And will it really bring peace? The government has capitulated to the jihadists by imposing Islamic law — that, after all, is the fundamental aim of jihad. In doing so, it has submitted to the notion that “only” sharia can bring law and order — in other words, that peace can only be achieved on the jihadists’ terms.
What lies ahead is the question that generates tension (often leading to violence) under every Islamic government, even more or less nominal ones: How much sharia is enough sharia? Since there is no concept of limited power when the legislative source is said to be Allah’s own commands, there will always be the impulse to impose sharia more strictly when it is politically expedient, as it is right now. That brings two consequences: A tyrannical government, and the prospect of upheaval over whether it is tyrannical enough.
“Somali cabinet backs Sharia plan,” from BBC News, March 10:
The cabinet in Somalia has endorsed a proposal by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to implement Islamic law in the country.
Experts say the move aims to drain support for radical Islamist guerrillas who now control much of southern and central Somalia.
The bill is expected to go before parliament in the next few days.
The move came as the Somali president began a three-day visit to Burundi, which has peacekeepers in Somalia.
“The cabinet members discussed deeply on the issue regarding the Islamic Sharia law and the members unanimously approved full implementation,” said Somali Information Minister Farhan Ali Mohamoud, according to AFP news agency.
“Islamic Sharia is the only option to get solutions for the problems in this country.”
Last month, the president agreed to proposals by local and foreign religious leaders for a truce with hardline Islamists and the implementation of Sharia law.
Sheikh Sharif, a former moderate rebel leader, was elected in January following a UN-brokered peace process.
But hardline Islamist insurgent groups like al-Shabab have continued to battle the government and its allies.