This was reported in the Shabelle Media Network. "The Arab League has reacted to criticisms from the officials of Somalia's defeated Union of Islamic Courts. Early this week, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, the chairman of the Courts in Eritrea condemned the League for supporting the transitional government and ignoring the human rights violations by thousands of Ethiopian troops in war-ravaged Somalia.According to Asharqalawsat, the Arabic newspaper based in Britain, a senior Arab diplomat who was named denied the accusation, indicating that the Arab organization overlooked only people who care nothing about peace". [http://www.shabelle.net]
I must say that I am disappointed more by the innocence shown by the political leadership of the Union of Islamic Courts than the historic betrayal of the people of Somalia by the politically impotent The Arab League.! The Arab league has no power to shape the course of history in the Arab world. So why was the leadership of the UIC expecting that the Arab League has the power to support the people of Somalia? Having said that, itís an undisputed fact that the UIC is the only entity with the necessary qualifications to carry out a nationalist struggle for the re-liberation of Somalia. However, it is my well considered view that their greatest mistake has been, and still is, allying this indigenous movement with the Arab culture and Arabism.
We are Muslims but we are not Arabs. That does not mean we are against the Arab people. Far from it. We need to make links with the other liberation struggles in the Arab world, and elsewhere, rather than passively seeking the support of useless entities such as the Arab League. Thus, it is pertinent that the UIC reconsiders its strategy for the re-liberation of Somalia.
Today, we are witnessing a neo-colonial takeover of Somalia; yet we cannot deny that Somali men are participating in the destruction of their own country. So far, clanism has been identified as the enemy. As a result, it has been argued that if we overcome clanism all will be well, again! I think, this is very simplistic view.
Today in Somalia, we are witnessing men acting as Hyenas, as scavengers. These Somali men have no dignity or shame. They openly loot ordinary citizens and kill and maim the weakest in their society. What is missing from this picture of death and destruction, looting, raping, and maiming is the voice of the Somali women. When we see images of Somali women in Somali run media [controlled almost all of them by Somali men]; these women are often positioned as victims: victims of rape, displacement and killing and maiming. Often, we do not see active Somali women in position of power and authority.
Whether it is by the warlords or the Islamists, Somali women have disappeared from the scene as active participants in the political struggle for Somalia. Seven years ago, I wrote an essay about the historic link between European colonial conquest of Africa and European violence against the African women [http://www.polis.sciencespobordeaux.fr ]. In it, I have offered a well supported argument on how western colonial conquest of Africa has been predicated on western violence against African women.
Today, we are witnessing a neocolonial collusion between western powers and Somali/Ethiopian men directed at Somali women and their children. This shows a continuation of western colonial violence against African women. [http://www.trinicenter.com]. Thus, if it has to assume the position of a nationalist organization for the liberation of Somalia, it is paramount that the UIC seeks to gain a broader national support. That means the UIC Must enlist the support of Somali women. This requires that the leadership of the UIC give Somali women a voice and place in the decision making process.
The warlords represent forces of sickness in Somali society. It is pertinent to link the moral decay of the warlords with their corporeal decay brought about by years of chewing Khat. These drug addled Hyenas- the Somali warlords- have infected the Somali national bodypolitic with the seeds of cultural, political and moral destruction and decay.
One of the distinguishing characters between religious oriented Somali men and those who are under the sway of the warlords is their physical appearance. While Islamists often appear physically fit, upright and healthy, almost all the warlords have deeply stained teeth caused by years of chewing khat. Almost all the warlord leaders have visible bellies [from lack of exercise],
stooping upper body and little legs which cannot hold their extended heavy bellies in place. These corporeal signs of deformities of the warlords are the visible signs of their inner moral decay. Their daily primary preoccupations revolve around to how to obtain the next marduuf of khat.
Banning the commercial trafficking of khat into Somalia was one of the wisest political decisions made by the UIC. It is no accident that the first thing the warlords and their Ethiopian backers did, upon assuming power, was to left the ban against the importation of khat coming from Ethiopia to Somalia. The massive inflow of khat coming from Ethiopia and Kenya to Somalia and the lawlessness in Somalia are linked. This is no accident.
The decision to ban khat is the clear example of the Islamists deeper sociological understanding of the sources of malaise in Somali society. Consequently, the restoration of Somaliaís healthy national body requires the defeat of the drug-addled warlords and their Ethiopian backers. The best way to do this is a nationalist struggle.
By Amina Mire (Faculty), Department of Sociology and Anthropology of Carleton University, Ottawa Canada Email: email@example.com