Advertisement

City of Brass

City of Brass

The day the music died in Somalia

The grip of the Islamist group Al Shabab tightens on Somalia.

Most radio stations in Somalia have stopped playing music, on the orders of Islamist Hizbul-Islam insurgents who say that songs are un-Islamic.

The stations said they had to comply with the ban as if they did not, they would be putting their lives at risk.

The BBC correspondent in Somalia says this latest order has strong echoes of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In the past, militants in some areas have banned watching films and football and made men’s beards compulsory.

Somalia has not had a functioning central government since 1991 and the Islamist militants control large parts of its territory.

Advertisement

The transitional government – backed by African Union troops and UN funds – controls only a small part of the capital, Mogadishu.

The silver lining, as the BBC reporter mentions, is that these are exactly the kind of heavy-haned tactics that lead to resentment among the people, and start to take the gloss off the righteous allure of these Islamist movements.

Howeer, the parallels to the Taliban’s rise in Afghanistan are meaningful and deliberate. Of course, that led directly to 9-11. Iraq is no longer hospitable to Al Qaeda, and Afghanistan will be increasingly less so if everything goes to plan. Eventually, global jihadis are going to be looking for an alternate host, and Somalia is coming along quite nicely in that regard. The Al Shabab group has already established formal ties:

Advertisement

The militant group al Shabaab said it would ally with al Qaeda in a drive to establish an Islamic state in Somalia and fight for Muslims across East Africa, offering a fresh test for U.S.-backed African peacekeepers struggling to defend a weak Somali government.

In a statement Monday, the group said it had agreed, among other things, “to connect the horn of Africa jihad to the one led by al Qaeda and its leader Sheikh Osama Bin Laden.” The statement, written in Somali and Arabic, is believed to be the first explicit confirmation of what U.S. and Somali government have long suspected: Militants in one of Africa’s least stable places are sharing resources and merging agendas.

It isn’t clear whether this new resolution will result in funding or training from al Qaeda, or even if it will lead to an official endorsement from the global terror group. At the very least, the statement signals a tightening embrace with foreign fighters who have been supporting al Shabaab’s efforts to topple the Somali government.

Advertisement

The cooperation also could spur Somali militants to assist al Qaeda elsewhere. Al Shabaab has sent fighters to Afghanistan to train with al Qaeda, according to the Somali government. Al Shabaab recently pledged to send fighters across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen, where al Qaeda is active.

I fear that as Afghanistan became our new focus as Iraq wound down, we may found our attention forced to Somalia as Afghanistan winds down. And of course there’s the pirate problem… but that one at least doesn’t require a land war.

(See the ongoing coverage of Somalia at Talk Islam)

Advertisement
Comments read comments(2)
post a comment
Concerned Somali

posted April 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm


Unlike Al Shabaab, pirates actually started out of a good cause. Although I don’t condone their actions, we must not overlook the toxic waste being dumped into the ocean near Somalia affecting newborns, as well as adults.Initially they were there to ward off these countries (China, European countries, etc) that illegally dump their waste into Somalia. Overtime they just became greedy and started only care about money. Al Shabaab on the other hand I don’t understand and I believe it completely contradicts Islamic teachings, unfortunately I am personally sad to see my parents’ country, as well as my second home becoming day by day like Afghanistan. It was sad to see this fate for brothers and sisters there, now its Somalia. I won’t be surprised to see the US invade Somalia, but I pray that never happens.



report abuse
 

interpreter

posted April 14, 2010 at 10:58 am


The 7th head of the beast is popping up evrywhere.



report abuse
 



Previous Posts

Obama quoted my letter about my daughter
This is a guest post by Ali Asghar Alibhai. There is no question that the America my generation grew up in is much different than the America of now. I grew up in West Texas, a place that some might consider as among the most conservative in ...

posted 1:30:00pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

Who was Saudi Shi'a Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr?
Yesterday, the Saudi government executed the Shi'a cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, as an enemy of the state. His ...

posted 2:12:32pm Jan. 03, 2016 | read full post »

Hijab Wars
It's fundamentally problematic for a man to weigh in on hijab. That hasn't stopped me from wading into the topic before (see: The Burka and the Bikini), but the only conversation of substance that can happen on the topic is between Muslim women, ...

posted 3:13:28am Dec. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Misquoted verses in the Qur'an (and the Bible)
This is a popular graphic that makes the ruonds on Facebook from time to time, so I thought I'd publish it here for reference. These five verses are among the most common ones that Islamophobes use to justify arguments that Muslims are evil ...

posted 12:15:12pm Dec. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Trump, the cartoon enemy
It needs to be said - that Trump is a symptom, not a disease. There has been a GOP War on Muslims for years, and despite heroic efforts by Republican Muslim Americans to sway opinion, the bottom line is that Muslim hatred is a prerequisite for ...

posted 12:50:28pm Dec. 11, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.