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Union of Islamic Courts
By Safi
Last edited: Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Posted: Monday, May 21, 2007

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When the Union of Islamic Courts first appeared on the Somali political horizon, many Somalis, including myself, were overjoyed. This was a genuine feeling shared by all those who truly hoped and prayed to see in their lifetime a purified Somalia. Unfortunately, our hopes for a better, healthier Somalia were soon dashed.

Sadly, by a mere donning of the ghutrah (head-covering) we witnessed former anarchists, murderers, and thugs ushered in as Mujahidiin! It was at this point that people began to wonder about the Courts’ credibility. And it was at this point that I was jolted out of my pleasant anticipations. A rude awakening! And to have thought the Courts were Allah’s gift to the long suffering people of our nation! Cheated and heartbroken, the country once again plunged deep into yet another round of hopelessness. Somalia’s sorrow can not be summed up in a few lines, however, the following lines should give a glimpse of the heartache I personally felt at the realization that ‘the men of God’ were anything but mindful, being as keen for the world as their ignorant counterparts.

Brokenhearted Somalia!
The adversary within
chafes from without
The enemy without
Assails from within.
At the periphery
Somalia is once again
Waved in the Souq.
It’s not even a question
Of ‘either this’ or ‘that’
Every Jahil*  is imbued
with folklores all of them
Power-lust robed
In whatever costume
Adorns the mounted.
A courteous nightingale
His mate in season
Looking her worst
Heartbroken Somalia
Into the limelight
Limbs paralyzed
Heartbroken Somalia
Is once again waved;
Thrust upon winds
Savoring no change.
There are times
I wish I were
Far removed from
The maddening laughter
Moons away from the moans
Lost to the wiles:
Where tears on my brow
wrestle with the gaping wound
And entertainment is
Possible only by the funeral pyre;
where the ghosts of hell
Gild the killing fields.
There are times I wish
I were a roaring ocean
So as to toss overboard
The scum caught on my sails.

Up till then, my thoughts were tilting towards the bright side, excited for Somalia and for our people: Enthusiasm and hope for the future filled the air, as is clearly evident in these few lines:

Heavenly hug
Happily joins
Cohesive parts
Interwoven needs
Needing no coercion
Heavenly love.
Mercy kissed
Falling in love
With the mother soil
Heaven held.
Nontoxic jokes
No more pokes
Poise in our votes
Freshly doused Flowers
Shimmering, adoring
Falling in love
With the heavenly hold.
Heavenly hug
Happily joins
Cohesive parts
Interwoven needs
Needing no coercion
Heavenly love.

Unfortunately, as gullible folks, including myself, lined the pavements to sing their praises, the Courts lost their head, threw caution to the winds, and thereby lost a golden opportunity.

Somalis have this terrible habit of painting everyone with the same brush, so bear with me when I talk about the ‘Courts’, no doubt some within the ranks were victims of circumstances, others might’ve been oblivious to where the Courts’ priorities lay. The Courts we are concerned with here are the so called ‘Union of Islamic Courts’ who are standing in the way of our nation’s resuscitation, much in the same way the ignorant warlords had done in their day.

The best clothing we learn in the Quran, is that of Taqwa (God-consciousness) now let’s see how the Courts’ head-covering had fared in hapless Somalia, and how that helped unravel all the good the Courts might’ve done up till that point in time:

-By allowing themselves the luxury of being hailed as ‘the-powerful’ the learned Courts forgot themselves.  And Allah alone is All Powerful.

-By assuming the title of Islamic Courts when justice was not to be on the agenda for the poor Muslims whose territories were invaded by former killers and ghutra clad thieves.

-By arrogantly breaking promises they made and going back on their word again and again, even though our Deen is built on trust and goodwill.

-By arrogantly appointing themselves as Somalia’s legitimate judges when they themselves had been part of the problem for sixteen long years.

-By arrogantly disdaining the ‘weak’ government and refusing it entry into the capital, as though the capital was the lost property of the Courts alone.

-By disturbing and unsettling the hard earned peace in peaceful areas, and forgetting to their demise, that it was Mogadishu and Mogadishu alone that kept this country apart for so long, and that it was Mogadishu and Mogadishu alone that needed to be tamed.

