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The Forum > Article Comments > Silencing the watchdog > Comments

Silencing the watchdog : Comments

By Bashir Goth, published 20/10/2006

The Islamist clerics in Mogadishu have now decided to deprive the Somali people of their last window of freedom, the free press.

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Bashir, from your article ‘Silencing the watchdog’

“Despite their sweet talk and their modest demeanours, the Islamists have a grand agenda. They want to Arabise Somalia and turn it into an Islamic Emirate in the fashion of Taliban”. How do we deal with such rabid ideology, come brutal theocracy?

I'm surprised a few more activists haven’t taken up your cause, particularly in this forum. No doubt, a toothless tiger will emerge at the hint of any military interventionism, and cry foul. For certain, “[you] are paying a heavy price for being peaceful: there are no bodies of dead marines being dragged through the streets of Somaliland like there were in Mogadishu. There are no international troops to keep peace in Somaliland. We maintain our demobilisation and our peace ourselves. There are no foreigners kidnapped or no hijacks. Nothing sensational happens. It is just a very dull country that is getting on with its daily life, rebuilding.” Edna Ismail
That was back in June of this year

Your transitional government, formed in 2004 with U.N. help had hopes of restoring order. But the government never asserted much authority and the Islamic group has stepped into the power vacuum. Since sweeping to power over much of southern Somalia in June, the Islamists have banned movie viewing, publicly lashed drug users and broke up a wedding celebration because a band was playing and women and men were socializing together. They also have introduced public executions. Women are also banned from swimming “because it is against the teaching of Islam for women to mingle with men, especially while they are swimming”

An overriding concern is foreign terrorists will exploit Somalia – “vast ungoverned spaces” of East Africa will probably fall prey to Al Qaeda operatives. Amnesty International may well demand the Islamisists justify their brutal murders, as they did of General Aideed, but the posturing is likely to be in vain – merely gesticulating for peace.
Posted by relda, Saturday, 21 October 2006 10:57:34 AM
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