of clarity of thought and cohesiveness of purpose. It is important to know how this group thinks, feels and acts.


I have translated only a part of the document. But I belief I brought forth the essence of JYM position on the Asmara Conference. I must admit I could not do justice to the eloquence of the document. I lament in particular that I have left out a Somali Poem written at the end of the document. I knew I could not do it justice.


The Asmara moderates responded to the JYM document with a Fatwa of their own justifying their action and presenting a different Islamic argument of why a nationalist agenda and an alliance with a secularist force is not particularly anti-Moslem but rather the essence of being a good Moslem. It is a great document written by Sh/Dr Cumar Iiman in Asmara. I must admit the Somali language used is not as sophisticated as that in the JYM document. I am confident that someone will translate that response.


Dr. Abdishakur Jowhar

E-mail: [email protected]


Allah Says:

[71] One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams: those who are given their record in their right hand will read it (with pleasure) and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least. [72] But those who were blind in this world, will be blind in the Hereafter, and most astray from the Path. [73] And their purpose was to tempt thee away from that which We had revealed unto thee, to substitute in Our name something quite different: (in that case) behold! they would certainly have made thee (their) friend! 74] And had We not given thee strength thou wouldst nearly have inclined to them a little. [75] In that case We should have made thee taste an equal portion (of punishment) in this life, and an equal portion in death: and moreover thou wouldst have found none to help thee against Us! [76] Their purpose was to scare thee off the land, in order to expel thee: but in that case they would not have stayed (therein) after thee, except for a little while. [77] (This was Our) way with the Messengers We sent before thee: thou wilt find no change in Our ways. [78] Establish regular prayers at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony. [79] And pray in the small watches of the morning: (it would be) an additional prayer (or spiritual profit) for thee: soon will thy Lord raise thee to a Station of Praise and Glory! [80] Say: "O my Lord! let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honour, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honour; and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me)." [81] And say: "Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish." [82] We send down (stage by stage) in the Qur-an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss. [83] Yet when We bestow Our favours on man, he turns away and becomes remote on his side (instead of coming to Us), and when evil seizes him he gives himself up to despair!

The Nature of the Conference

The general meeting of Asmara is a meeting of a new kind in the history of Somali political life that represents nothing less than retreat on the part of the Islamist forces. It is clear that what should have been an exclusively Islamist conference has degenerated to something akin to conferences of other Somali politicians, like those of Arta,  Eldoret and  Empagathi; conferences that has brought only shame to the Somali people.

Allahu Akbar! It is the same old road. The new travelers (the Asmara Islamists) were expected to be the saviors of the nation; but they have set their foot firmly on the path that has defeated those who preceded them on this cursed road. The conference is organized to give birth to a political force this is united by Somali Nationalism and hopelessly divided by the lack of unity in true Islamic faith. The Islamists had made that possible. They have invited into their midst Secularists (the non believers)[1], they have weakened their united force, and they have foolishly squandered the trust bestowed on them by sharing it with undeserving Nationalists, opportunistic politicians and misled women.

The Asmara Conferees

The Asmara conference is bringing together desperate entities that have conflicting agendas and that are therefore doomed to fail. These entities include the following:

  1.  The Free Parliament (A parliament based on the laws of the Infidel): These are members of the Transitional Federal Parliament who have rebelled against the rule of the Transitional Federal Government.  Their main argument is that the Empagathi Charter was not followed.  But they are same people who elected Abdillahi yusuf, the same people who approved Ali Geedi as the Prime Minster. Pray then when do we believe them; now or then?
  2. Civil Society (the infidel’s hands): These are organizations that essentially serve to further the agenda of the dark forces of the non believers and Infidels (the west). These groups believe that the Islamic Faith should be banished from the public space in Somalia and that people should be freed from Worshipping Allah.
  3. Diaspora Somalis:  These are Somalis who live in various parts of the world. They include personalities who have become famous for defending western culture and who believe in the falsehood known as democracy.
  4. A Segment of the Union of Islamic Courts: This segment of the Islamic Courts has unfortunately reached the conclusion that they need to form an alliance with the secularists, nationalist etc. They have come to believe in possibility of peaceful negotiations.

Why We Boycott

I: Mixing Faiths: (half measures)

Democracy is the religion and the law of the infidel. The people who support democracy believe that society must be freed from God. They believe that the State and its structures must be kept distant from religion. Such a belief system is the mark of those who rejected Islam; the true belief.  The believer and the non believer (secularists) can never reconcile; between them is anger and war.

