Somali Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys has called for a peaceful interior spiritual struggle that will move the hearts of Ethiopian troops to leave Somalia. What’s that? That’s not what he means by “jihad”? He wants Somalis to make war on Ethiopia? What are you, some kind of Islamophobe?
And yes, he did say “jihad,” translated here by AP as “holy war” without explanation.
“Somali militant urges holy war on Ethiopia,” from AP, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
BAIDOA, Somalia – Somalia’s top Islamic leader called Friday for a holy war against Ethiopia to drive out troops the largely Christian nation sent to protect the internationally backed Somali government.
The radical Islamic forces control more of Somalia than the government, and have made clear they consider themselves the legitimate authority in the country.
Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, in an angry radio broadcast, said Ethiopia deployed troops to the government’s base in Baidoa, 150 miles northwest of Mogadishu, to bolster what he described as a puppet regime.
He said President Abdullahi Yusuf, his longtime rival, has “been a servant of Ethiopia for a long time.”
“I am calling on the Somali people to wage a holy war against Ethiopians in Baidoa,” said Aweys, who is accused by the U.S. government of ties to al-Qaida. “They came to protect a government which they set up to advance their interests.”
“We must defend our sovereignty,” he declared on Radio Shabelle.
The Islamic group organized anti-Ethiopia demonstrations Friday in the capital, Mogadishu, and militiamen shot dead two people who joined a daring counter-demonstration.
Residents of Baidoa reported seeing hundreds of Ethiopian troops, in uniform and in marked armored vehicles, entering the city on Thursday and taking up positions around President Yusuf’s compound….
The United States has accused the Supreme Islamic Courts Council of links to al-Qaida that include sheltering suspects in the deadly 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In a recent Internet posting, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden urged Somalis to support the militants and warned nations not to send troops here.
The Islamic militia has installed strict religious courts, sparking fears it will become a Taliban-style regime.