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Reply To The Article Titled: ''Security Threat To Somaliland From Islamic Courts'' By Rashid Nur
Saeed H Osman, London, UK
First of all, I would like to acknowledge to our readers that I am not one of those people who comment what other people generally write or say about Somaliland because every one of us entitled to air their own views, but at the same time we bear in mind the consequences of provocative manners to other people, even if it not serious one. I think people should remember if they criticize others and choose to go offensive, then they must also expect steadfast response. Therefore, a word of caution, even though we are free to choose our own pathways, we should remember, it’s always easier for us to create enemies than we are wining new friends, therefore I think, people should think twice before they embark on a false as well as damaging revelation. Indeed, if we plan to write anything, I believe it must be beneficial for our community, otherwise it would only result personality damage and humiliation.
Now for me the reason I choose to reply to the author today is to question his motives of the above-mentioned article he wrote few days ago, which I thought, was unjustifiable fantasy. I truly astonished to see irresponsible letter claiming that terrorism and Al-qa'eeda is in fact at large and present in Somaliland second largest city (the Buroa city). I strongly refute the author claim, as it has no the slightest truth in it whatsoever and I call it a daylight dream. It’s really surprising to see accusation of that level on entire region indiscriminately, and the fact of the matter is this; the letter was meant to undermine the people of Somaliland in that region of the country. I thought the author could have made valuable arguments if he directly took the initiative to approach the Sheikh himself since he was just away a one phone call to established the fact from fictions without speculating anything or deliberately pointing finger to anyone.
I think, these kind of provocative manners are inappropriate in these circumstances where Somaliland needs every little support from our surrounding neighbors including the Islamic Courts, even the president Rayaale made for the first time a cautious statement that I thought was right thing to do. I also thought it was really well planned and deliberate backstabbing attempt on Buroa city and the whole Somaliland nation reputation in broader sense to say terrorism is present in our cities.
I have tried to make sense of the letter published by the author, but unfortunately it was all negative aspects, with no one single positive outcome other than to demonize the case of Somaliland domestically, as well as internationally by stating clearly that Alqa’eeda real in Somaliland and present in our homes and cities, and also to give ammunitions and home made evidence to our enemy as nation since we know now they are searching so hard argument like this to paint so badly the image of Somaliland in the eyes of our enemy.
About the sheikh and his connection with Dahir Aweys:
Firstly and foremost, I would like people to understand that I am not a Sheikh Ali Wasame speaker or his representative in that matter. I know the sheikh is just a spiritual leader and one of the finest Islamic scholars in Somaliland. I didn’t know or heard anyone disputing about the depth of his knowledge when it comes to Islam and religion matters. I think having someone like him should be seen in Somaliland as an assets not the opposite. At the time when the Islamic winds sweeping the whole globe, I believe, people like the sheikh Ali Warsame could be valuable assets for our nation. I think as Muslim nation we ought to celebrate as mentioned that the sheikh is influential leader and surely people like him should have been drafted into our use and as role model and should not be seen as threat otherwise we encouraging him to act against Somaliland.
The Sheikh Ali Warsame is also has an immediate family connection with the Dahir Aweys but it shouldn’t been read as political connection because its not. The Sheikh Ali Warsame is actually married to Dahir Aweys sister and that makes them brothers. Now if the sheikh travel to see his in laws does that mean he’s a member of the Islamic Courts? I have made a little research about the sheikh in trying to understand your simplistic version of terrorism, however, everyone I asked questions specially, those very close to the sheikh rejected your indulgence of terrorism. Of course you correctly said the sheikh is influential, and I am glad you rightly said so, but what is that got to do with the terrorism? I asked question many people who are close to the sheikh, and they told me that sheikh Ali Warsame has never show the symptoms that he has an office ambitions just like many of us today, in fact he is seeking a higher office that no human can reward him which is ‘’Janah’’. To my knowledge he has no Ego’s to be a political leader now or in the long run.
The author mentioned that the two men met previously in Holy city of Mecca when they were in the Haj. For example if anyone of us meet his or her in laws who happen to be leader of organization or maybe living in another region does that constitute terrorism, or mean we are up to something and terrorist? Should we be suspicious about every private family meeting? More importantly, its wise that we should use our common sense and worked out whether the situation is warrant for us to suspect when there was no risk at all in the first place, and there isn’t smoke at all. We need to understand that when two prominent figures meet and its purely based on a family matters just as these two, and this accident which was a private and family gathering, people should respect and value the individual rights and indemnity. This is also part of our religion, culture and tradition for us to value family’s affairs, freedom and privacy of individuals. I think author failed to distinguish the difference between personal and family relationship from that motivated political agenda. The author fail again to differentiate private visits from that mentioned in the letter with the unfounded false accusations translated into imminent and high risk matters as if the sheikh was/were about to attack the Somaliland when he happens to be in Haj as part of his duties to his god. Now its unbelievable to many people I spoke about the misinformation of the public and leveling people just in simplistic approach as he suggested and that should stop.