Allah Said “60:4 There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: "We are clear of you and of whatever ye worship besides Allah. we have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred for ever,- unless ye believe in Allah and Him alone"  and  Allah also said “109:4 "And I will not worship that which you have [ever] worshipped”

II: A Masjid Dirar Conference [1]

Allah Said [107] And there are those who put up a mosque by way of mischief and infidelity, to disunite the Believers, and in preparation for one who warred against Allah and His Messenger aforetime. They will indeed swear that their intention is nothing but good; but Allah doth declare that they are certainly liars.  [108] Never stand thou forth therein. There is a mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety; it is more worthy of thy standing forth (for prayer) therein. In it are men who love to be purified; and Allah loveth those who make themselves pure. [109] Which then is best? He that layeth his foundation on piety to Allah and His Good Pleasure? Or he that layeth his foundation on an undermined sand cliff ready to crumble to pieces? And it doth crumble to pieces with him, into the fire of Hell. And Allah guideth not people that do wrong. [110] The foundation of those who so build is never free from suspicion and shakiness in their hearts, until their hearts are cut to pieces. And Allah is All-Knowing, Wise. (Altouba 9:107-110)

This conference weakens the “Jihad”, in the same way Masjid Dirar was designed to destroy Islam from within.  Masjid Dirar and the Asmara Conference have the following commonalities.

  1. Inflicting Loss upon the Moslems: This conference is detrimental to the just cause of the Jihad
  2. Dissention among Believers: The false mosque was designed to divide the cohesiveness of the believers. This conference is designed to break defensive line of the Mujahidiin
  3. A sanctuary for the enemies of ALLAH.  Masjid Diraar was a place for the enemies of Islam to hide right in the public sight. This conference provides the same service for the secret agents of the infidels and their representatives. It costed the Mujaahidiin a lot of lives.
  4. Liars who claim they intend “nothing but good”:  Trickery and false claims was the Essence of Masjid Dirar. That was its danger and that remains the central danger of this Masjid Dirar that is built in Asmara.  

III:  A Flag of Confusion and Blindness

Jihad has opened in these our lands. We have seen its glorious achievements. The Asmara Conference is forcing the Jihad to lose its way. It raises a banner of confusion.

  1. It plants confusion in the clear message of the Jihad.
  2. It limits the high and pure goals of the Jihad to narrow Somali nationalism limited to the false border imposed on our people by the colonialists.
  3. It transforms the Jihad to a meaningless “Re-liberation, Resistance etc”.

The Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him) said: One who is killed under the banner of a man who is blind (to his just cause), who raises the slogan of family or supports his own tribe, dies the death of one belonging to the days of Jahiliyya. Narrated by Muslim.

IV:  Deviation from the straight path

The conference introduces a new and counterproductive culture and concepts like: Moderate, retreat, compromise, conferences in posh hotels in foreign countries and collaboration with those who flow the ways of the infidel. The Asmara Conference reintroduces the old concept of a leadership that lives in the comfort of distant lands and has the incredible wishful desire of leading the battle through remote control. This is a path of deviation. It is different from the true and tested ways of the Moslem that included the following

  1. Belief in the Oneness of Allah and acting in accordance with Sunnah of the Prophet (SCW)
  2. Carrying forth courageously the word of Islam and the teaching of Sharia.
  3. Inviting people to the good (all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding people from engaging in the bad (all that Islam has forbidden).
  4. Jihad for the Cause of Allah 

V:  Suppressing the Truth

 The meeting of the Islamists and Secularists leads to confusion between what is just and what is unjust, between what is true and righteous and what is full of falsehoods. The conference

  1. leads lay people astray
  2. attempts to make Falsehood look good and warm
  3. And discourages the Muslim and convinces them that nothing could be done.

Allah Says 2:42 “And do not overlay the truth with falsehood, and do not knowingly suppress the truth”

VI: Collaboration with Non Believing Secularists

The collaboration with the Secularist is different from the Peace Treaty the Prophet (SCW) made with the infidels at his time.

  • The prophet (scw) has made an agreement with proper infidels. The secularists are different and worse than true infidels. They claim to be Moslems. But they are connected and they work on the orders of the infidels. They believe in the War on Terror, they reject the laws of Allah and accept the laws set by simple humans in parliaments. 
  • The infidels the prophet (scw) made a necessary agreement with an armed capable military power. The secularists (non believers) on the others hand have no arms and no armies. Why bother to make a treaty with them and especially when we already know that the secularists do not they believe in Jihad.
  • The agreements the prophet (scw) made with the infidels never involved power sharing. The Asmara Conference has the goal of sharing powers with the secularists (non believers)
  • As group the Secularist (non believers) have not rejected their principle (of having no faith) and it is quite feasible that they will try to take over the Jihad process and use it against the Moslems.

[1] Masjid Dirar was a Mosque built by non believers at the time of the prophet to defeat the faithful and mislead them away from Islam. The concept of Masjid Dirar has come to represent the worst kind of enemey, the enemy within. It is not only about traitors to the faith. It is about traitors who are actively engaged in battle against Moslems to defeat them while disguising themselves as real Moslems and even building Mosques. The concept of Masjid Dirar in its contemporary use by the radicalized element of Islamic society is the counterpart to the cultural revolution of Madame Mao and the Stalinist purges. Masjid Dirar describes the elusive and treacherous counter revolutionary, to whom no mercy could be shown.

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