-By blinding themselves to Mogadishu’s past sins against the nation as a whole, the Courts not only lied to themselves about our recent history but they double crossed our nation.

-Fooling themselves and gullible people around the world into believing that they ‘saved Somalia’, when the opposite was true , and thereby taking credit for something they didn’t do.

I know many will throw tantrums at this, but the Courts brought Ethiopia to Somalia. By their sheer ignorance of world politics (where yesterday’s enemy can soon become a bosom friend and vice versa), the Islamic Courts extended a warm welcome to Meles Zenawi. Far from being God-fearing citizens of the soil, the Courts had forced the hand of a Christian nation to come to the rescue of a Muslim nation.

Whether we like it or not, what Meles Zenawi had done is save us poor Muslims from our Islamic brethren whose main occupation today would’ve amounted to nothing more than flogging girls and women in the dirty streets of Somalia, i.e. if Zenawi didn’t come when he did.

If that wasn’t the case then what other plans did the Courts have for Somalia? They had six months of control in the South, but what did they do that wasn’t already done in the North? Ok they brought some semblance of order to an already tired city, but what else did they do with their time and opportunity? They did prosper in the midst of anarchy for sixteen long years; inheriting our nation's capital and the nation's fertile regions while the rest of the country had to start from scratch. Yet, not a word of apology did we hear from the Islamic Courts, nor did they take time off from their lucrative businesses to give a second thought either to the displaced folks of the South or to the nation on whose demise they built their empire.   

For the sake of argument, and I know this is not the first time this same subject was raised, but I too would like to ask, if the implementation of the Sharia in Somalia is indeed what the Courts really had in mind for Somalia, then what’s preventing them now from forming an all inclusive Islamic party that represents all Somalis instead of stuffing children in military fatigue?

The Interim Government as we all know is a temporary solution,  if the Courts truly are concerned about Somalia, shouldn’t they be in the forefront in seeking a peaceful solution to their nation’s misery? As it is, the Courts have evolved into a huge liability, whose main aim seems to center around mindless destruction. And no where do we see a viable Plan; all we see is exploitation, catastrophic explosions, and brainless brawls on Al Jazeera networks.

In the meantime, as it was the last 16 years, the whole world is laughing at us poor Somalis, throwing crumbs at us and calling us pirates while the real pirates are stealing from our seas and waters in broad daylight. Whilst we flounder in our wretchedness our vast ocean has become a free for all territory for any thief who can put together a fishing boat.

Thanks to our denseness, from International Media to foolish narrow-interest wardens to (Aid Organizations-

everyone is having a field day at the expense of our nation. No one, it seems, wants to see a nation called Somalia on the world map again. All the world desires, excepting our good neighbors, it seems, is a wretched territory whose people are scattered far and wide and whose remains can offer entertainment to the world.

I invite the Courts and their misguided mouthpieces to ponder on the above newsweek article (and there are many where that came from) and see what they are doing to their country and people. Let’s face it, we’ve become the day’s wandering Jews, our women and children are begging in the world’s darkest corners, and as we speak they risk rape and humiliation, just because our people are hell bent on incurring Allah’s wrath; if we haven’t done so already.

It’s most unfortunate, but Somalis in Diaspora are just as guilty, unwittingly, doing exactly what the accursed Satan is best at; arrogance and rebellion, adding to and perpetuating their nation’s misery. And we say Ethiopia is our enemy, while the deadliest Enemy, the most sinister Enemy Somalia has is Somalis themselves. If Somalis were smart people, and if they were bani-Adam (humane) they would put aside their silly differences, that way they would not only be able to get back their rights from their neighbors, but they would be empowered to turn their neighbors into friends, instead of righting them off as eternal enemies (as Africa's enemy would have them do); while, ironically, we (Somalis) are no nearer to each other than the neighbors we are made to hate; plain hypocrisy, isn’t it?

For the benefit of those who blame everyone else but themselves, I say this to you, the only enmity that’s written on rock is the one Allah mentioned in the Holy Quran. Satan.

