Monthly Archives: October 2013

Al-Shabaab’s Nairobi Mall Attack Tied to “Disastrous American Foreign Policy in Somalia”

It’s my simple assertion that the recent attacks in Nairobi are yet again another reaction that are tied to a disastrous western foreign policy in Africa, where violence simply begets violence.

What’s so fascinating about the reporting on the reactions to the War OF Terror, is the way almost all of it ignores history, as if it is a conflict happening in another time.

The recent attacks in Kenya are a case in point. In the wake of this tragic event, we have been deluged by a wave of terror experts that warn us about yet another dark mediaeval movement that harbours incomprehensible fanatics who want to destroy the West.

In our simplified media, with its sound bite driven propaganda culture, little to no context is given as to why people resort to such violent acts.

But it’s only when you start looking into “the West’s” foreign policy in East Africa over the last twenty years, that you can begin to form the context into which you can build a truer and fuller construct around.

This is yet again another reaction tied to a disastrous western foreign policy.

Jeremy Scahill, author of “Dirty Wars” talks about Al-Shabaab’s Nairobi mall rampage and its ties to “disastrous” western meddling in Somalia.

In the early 2000′s, the Bush administration made a disastrous decision to put all these warlords on the CIA payroll, they named them the “Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter Terrorism” in Somalia and Kenya.

This group was used as an assassination squad.

Most terrorism experts said there were no more than a dozen individuals linked to Al-Qaeda in Somalia after 9/11.

So the CIA hires these warlords to ostensibly hunt these people down, but instead they end up murdering vast numbers of people who were Imams or religious scholars, and in some cases they would literally chop people’s heads off and bring them to their American CIA liaisons, saying “this is so and so and I’ve killed them”.

What you had was an utterly ruthless and thuggish collection of CIA sponsored warlords murdering people at the behest of the CIA.

These actions sparked a revolt against the warlords, with coalitions of religious figures across Somalia forming “The Islamic Courts Union”, which consisted of twelve regional sharia based courts that had imposed law and order in their own respective areas, coming together to form one united body, pooling their resources to overthrow the CIA warlords in Mogadishu.

When the Islamic Courts Union took Mogadishu, overthrowing the CIA backed warlords, they in turn imposed a brutal but effective form of governance in Mogadishu. Effective in the sense that it stabilised the city, crime rates plummeted and they reopened the ports.

Almost everyone apart from the Bush era administration would agree that it was the only moment since Siad Barre’s regime fell in 1991 that there had been anything resembling stability in Mogadishu. The CIA had been kicked out and the Islamic Courts Union was in control.

The US then partners with the Ethiopian dictatorship and Ethiopia launches an overt invasion into Somalia to overthrow the Islamic Courts Union.

Once the proxy war had succeeded, JSOC, America’s Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA use the cover of this overt invasion to go in and start hunting down and assassinating the leaders of the Islamic Courts Union.

The Islamic Courts Union is totally destroyed and Somalia returns to a state of lawlessness, brutality and civil war, coupled with the fact you now have American backed Ethiopians who are committing rape, murdering civilians, torturing people, setting up their own prison camps and rendering people back to Ethiopia.

In the midst of all this, a group of no bodies called Al-Shabaab, say ‘We will be the vanguard against the US backed Ethiopians, we will take up arms and we will defend Somalia, mixing the rhetoric of Bin Laden and Somali nationalism.’

The simple point is this, groups such as Al-Shabaab were non-players in Somalia, and it’s the American backed warlords and the overthrowing of local governments, such as the Islamic Courts Union, which ends up creating the very force that the Americans claim they were trying to fight in the first place.

A deadly self-fulfilling prophecy, where violence begets violence.

Precisely the same manner in which the chaos in Yemen today is a direct result of “the West’s” secret war forty years ago.

Since this was first written, America launched co-ordinated raids in both Libya and Somalia to grab so called “highly prized assets”. What isn’t known is how many civilians were killed in these raids and what kind of further resentment this will build from the children of those men and women killed in years to come. This won’t garner many column inches in the mainstream media.

As violence begets violence, you can expect this cyclical scenario to continue, just don’t fool yourself into believing that people carry out such acts without a reason.

This article also appeared on the MPACUK website

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Filed under Foreign Policy, Manufacturing Consent, Media Highlight of the Week

How a Muslim can avoid “Breaking Bad”

I saw this Jumma Khutbah from Shaykh Suhaib Webb, that related the TV show “Breaking Bad” with the decisions, we Muslims make.

I haven’t wrote my own Jumma Reminder for some time but after hearing this Khutbah, I wanted to share it with you all.

I watched the show Breaking Bad for years, the term itself is a colloquialism popular in the American Southwest referring to when someone has taken a turn off the path of the straight and narrow, when they’ve deviated from what’s right.

What you see with the lead character in this show, Walter White is a man that willingly abandons the light for darkness. It’s a core lesson for many of us – to have īmān and then consciously choose to take another path. Our ultimate fate is the cumulative effect of our decisions and deeds – and even if we don’t see the consequences immediately (as happens in the show), we will eventually.

Shaykh Suhaib Webb articulates the themes very well, the theology of Breaking Bad and how to avoiding becoming Walter White:

1. Understand choices – “Indeed we showed him to the way (of truth)….”

2. There is no moral neutrality – Choices breed consequences for the soul and life. “Every soul will bear its burden.”

3. Test and trials cannot be addressed with narcissism. Walter said, “For once I want a say in this,” but submission. The first leads to calamity, the second leads to futuhaat.

4. Sin and moral decline are a slow burn – don’t underestimate thoughts. Breaking bad took 5 seasons. Al-Ghazzali said, “Zina starts in the mind.” Ibn al-Qayyim said that Satan “Is forebearing; he will wait to catch you when you are weak.”

5. Trust in Allah means through the good and the bad – hardships should not be used as an excuse. “Fear Allah wherever you are.” Wherever you are means you physical, spiritual and mental states must be aware that, “At least you know God see you!”

6. Understand the value of the Hereafter vs. This life. If that is there, Walter will never exist. “Paradise is surrounded by difficulties.”

7. Sins are a slippery slope – once you fall in, it is hard to get out. Walter got better and still sold meth. In the Qu’ran we find the story of people whose boat was rocked by a storm and “supplicated to God in earnest” but, when they were saved, “Ran through the earth in insolence.”

8. Blessings can be curses if they are not met with a renewed commitment to God. Walter’s wealth is a curse as is health and other niam. It is not so much about what, buy who it is used. Even the Qur’an can be a potential threat to a person, “The Qur’an is a proof for you or against you.” Hadith

Moral decline is based on a few things – often intangibles – Fear, Illness, Doubt and Desires. Fight them with knowledge, ihsan, love good friends (Walter was a loner and Jesse needs loves), and understanding the value of the Hereafter.

The following formula plays out in our lives every day: Fear and Fear (of God) or Fear and (love of God) or Fear (of God) and Love of this life happen everyday in our lives. Clean hearts are able to see through that and make choices based on divine teachings and a good support system,

The theology of Breaking bad is a lesson in how a person can lose his moral compass by making a series of choices that are rooted in fear.

On a final note, the fatalism of breaking bad is problematic. Some folks do evil and do not see it in this life. Walter continues to get worse. Some folks do good and don’t see it. The unseen and how a person is addressed in this world is rooted in the divine knowledge. Fatalism is not a means to measure Good or evil. The book and the sunna are!

In my thoughts and Duah’s as always.

Your brother……Akh

The full article can be read on the MuslimMatters website

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