What are 1,500 supporters of Islamic jihad and Sharia law doing in Minneapolis? What are the implications of this for our own national security? Why is no one with any power or influence even asking these questions?
“Area Somalis want peace for homeland: Many of the 1,500 protesters in Minneapolis were angered that the U.S. gave tacit support for ousting of Islamists,” by Liz Fedor in the Star Tribune, with thanks to CGW:
More than a thousand Somalis gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday to call for Ethiopian troops to withdraw immediately from Somalia.
Their protest capped a week in which transitional government troops retook Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, with the backing of Ethiopian infantrymen.
The U.S. government “gave the green light” to Ethiopia to work in concert with the transitional federal government in Somalia, and that action was “totally wrong,” said Hassan Mohamud.
He is the president of the Somali Institute for Peace and Justice in Minneapolis, which organized Saturday’s rally.
“We ask the president of the United States, Mr. Bush, and his administration to stop supporting the terrorists. Ethiopian troops are terrorists,” Mohamud said to a cheering crowd.
Somali men, women and children gathered Saturday morning in Peavey Park in Minneapolis, and they carried an array of signs. Some said “No more war” and “Islam is the solution.”
Lt. Rick Thomas of the Minneapolis Police Department estimated the crowd at about 1,500 people for a rally that ran for more than two hours.
Mohamud said he and other Somalis want the United States to support talks that can yield “peace and reconciliation.”
Somalia has not had a stable government in 15 years, but many attendees at the rally said that the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) had brought some peace to the country during the past six months.
When that Islamic group took over the capital in June, many people were optimistic about the future, said Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in Minneapolis.
“They brought back security,” Jamal said in a telephone interview. “We were all hoping that the moderates would be able to take the lead in the organization of the UIC. But unfortunately, the radicals hijacked the process.”
Don’t they always.
Jamal said the large Somali community in Minnesota “is divided,” adding that many local Somalis supported the overthrow of the Islamists over the past few days.
Jamal said he attended the rally as an observer….
Sadia Egal, 23, said she had been planning to visit her parents in Somalia in January. But the recent military actions prompted her to postpone the trip. She is fearful that her teenage brothers in Somalia could be killed in revenge slayings. “My dad asked them to stop going to school,” she said, so they could stay home and avoid being targets for violence.
Egal, who lives in north Minneapolis, has not returned to Somalia since she left the country with her aunt when she was 12 years old. She works as a parking attendant and interpreter and has been saving her money for six months to pay for her plane ticket.
Abdullahi Hassan, a small-business owner from Eden Prairie, said, “What brought me here [to the rally] is our country is under occupation by foreign forces.” He said the United States should support a process that would allow highly educated Somalis to find solutions to stabilize the country and build hospitals and schools that will serve the people.
Tacit U.S. approval
A member of the Somali Institute for Peace and Justice, Abdul Mohamed of Minneapolis, said the military advances last week by Ethiopian troops created “one of the worst moments in Somali history.”
Mohamed disagrees with U.S. policy in Somalia, which he said is driven by “Islamophobia.”
If anyone in the American government had any courage, they would tackle this head-on, explaining that they opposed the Somali jihadists not only because they had ties to Al-Qaeda, but because Sharia government institutionalizes discrimination against women and religious minorities and denies freedom of conscience, and is in general an outrage to the dignity of the human person. In other words, they would engage the ideological challenge posed by the global jihad by asserting the superiority of the values of the modern West, and of the civilization built on Judeo-Christian values. But they don’t dare.