That’s what the jihad is all about: Imposing Islamic law, by all possible means. Somalia Jihad Update. “Somali Islamists seize town, impose Islamic law,” by Mohamed Olad Hassan and Katharine Houreld for the Associated Press, November 13:
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Advancing ever closer to Somalia’s beleaguered capital, heavily armed Islamic fighters declared Thursday they will use strict Muslim rules to bring their lawless Horn of Africa country back under control.
The latest conquest by Islamic forces came late Wednesday in Elasha, 10 miles from the capital of Mogadishu. Thousands of people who have fled a bloody, two-year insurgency are living there in flimsy huts made of sticks and plastic tarp.
Islamic fighters now control most of southern and central Somalia, with the crucial exceptions of Mogadishu and Baidoa, where the parliament for Somalia’s weak, U.N.-backed government sits.
Further complicating the situation, Ethiopia, which has backed Somalia in its fight against the groups, has pulled back from some positions as part of a peace deal with moderate Islamists. The Ethiopian regime says it wants to withdraw, but others believe it has calculated that an occupation of Somalia is better than having a radical Islamist regime next door.
The insurgents, who are fighting to enforce Shariah law in Somalia, are not a homogenous group. Al-Shabab, which the U.S. considers a terror group because of its leaders’ alleged links to al-Qaida, controls the most territory. Elasha, however, was taken over by more moderate fighters.
Wouldn’t it have been useful if the article’s writers provided details on precisely how this crop of jihadists is “more moderate?” Anyway, it is telling that they accept this next line without qualification or criticism:
“Our fighters have taken the control of the area to provide security for the displaced people” suffering under the constant fighting, said Abdirahin Isse Adow, a spokesman for the Islamist forces in Elasha.
As noted here, the jihadists will only allow peace and security to take hold on their terms. Then, if they get their way, they will take credit for pushing the “only” agenda that could bring “order” to society.
In contrast, al-Shabab in recent weeks has carried out a public execution by stoning “” reportedly of a 13-year-old gang rape victim “” and lashings of alleged thieves.
“We inform you that from today on, all areas under our control will be ruled by Islam,” Shabab commander Sheik Abukar told residents of Merka on Thursday, one day after taking over the key port town without firing a shot. “We will change the behavior of the youth here.”
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew a socialist dictator and turned their clan-based militias on each other. The battles have devastated the impoverished nation “” half the population is expected to be dependent on food aid by the end of the year.
“We have no means and power to deploy our army all over the country,” Somalia’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Said Dheere told The Associated Press. “We have, therefore, confined our army only to strategic stations in Mogadishu and Baidoa.”…