Somali leaders held an international conference last week hosted by the British Foreign Office. The conference was attended by Hilary Clinton, David Cameron and the Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali. You may well wonder how such a conference about Somalia, a war torn East African country just emerging from famine could attract the world leaders of invasion, occupation, colonisation and experts on killing Muslims, well you wonder only until the word OIL is mentioned.
Somalian people have suffered terribly since 1991 when civil war broke out and they have been without a stable government almost ever since. In fact the one time of peace and stability they had was when the Union of Islamic Courts took control, however, America is ever unable to allow peace to reign where any government uses Islam and Shariah as the rule of law, so it twisted the arm of the Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi to invade Somalia when he didn’t want to, read the cables on Wikileaks here and the bloodshed resumed.
In June 2011 the United Nations declared famine for the first time in 27 years, in two areas of Somalia, this would later increase to six areas. Some of my humanitarian worker friends went out to Mogadishu with the Turkish aid charity I.H.H. Millions of people were displaced, many flooded into camps in Kenya, others walked to Mogadishu although it is reported that one in five people died on route. In August 2011 Recep Erdogan the Turkish Prime Minister with his wife and family paid a visit to Mogadishu pledging millions of dollars in aid and promising that the people of Turkey would not leave or let the Somali people down. The famine was declared officially over in February 2012.
Much has been written about Al Shabbab the youth of Somalia and their desire to bring Shariah law to the people. They have beheaded people who apostated to Christianity, apparently after giving them a trial where they had the chance to return to Islam. Also reported are that Al Shabbab will not allow music, football and chewing Qat (a mild narcotic) read about it in this report of an interview with a man who lives in an Al Shabbab town by choice and who says that security and peace reign in the Al Shabbab area.
I really wonder if we Muslims ever learn, I mean just how can any person of logic invite the Western powers into their country? The U.S.A. is already killing al Shabbab by drones from bases in Ethiopia, the Seychelles and Djibouti. I would love to ask the Somalian leaders to show me when ever the western powers have brought a lasting peace to any Muslim land. There is a long list of failed invasions, occupations and general western meddling in countries politics as testimony to how western intervention failed to bring peace and only brought blood shed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Palestine, Iran what more evidence do we need?
Inviting an army of non Muslims to kill brothers in Islam is doomed to failure. Help should be sought from fellow Muslims, perhaps Turkey or Egypt who have scholars who could influence Al Shabbab. Why is there no dialogue between Muslim scholars and leaders with Al Shabbab? Read here the statement from Al Shabbab on the London conference.
Why is the west suddenly willing to intervene after all America suffered a huge humiliation in Somalia with the Battle of Mogadishu which is the subject of the film “Black Hawk Down”? I guess drones operated by remote control from hundreds of miles away allow them to kill others without inflicting injury to themselves yet we read almost daily of the failure of drone attacks to distinguish between civilians and so called militants in Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan. How many civilians will die in Somalia? What does America gauge an acceptable level of what they so carelessly call collateral damage? Not least to remember that American troops have behaved disgracefully on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq causing offence to Muslims worldwide cutting the fingers of dead Taliban, urinating on dead bodies and the latest Quran burning episode. Anyway, we have the reason for the west suddenly being interested in Somalia one only needs to search the words oil, and come up with a report that the U.K. is in talks with Puntland about oil. Evidently Somali leaders at the conference in London last week also promised a share of Somali resources to western powers willing to intervene.
Of course Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchins writes in the Huffington post that the London conference was right to focus on the Al Shabbab “threat” as those youths might under go training in Somalia and then come back to kills us all here. You can always rely on the people who work for think tanks such as Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohension to make sure the terror level is kept high and everyone here is afraid and subdued, without promoting fear of terrorism people like him would be out of a job. You can read here how Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion were the subjects of a report called “The Cold War On British Muslims” by Spinwatch.
Whilst I can understand that people in Somalia may be unhappy with Al Shabbab as many of them are over enthusiatic and under educated especially in how to move Somalian people towards a more Islamic way of life, it was not the way of the Prophet Mohammed p.b.u.h. to impose Islam in a brutal way and they need to learn about that, which is why I believe that Muslim scholars have a role to play in Somalia.