Thursday, October 17, 2013

Aidan Hartley: How Muslim militants and Western jihadis wrecked enchanting Somalia

Al- Shabaab celebrating the Westgate attack in Somalia. They have brand new 4x4s

inland from the little Somali port of Barawe bewitched a person to come to them by banging a nail into a tree and chanting his name. ‘He comes no matter how far away he may be,’ wrote Gerald Hanley in Warriors, his unrivalled classic about Somalia — for him a place of ‘swirling sandstorms, heat and billions and billions of flies’. But I need no nail in a tree to return to Barawe, which to me is a paradise I once aimed to make my home.
I first saw Barawe from the high, red dunes of the hinterland. It glittered white against the azure Indian Ocean: beautiful houses and mosques, a colonial Italian lighthouse ringed by a necklace of surf. It was 1998 and I had never seen anywhere so exotic, populated by very light-skinned descendants of Portuguese, Arabs and Shirazis. They spoke a northern form of Swahili called Chimbalazi and were full of poetry. The perfume of incense and halwa sweetmeats drifted through sandy streets. I swam off a white sand beach and found Amharic inscriptions in the ruins of an old fort. I was made a guest at a four-storey mansion where a banquet of delicacies was prepared in the courtyard below and then hoisted up by a coconut rope on huge copper trays.
Barawe, in those days an island of beauty and sophistication amid the horrors of Somalia, was birthplace of the eponymous Sufi Sheikh Uways al-Barawi. This great religious leader promoted a tolerant form of Islam that so many Somalis still worship by today. Al-Barawi was murdered on the orders of the Mad Mullah, Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, a fanatic who fought Britain for 22 years and left nothing good except poetry extolling ultra-violence. That tension, between extremism and decency, has been played out again in Barawe’s recent history.
I noticed that some of the most delightful Bravanese houses were abandoned. I was told that clan militias had used the town as a battleground. They menaced the prominent families so much that they fled — overseas and along the Kenyan coast, where they continued to hand-weave their wonderful cloth with its geometrical designs that told a secret story. For now, Barawe was calm, and I did not want to go.
‘What if I were to live in Barawe,’ I asked. ‘What if I were to buy a house?’ ‘Certainly,’ replied my host. He revealed that the title deeds were held by the elders — in Minnesota and London’s East End. If my offer was accepted, I could settle down. The price of a very fine house was no more than £7,000. I was not the first Westerner to own a home in Barawe. My host showed me one lovely place that allegedly belonged to Graham Hancock, author of great books like Lords of Poverty.
I tried to pursue my purchase, dreaming that I might cut myself off from the outside world, learn Chimbalazi dialect and fish for yellowfin tuna. But I found myself in Yemen, and then London. One day an intricately carved camphor chest arrived on a flight, with best wishes from my host in Barawe, and this sits at home today. Meanwhile, Somalia’s civil war flared again, hiding the bright horizon of Barawe from the world once more.
A few years ago militants of Al-Shabaab seized Barawe. They murdered local inhabitants. They beat Sufi worshippers and desecrated their saints’ shrines. They imposed huge taxes on the people, denied them vaccines or poetry, music or even football. The place became a base for the most vicious of all the Al-Shabaab fighters — foreign jihadis known as the muhajireen. Some of them were probably from Britain and other western countries. In stolen lovely houses they designed suicide vests, truck bombs and massacres. In 2009 American special forces in helicopters ambushed and killed a senior al-Qa’eda leader a little way inland from the huge red dunes.
In June this year two of the nastiest factions of Al-Shabaab began liquidating each other — as they do — in Barawe’s streets and a number of foreigners went straight to hell. Up the road a few weeks ago, Omar Hammami, an American known as the ‘rapping jihadist’ because of his YouTube jingles, together with Osama al-Britani, a British bomber and allegedly father of Samatha Lewthwaite’s two younger children, also died during internecine feuding. It appears that Barawe became the place where plans were developed for the vile attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall last month.
On 5 October, special forces of the American SEAL Team 6 launched a night raid on Barawe from the ocean, in a bid to kill or capture a man they did not get. After they withdrew into the waves, Al-Shabaab took reprisals against the local population. In London, where Islamophobic arsonists burned down the Bravanese community centre in June, these moderate, civilised people must wonder what they did to deserve all of this.
This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated

No comments:

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

About Us

The Foundation is dedicated to networking like-minded Somalis opposed to the terrorist insurgency that is plaguing our beloved homeland and informing the international public at large about what is really happening throughout the Horn of Africa region.

Blog Archive

We Are Winning the War on Terrorism in Horn of Africa

The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.

Terror Free Somalia Foundation