I thought it would have been also less controversial argument if the authors questioned the president Rayaale motives when he made comments in public that the government of Somaliland had contacts and ongoing discussions with the Butcher Abdillahi Yusuf. Shouldn’t we be more concerned about the president motives rather than the sheikh Ali Warsame? Shouldn’t we more interested to find out what is going on behind the closed door, and I am referring here to the finance mister of Somaliland, who was self appointed before even Adna Adan dismissed from the post of foreign ministry to liaise with Abdillahi Yusuf foreign appointed cabinet? The Minster also admitted openly his regular meetings with Col Abdillahi Yusuf and his ministers. Now put that into the context, and let the wider public of Somaliland be the judge, who is in fault and who is in collusion course with the wider interest of Somaliland; our government and president Rayaale or sheikh Ali Warsame and their verdict is in the public domain not secret.
More alarmingly, I thought as many people did, the author was playing in the hands of those who wish to see our country disintegrated further and further. We know well the Col Abdillahi Yusuf will use these rhetoric’s from our own sources, to get aid and support for his non-functioning crumpling government by claiming Somaliland was as a safe heaven for terrorism when we all know and very clear that the opposite is true which means no terrorism in Somaliland and whoever said that was in a day light dream, and the author had no clue about Somaliland family tie framework.
The other grave mistake made by the author was this; he omitted the long history of Somaliland, and our longest struggle that lasted 25 odd years which can not be a white wash as the author may thought or wished for some unknown reason. We know the life of Somaliland didn’t start in 1991, with the president Ibrahim Egal, and I know perfectly why few people don’t feel comfortable about the whole history of the nation and with the SNM and so the majority of Somaliland people too. Therefore, its convenient and easier for them to reflect only the aftermath of SNM and 1990’s ignoring the genocide planned by Gen Said Bare, but nevertheless, their history of Somaliland begun the 1991 and post war period and that is perfectly understandable.
I also would like to say few words about the Islamic courts in southern Somalia and why the general public do not share with the risk mentioned by the author that they will conquer Somaliland. We as nation have made our choice, and decided that Somaliland is better off as sovereign state regardless what others may think. If so unless the majority of the nation chooses to abandon the idea of Somaliland, which I think its likelihood is not in the horizons, I think one or two persons shouldn’t be our concern even if the author wrong assessment was correct. Therefore, the majority of the public of Somaliland praises for those seeking to establish a peaceful government in Somalia whether they are an Islamic courts or otherwise, so long they would stabilize Somalia and would like to create a lasting peace, we congratulate them not condemning them for much of their bravery, because for a long time the Somali people have suffered under dictatorships and gang leaders simultaneously. I think it’s about the time peace and tranquility was established in Somalia because the poor people deserve peaceful life just like Somaliland and any other nation. I wonder why should we as Somalilanders worry about if that is their objectives, especially when our neighboring country is becoming a prosper and stable state; I believe stable Somalia can benefit and contribute to Somaliland in many ways. So why and what is the panic and I would like to share the reason with the author if possible?
Unfortunately, the writer made big fuzz about the Islamic Courts, and the polarization of the immediate risks he mentioned in the letter when the international community as well as the independent organizations praised the role of Islamic Courts in Somalia. Indeed, we understand clearly that the western governments are looking ways to work with the Islamic Courts, because they are free of corruptions and malpractices. Its also fact and force to reckon with, and for that obvious reason will stay there in the long run whether we as Somalilanders like it or not. Also its perhaps important matter to evaluate in a governmental and political parties level, whether we see the Islamic Courts as risk or opportunity, but surely in the ways described by the author of the of this letter Mr. Rashid.
Anyone can see the fabrication, the untruth and false accusation of the sheikh Ali Warsame, after all, the author fail to mention the much danger posed by the gangs he blandly support, which is the enemy within Somaliland. The author understand perfectly well about the danger and risk facing Somaliland but he ignored for some reason or another, and for that matter the Rayaale administration poses high risk not the Sheik Ali Warsame that you wrongly identified.
Therefore, I think it would have been a brave action, if the author chooses to apologize fully for his explicitly claim of trying to tarnish the good image of Buroa region as well as to the good images of the sheikh Ali Warsame. Its for certain that the author words doesn’t reach beyond the Somaliland web pages, but still, I think trying something is just like doing, isn’t that truer?
Finally, in my humble opinion, I think the people of Somaliland must remember what is happening in Mogadishu should not be our first priority. Although its important to be vigilant and well informed about the region fragile security, we should concentrate our efforts to find ways of legitimizing our new elected parliament, warning the house of elders and president Rayaale to reverse the unsolicited mandate extension of the Guurti. Therefore I thought the author should be worry about what is happening in our government yards not Mogadishu as immediate threat and looming risk.