Too little, too late for Somalia -
Monday, March 15, 2010
The conference convened by the Global Centre of Renewal and Guidance (GCRG) under the auspices of the Islamic scholar Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayah and was attended by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed the President of Somalia, the United Nations Special Representative to Somalia Ahmadou Ould Abdullah and Abdullah Alim, Deputy-Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Conferences (OIC).
Prominent international Islamic scholars and figures also in attendance included Amr Khaled (the foremost anti-extremist tele-preacher in the Arab world), Shaykh Habib Ali Jifri and Dr Abdullah Omar Nassief. Scholars from Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Yemen, Libya and UAE were also present.
The religious declaration is significant because:
- The scholars represented at the conference have global Islamic influence representing major Muslim organisations and movements with millions of followers across the world.
- This is the first global religious declaration on the issue of Somalia.
- It directly challenges and undermines the religious justification for violence that is used by extremists in Somalia (and globally).
- The declaration emphatically condemns all forms of terrorism including the horrific inter-Muslim violence in Somalia. It makes unequivocally clear that terrorists are destined for hellfire.
- It makes clear that obeying legitimate state authority is an Islamic obligation. This principle applies in Somalia where the current Somali TFG government is based on the consensus of the Somali people and recognised by the international community.
- It is a religious obligation to recognise the legitimate authority of the government. Any legitimate dissent must be through dialogue and discussion. Islam categorically condemns dissent through any form of violence, murder and subversion.
- The current violence in Somalia is against the Somali people and its government and cannot be considered to be a jihad.
A spokesperson for the conference said:
“This declaration is groundbreaking and is a highly significant move towards eradicating the religious justifications by Islamist extremists used not only to destroy Somalia but to murder civilians across the world. Extremist clerics have supported killing of civilians without impunity. We have seen the result of this extremist religious discourse in the havoc and destruction in Somalia. We are confident that today’s religious declaration by leading mainstream global Islamic scholars and figures will emphatically challenge and undermine the religious justification used to murder civilians and which has brought instability to countries such as Somalia.”
Note to Editors:
GCRG is a leading Global Islamic think-tank and institution which seeks to directly address global issues and challenges.
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