To conclude, believers command the good and forbid the evil, in that capacity, I invite all Somalis, and this is not limited to the Courts, but to all who are involved in bleeding this nation to permanent death, and this must include everyone, active sinner, cheerleader, and apathetic bystander, I invite you all to stop in your tracks and ponder for a minute what we are throwing away, Allah's support and mercy, that's what we are throwing away. And if we are not careful, He the Almighty has the ability to replace us with people who love Him and whom He loves. And when He intends a thing, it's kun! fa ya kun! Be! And it is!. Make no mistake, hatred for your fellowman has no place in the heart of a believer.

Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him, said (what means):
'Help your brother whether he is oppressed, or is the oppressor. The companions wondered, 'we understand ya rasululah, how to help our oppressed brother, but how can we help him when he is the oppressor?'

Allah’s Messenger replied: \\''Prevent him from wrong doing.\\''

The above are the author’s thoughts as per today, for the benefit of those who will rush to doubt the author’s sincerity, I invite you all to walk with me the difficult transitions of my journey, from frustration to hope and prayers, and from hope and prayers to frustration and disillusion. For your convenience, I’ve cut and pasted a few writings that I hope will satisfy your curiosity. I ask Allah to forgive me if I over stepped the limits of justice and propriety and pray for peace and prosperity for our people. Wabillahi Tawfiq wal Hidaya.

Safi Abdi

Poem on first fight: Warlords versus Islamists:
Blog: American deception:
Blog: In support of the Islamic Courts:

Hope and prayers: Poem: The Hamari embrace:
Hope and prayers: Poem: Fault me Not
Hope and prayers: Poem: Heavenly Hug:
Hope tinged with fears and worries for the motherland:


Reader Reviews for "Union of Islamic Courts"

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Reviewed by bashir mohamed (Reader)
The word jihad signifies for most muslims a spiritual struggle.
You can struggle for elimination of poverty
You can struggle fopr education
you can struggle for health and sanitation.
you can struggle for something very positive in life.
now to call jihad their acts of terrorism is either reflective of lack of understanding Islam or I may say it is unfortunetely a misuse which is agian a bad thing.
Reviewed by m j hollingshead
enjoyed the read
Reviewed by Jibril Mohamed
I agree with Amina. The Union of Islamic Courts were far away from perfect. However, we were able to learn a few things from them:
1. The general Somali public are good citizens who are ready for peace and stability. When all the militiamen in Mogadishu were recruited by the courts, everybody was at peace. People were willing to take instructions from the court leaders without fail. Afterall, we are not bad people on individual basis but our social fabric is broken.
2. It was an experiment which showed that it is just the militia men and their leaders are the ones that were detrimental to any attempt to bring law and order in Somalia, specially Mogadishu. These militiamen regrouped in the name of Islamic Courts and were able to stablise Mogadishu and surrounding areas by joining hands. They failed when they decided to expand their territory by waging war to other regions far and wide out of greed to control economic resources such as seaports.
3. Force is the only way to bring peace in Somalia. The courts showed this when they interfered with everything including simple things like watching soccer. President Abdullahi Yusuf followed them suit and used force to stablise Mogadishu when the supporters of the courts and anarchists decided to make the city unsafe and ungovernable. He succeeded.
4. Anyone who tries to use the name of God and Islam for unjust causes id doomed to fail.

One problem that is faced by every Somali leader is triblism. The courts fell prey to this killer disease. They considered themselves superior after winning the support of one tribe. I hope the transitional government does not make the same mistake by pooling forces from a selection of clans. As of now, the government has a diverse picture. I hope success, peace and prosperity for my beloved motherland.

Thank you Ukht Safi once again. Xayaak Allaah.

Thank you Safi for this article. I ask Allah
Reviewed by amina dahir (Reader)
Safi i commend you for sharing. As a Somali woman myself i go through periods of hope and resentment for our state. The arrival of the Union of Islamic Courts was seen by many Somalis as a breath of fresh air initially but that was short-lived. Union of Islamic Courts as far as i am concerned are nothing but chameleons that have changed their skins but possess the same currupted spirit.
Reviewed by Randall Barfield
I bleed for you and your nation in this age of sadness. I hope it will be temporal. I hope Allah will move and pronounce as is needed.

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