Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Prophet Muhammed didn't ban music and dance"

On Sunday, an Italian nun was murdered in Mogadishu, Somalia. This vile act was almost certainly a twisted response to the recent remarks by Pope Benedict XVI. Unfortunately, it is also part of a pattern since an Islamist movement known as the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) seized control of Mogadishu and the surrounding region:

The nun was the latest victim in a wave of slayings of both foreign workers and moderate Somali intellectuals that has coincided with the rise of the Islamic radicals.

Among them were Swedish journalist Martin Adler, who was killed in June during a demonstration in Mogadishu, and a prominent Somali peace activist, Abdulkadir Yahya Ali, who was murdered a month later. BBC journalist Kate Peyton was shot dead last year.

Somehow, I doubt these murders are a coincidence. Since seizing power, the ICU has cracked down brutally on a variety of forms of free expression. The recent censorship of a Somali radio station that dared to play love songs is just one example. This Jamestown Foundation profile of one of the ICU's leaders, Sheikh Abdulkadir Ali Omar, gives a good overview of the crackdown. Keep in mind that the Jamestown analyst considers Omar a "moderate":

It was Omar who also spoke after the courts announced a crackdown on secular entertainment spots, saying that the militias would crack down on halls that defy the order to show Western films and videos, including the 2006 Soccer World Cup. He said, "this was the courts' war against all people who show films that promote pornography, drug dealing and all forms of evil...We shall not even allow the showing of the World Cup because they corrupt the morals of our children whom we endeavor to teach the Islamic way" (The News [Pakistan], September 18). Again, when the courts on August 23 banned the export of rare animals and charcoal, Omar told the press that the decision was reached after the committee was briefed on the dangers posed by the indiscriminate cutting of the country's trees. He further told the journalists that the directive had been sent to all involved in the charcoal trade and would be enforced in all areas under ICU control.

The ICU has even announced plans to use Somalia's high schools as military training camps.

Recently, a Somali journalist named Bashir Goth published a stinging indictment of the ICU. The following passage in particular is worth quoting:

"The warlords used brute force to coerce people and the Islamists use brute religion to dehumanize people. They ban music not because it is against religion but because it is beyond their realm of control. They close cinema houses and theatre not because they spread vice but because they want to keep the people in the dark. They hide women not because Islam orders their mummification but because Islamists suffer from a masculinity problem. They think he who is not a master of his wife cannot be a master of others. Power and tyranny is their ultimate goal and tyranny should first crush and subdue the weak so the strong could tremble. Anyone who wants to see where the Islamists would like to lead Somalia should only see how they treat women, music and ideas. These three elements constitute the beauty, spirit and future of any nation. In a story published by the Islamist Qaadisiya website on the graduation of 140 women who completed a course on cooking and handicrafts at a center called Asma Bint Omair Center, reflects a glimpse of what is in store for women. Only pictures of the Islamist officials who attended the ceremony and row after row of food was shown. It seems as if the photographer tried to accentuate his frustration by showing many food items, as he was not allowed to show the faces of women for whom the ceremony was held."

As with Taliban ruled Afghanistan and Fallujah in 2004, Somalia under the ICU is yet further evidence of the totalitarian vision underlying radical Islamism.


Blogger USpace said...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe wants
music banned...

6:29 PM  

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