updated 7:33 AM MST, Nov 17, 2017

The massacre at the National Theatre should not disrupt the momentum for peace

  • Published in Opinion

by Muuse Yuusuf
Anyone who reads my articles knows that I am not an admirer of Al-Shabaab and their political ideology. Indeed, through my articles on Secularism for Somalia Forever (SSF), I am one of those voices that have been critical of this cult’s efforts in introducing Wahabiya-style Sharia in Somalia. I am glad this cult’s days in power are now numbered. Certainly, gone are those days when they stoned women to death for adultery, cut off limbs for stealing a few hundred dollars, intimidated people by labelling them as heretics, and bragged about implementing Sharia in Somalia, a secular country.

Just to remind the reader, it was not that long ago when a 13-old girl, a rape victim, was stoned to death in Kismayo by this cult for alleged adultery. Reports had it that the girl was stoned to death while she was crying and begging for mercy,  and what makes the whole story sad and heart-breaking is that she had already reported three men had raped her. This barbaric act stirred strong emotions throughout the world, especially Somalis who have never been subjected to such awful acts of violence for alleged adultery, a secular country where women and men intermingle and their traditional way of life helps them resolve their human conflict, including their domestic and family life where material compensation or mediation between families can save an adulterer’s life from stoning them to death.

The massacre at the National Theatre is a classic example of the cult’s desperation to regain power and their endless efforts to disrupt the unstoppable momentum for reconciliation and peace process that is sweeping across Somalia.  By targeting an important even to support Somalia’s participation in the forthcoming Olympic games in London, shows the true colours of the cult, which is to destroy any thing to do with secular education, arts and sports, some of the few things that can bring people together. Remember how the cult’s suicide bombers killed many innocent people, including medical students, at the Shamo Hotel massacre in Mogadishu in 2009? And do not forget to remember those innocent students and their families who were butchered by this sadistic cult in 2011 while preparing for their scholarships in Turkey

The cult’s latest act of barbarism can only be described as the last kick of a dying horse as articulated by Dr. Abdiweli Gaas, the prime minister. Indeed, hardly a day passes by without TFG/AMISOM forces gaining control of some towns and cities, particularly Bay and Bakool regions where the powerful Mukhtar Roobow, known with his Arabic pseudonym, Abu Mansur, has been controlling since 2008.  He is now on the run, probably disguising as a farmer or as a woman wearing the Burgah, a tactic that the cult’s suicide bombers have been using to execute their heinous crimes against the Somali people. The in-fighting within the cult is well-known and it is only a matter of time before serious fighting erupts in its wings.

Now, the question is then how to defeat this cult not only militarily but also psychologically? The answer is simple. The Somali people particularly the TFG should not be intimidated by these acts of barbarism; instead they should re-double their efforts in winning the hearts and minds of the Somali people by organising and holding more events like the one at National Theatre as an act of defiance, and also by implementing developmental and humanitarian projects to prove to the cult that no matter what they do, they cannot disrupt the ongoing progress towards peace and prosperity in Somalia. For example, the TFG should immediately and without delay undertake a construction project to restore the building of the National Theatre to its glorious days when it was home for our nation’s arts and politics.

Believe it or not, the great National Theatre once hosted important socio-political events that entertained great dignitaries, statesmen and leaders from across the globe. This once beautiful building is one of the few remaining Mogadishu’s landmarks, while other great buildings, such as Mogadishu’s Catholic Cathedral, which was a simple of tolerant and secular Somalia, was destroyed by Wahabiya-inspired Islamic fundamentalists with the same mentality as this cult of death. Indeed, one of the master-minders of the destruction of the cathedral was the late Aden Hashi Farah "Ayrow”, one of the founders of Al-Shabaab, who was killed by an American airstrike on 1 May 2008.

In conclusion, unless and until we Somalis unite together to defeat this cult of death, it is likely that its leaders will drag our nation back to the middle ages when religious intolerance and bigotry will be the norm, when peoples’ limbs will be cut off for stealing a few hundreds dollars, and when women adulterers will be stoned to death. Should this be allowed to happen in Somalia, our tolerant and secular nation?  I leave the answer to this question to the reader’s imagination.

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