Somali Islamist group opposes Osama invite

Sunday April 11 2010



Moderate Islamists in Somalia have rejected the invite to the leader of terror group al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden by radical Islamists to the wartorn country.

The Council of Ahlu Sunna wal-Jamea, a moderate Islamist group of Sufis that has been fighting the radical Islamists, namely al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam vowed to oppose the visit.

A week ago, Moalim Hashi Mohamed Farah, Hizbu Islam’s boss in Mogadishu said his movement would invite Osama bin Laden to Somalia. His justification was that all Muslims shared one land and all were committed to wage jihad (holy war) whether in Palestine, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Somalia and other hotspots.

Turbulent history

But, in a statement, the Ahlu Sunna’s council scoffed at the invitation of bin Laden to Somalia. “Inviting a man with turbulent history to our country is a sign of insanity,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdullahi Abdurahman Abu Yusuf Al-qadi, the spokesman of Ahlu Sunna group in Central Somalia, has said that the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Voice of America could establish media centres in the areas controlled by the group.

Ahlu Sunna was reacting to a ban imposed on the British and American services by al Shabaab, arguably the strongest anti-government movement in Somalia.

Sheikh Abu Yusuf Al-qadi condemned the ban and confiscation of properties belonging to the BBC by al Shabaab.

By the same token, the Transitional Federal Government has today condemned the banning of the broadcasting services.

Dahir Mohamud Ghelle, the Minister for Information labelled al Shabaab’s act as gross abuse against press freedom. He called the media as entities rendering service to the public. He told the local media to feel free to establish broadcasting units in the parts of Mogadishu controlled by the TFG.

“We welcome the BBC and VOA and other media houses abused by the radical Islamists to set up stations in the parts controlled by the government,” stated Minister Ghelle, the TFG’s Minister for Information in Mogadishu.

Through a statement from the information office on Friday, al Shabaab banned the BBC and VOA to broadcast in Somalia (parts controlled by the radical Islamists). The BBC was especially singled out as being propagandist and operating in manners against the establishment of Islamic state in Somalia.