Thursday, June 22, 2006

Could Mogadishu Islamic Courts be eligible for the Nobel Peace Prize? - June 22, 2006 - 02:04

By Bashir Goth

If impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools as remarked by Napoleon Bonaparte, the world may see the Somali Islamist fighters of the Union of Islamic Courts in Mogadishu reversing the trend of history by turning tables on advocates of the clash of civilizations, by inventing a new meaning for the concept of Islamism and by becoming alien contenders for the Nobel peace prize.

A bizarre idea you may say and I would agree with you as long as you and I are normal people living under normal circumstances. But imagine if you live 15 years in a state of lawlessness where your day starts with death and ends with death, where your only hope in life is to return safely to your family from the shortest trip to the bakery, where you live in constant fear of an imminent rape for the womenfolk of your household, where an hour without seeing a bullet riddled corpse at your doorstep is heaven's gift, where your children's lullaby is the sound of mortar explosions and their sleeping riddles is to compete with each other on figuring out which sound belonged to which gun. Imagine if you live in a city that has been destroyed beyond recognition, where 90 per cent of your neighborhood have either been killed or have left without any hope of returning, where ruthless warlords coercion you and rob you of anything of value that you own, where your relatives, your friends, your childhood classmates have either been murdered, crippled or have died on the high seas while seeking a safer place. Imagine you live in a city where the only familiar sound you hear, reminding you of the good old days and giving you hope for the future is the prayers' call coming from your neighborhood mosque. Read on Awdalnews, Wardheernews, also read an updated version in Khaleej Times under title Making Sense of Somalia
Awdalnews - - SomaliNews
Exclusive Interview- Sheikh Sherif welcomes dialogue with Washington - June 09, 2006 - 15:55

Awdalnews Network=

MOGADISHU, 9 June 2006--Sheikh Sherif Sheikh Ahmed, Chairman of the Somali Islamic Courts Union, today welcomed a dialogue with the United States, describing the Bush Administration's willingness to talk to them as Washington's "first step towards the right direction."

"We know that a lot of wrong information has been given to the U.S. They have been fed with lies and Somalia has been portrayed to them as a threat, which is baseless," he said.

In an exclusive telephone interview with Bashir Goth of Awdalnews Network on 9th June 2006, Sheikh Sherif also explained that what happened in Mogadishu was a popular uprising and not an Islamic Courts' conquest of the capital, noting that all fighters on the Islamic Courts side were natives of Mogadishu and there were rarely any other Somalis among their ranks let alone foreign elements.

He denied having called for the establishment of an Islamic State in Somalia and said that the Islamic Courts had no intention of forcing women to adhere to strict Islamic dress code.

"People are Muslims but no one forces them to do anything. It is a personal obligation and the person has to adhere to it by his own," he said.

He expressed his delight at the achievements of the people of Somaliland, saying that their secession was due to mistakes committed against them in the past.

"I congratulate the Somaliland people, they have worked hard. They are people we love; they are Somali people. Somaliland's secession was due to mistakes that happened in the past. For our part, we would like these mistakes to be addressed. We believe they are the first people concerned with this issue because their property, their wealth and their blood are in the soil.," Sheikh Sherif said. Read more and on afrol