This is the story of a man who was a potential victim to the Al Shabab. Mr. Farah was a local man of Mogadishu. He had lost his son and was in desperate search to find him. Farah had visited a local police station and asked the policemen if they had seen his son. The police told him they did not, but would let him know if they got information. Farah left the police station with a tiny hope that his son would be found. A few days passed and no word had come from the police. Farah decided to visit several other police stations in the city. All the police stations told him they had no information about the missing boy, but when they did find out they would let him know. Unknown to Mr. Farah, Al Shabab had been monitoring his visits to the police stations for several days. They believed he was affiliated with the government and he was giving them secret information. With that in mind, they decided to eliminate him. He was marked for death that was to be carried out during Farah’s attendance for a prayer in the local mosque.
Four Alshabab gunmen armed with pistols were given orders to kill Farah. Two of them were in the Mosque with Farah, while the other two waited outside in case he wasn’t killed in the Mosque. Right after the prayer, Farah asked the Imam if he could make a public announcement about his missing son. He stood in front of the congregation and explained he had been searching for his son for several weeks. He went into detail about visiting several police stations in the city and asked everyone to help him find his son. Upon hearing this, the would-be killers realized that Farah was a desperate father looking for his missing son. They discovered that the mission to kill him was flawed. The gunmen had a change of heart and cautioned themselves from carrying the order they were given. After Farah completed his announcement, the two armed men in the mosque approached him and told him they had orders to shoot him that day because they assumed he had been working for the government. The hit men had to contact their commander to explain the situation so that they can spare his life. It took a bit of time to get a word back from their boss. Finally, Farah was free to go.
This story illustrates the true face of the so-called Alshabab which distorted the message of Islam as a religion of peace. These people defamed our religion and portrayed Islam incorrectly. The time has come to recuperate our understanding of the changes in our society and also in the misrepresentations of our religion. Whether it is a splinter group of Alshabab, or other unknown groups, the killing of innocent civilians must stop. It is unacceptable to hold people’s lives to such a low standard. These killings are criminal acts that only further exacerbate the hope for peace and reconciliation. Somalia is under siege. We have watched for more than eighteen years as different factions sought to dismantle our country and now our faith. We need to stand up and reclaim Somalia not only for our generation, but also for the coming generations.
Abdulkadir K. Dirie High School Science Teacher Toronto, Canada Email: firstname.lastname@example.org