Far be it from the Associated Press, or in fairness, any mainstream news wire service, to portray anything contained in Islamic texts in a negative light. Here, rather, experts suppose that the Somali jihadists see that the Afghan Taliban had success with its tactics both in taking over the seat of government in 1996, and in maintaining a long-running jihad of asymmetrical warfare against NATO forces. This, they reason, is why the Somalis have apparently copied them.
But we know better. Armed jihad to impose Sharia law is not the Taliban’s invention. It is the basis and the unifying factor of all jihad. Nor are the violations of human rights and dignity that are contained in Sharia the invention of the Taliban, the Iranian mullahs, the Wahhabis, and so forth. Most of the cruel practices mentioned below come “chapter and verse” from the Qur’an, with the remainder rooted in the ahadith deemed “sound” and “reliable” in the Sunni tradition.
In other words, they are not merely “cultural” or “tribal” practices, but the Qur’an has elevated them to the status of Allah’s own commands. And that completes the picture the mainstream media cannot show in full, providing the reason why these practices are so entrenched in Islamic societies.
“Somali rebels increasingly resemble Taliban: floggings, music bans and possible al-Qaida links,” by Jason Straziuso and Mohamed Olad Hassan for the Associated Press, August 22:
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Men are forced to grow beards. Women can’t leave home without a male relative. Music, movies and watching sports on TV are banned. Limbs are chopped off as punishment, and executions by stoning have become a public spectacle.
There are other texts that duplicate these prescriptions and elaborate upon them, but these are a useful starting place:
Growing beards: Sahih (i.e., “sound,” “reliable”) Muslim 2.498-501: Muhammad commanded it. Per Qur’an 33:21, Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct.
Women’s rights: Qur’an 4:34: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them.”
Muhammad’s hostilty to music: See the Hadith Qudsi, ahadith in which Muhammad is said to transmit the commands of Allah.
Amputation: Qur’an 5:33 (waging war on Allah, spreading corruption in the land), and 5:38 (theft).
Flogging for adultery: Qur’an 24:2.
Stoning for adultery: Sahih Bukhari 8.82.816, which describes the verses of Rajam (verses about stoning) somehow going missing from the Qur’an, but affirms that Muhammad carried out stonings.
Somalia is looking more and more like Afghanistan under the Taliban — two rugged countries 2,000 miles apart, each lacking a central government, each with a hard-line Islamist militia that cows the public into submission.
Al-Shabab in Somalia and the Taliban in Afghanistan — their tactics increasingly mirror each other. Those tactics worked for the Taliban until the U.S. invasion overthrew it in 2001, and now they are making a comeback. Meanwhile, al-Shabab has gained control over large swaths of this arid Horn of Africa country.
In the latest adoption of tactics long used by the Afghan militants, al-Shabab is ordering households in southern Somalia to contribute a boy to the militants’ ranks. Childless families have to pay al-Shabab $50 a month. That’s Somalia’s per capita income.
An al-Shabab commander attributed the shared tactics and ideology to the fact that both groups follow a strict form of Islam.
Indeed, and to the uninitiated, the fact that the two groups, thousands of miles removed from one another, have managed to “misunderstand” Islam so similarly, must seem remarkable.
“One more thing we deeply share is the hatred of infidels,” the commander, Abu Dayib, told The Associated Press.
Some experts say the similarities are no accident.
“Al-Shabab is copying exactly whatever the Taliban was doing in the late 1990s, because they think the strategies the Taliban employed in Afghanistan were successful,” said Vahid Mujdeh, the Afghan author of a book on the Taliban. “There is no doubt that the Taliban are like heroes for al-Shabab.”…
But there is, obviously, so much more to it than that.