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Support Democracy & Reject Political Form Of Islamic Sharia Law In Somaliland

ISSUE 255
Front Page
Index
Headlines

Security Council Approves African Protection Force To Be Deployed In TFG Stronghold

Somaliland Government And World Bank Agree To Co-operate

Hargeysa Judicial Court Acquits ‘Hassan Dahir Aweys’ of Terrorism

'Heavy Fighting' In Somali Town

Islamic Courts snubs UN resolution

Hargeysa police arrest Abdillahi Makawi

UCID Warns Rayale’s Government To ‘Wakeup’

SOPRI’s 'Goodwill Mission To Somaliland' Delegation Arrives Today In Hargeysa

Regional Affairs

Uganda Ready To Send Peacekeepers To Somalia

Somalia Official Issues Beheading Threat

Editorial
Special Report

International News

Feingold, Coleman Fault Bush Policy On Somalia

Democracy Promotion: The European Way

Jendayi Frazer Is Making Mistakes And Enemies For The U.S.

Rapist Asylum Seeker Due Damages

U.N. Security Council OKs Somalia Forces

Analyst Says Negatives Outweigh Positives In UN Somalia Resolution

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Somalia: The Ethiopia Factor in the Rise of the Union of Islamic Courts

The Time Is Now For A U.S. Africa Command

Africa Insight: Storm Clouds Over Somalia As Rivals Prepare For Battle

Security Council Approves African Protection, Training Mission In Somalia

Seattle Islamic Quiz

Somaliland Fact Sheet - Dec 2006

Food for thought

Opinions

Support Democracy & Reject Political Form Of Islamic Sharia Law In Somaliland

Fallout From The UN-Approved Peace Keeping In Somalia

THE DYNAMICS OF THE FLUX

Somaliland And Islamic Courts

The Anti-Somaliland Conference In Virginia: A Spent Force Running After A Mirage

The Stupidity Of Our Voting Public Never Ceases To Astound Me

Somaliland By Ahmed Aw Gedi

How to Perform the Rituals of Hajj and Umrah


By Rashid Nur, USA

To support democracy is straight forward message and does not need further explanation. What does it meant to reject political form of Islamic Sharia Law? It means you are simply rejecting to give the religious leaders an opportunity to deny the rights of the people to elect their own leaders. You reject to give exclusive authority to religious leaders to decide the future of the country and to define the rights of the people; instead of the people collectively exercising their right to choose their own leaders.

Support for Islamic Courts in Somaliland started to show with small number of conservative religious community who publicly demonstrated to pledge their support, burned the daily newspaper Haatuf in Buroa for being critical of Islamic Courts in Mogadishu, organized press conferences and have issued press releases that called on President Dahir Rayale to follow the Islamic Sharia Law. Last week there was a meeting in Buroa that was attended by more than 200 persons. The meeting concluded with a resolution that declares the community will follow Islamic Sharia Law, called on other Somaliland communities to follow their example, and created a committee of 71 members. The committee was tasked to implement Islamic Sharia Law in Buroa. The government arrested him the next day. The Somaliland politicians reacted in various ways to respond to his arrest, some called for his unconditional release and condemned the manner in which he was arrested, others called for his release without any accusations against the government. There were not many supporters for government action. Today, the Minister of Defense publicly admitted at press conference that two members of the Somaliland army have deserted their position and escaped to join the Islamic Courts.

One can look at all of these mounting evidence and say none of it really means serious threat against Somaliland, that Rashid Nur is exaggerating the level of threat. The same person can also call the timing of all of these events as purely circumstantial. He might also mention that Somaliland people are traditionally religious and this message from Islamic Courts means nothing to them. He will also remind you that the flag of Somaliland states one of the pillars of Islam and the government corruption, illiteracy, lack of health care, and poverty poses more dangers than the message from Islamic Courts to adopt a government that follows the political form of Islamic Sharia Law. Unfortunately none of these responses from this person can explain to you why these events are happening in Somaliland with alarming regularity and all the signs of the growing support for conservative religious groups, whose sole agenda is to establish Islamic Sharia Law in Somaliland by denying the people the right to elect their own leaders through the ballot box and by throwing away the constitution that received 97% approval from the voters.

The Somaliland people in general and Somaliland Diaspora in particular have a choice to make; They have to choose between Islamic Sharia Law as political system or constitutional democracy as political system (the people have always believed Islam and they will continue to believe Islam until they die). This is not a question about faith and religion, but rather it is a question about what form of government the people would like to have in Somaliland. The question is what kind of political system would you like to see in Somaliland for centuries to come. My views are known, but I’m detecting the Somaliland Diaspora, while most of them enjoy the benefits of constitutional democracy in their own adopted countries, are not prepared to speak up to defend democracy and reject publicly the message from Islamic Courts to see Islamic Sharia Law in Somaliland. I’m amazed to see that Somaliland Diaspora is hesitating to stand up for supporting democracy and rejecting Islamic Sharia Law as a political form; rejecting Islamic Sharia Law as political form means you are simply rejecting the religious leaders to deny the rights of the people to elect their own leaders.

If you disagree with me that there is eminent and significant security threat for Somaliland from the conservative religious community today; and that you believe the level of this threat is really from negligible to small; then surely you must admit the right thing to do now is to eliminate this negligible threat (in your own words) before it becomes strong enough that Somaliland will no longer be able to defeat it on its own, a good example of that is what is happening in Somalia today. The Diaspora wants to see Somaliland remain democratic society, but they are uncomfortable to reject Islamic Sharia Law as political model. It just makes them uncomfortable to reject Islamic Sharia Law because it is not easy for people in Somaliland (who never had the opportunity to live a society where the religion is separated from government) to articulate the difference between practicing faith in the Mosque or at home and to have religion in the government. If the Diaspora finds it so had to support it what do you expect from Somaliland people who on a daily basis suffer from government corruption, unfulfilled government promises, extreme poverty, high illiteracy, poor health care, and above all young democracy, which did not build strong roots in the minds of the people yet.

I’m convinced this problem is bigger than what the government can solve on its own, in fact it is bigger than what the politicians (all of them together) can solve, if we have any chance of winning this battle Somaliland must be united as a nation to stand up for democracy and explicitly state their desire to see democracy flourish in Somaliland. It will help if the politicians show the people real reforms in the government and help the people overcome some of their daily challenges. The government must make a difference in the lives of the people and unfortunately that has not happened in Somaliland yet. If the government, the opposition, the Diaspora, and the people in Somaliland do not protect democracy now, by rejecting political form of Islamic Sharia Law, they’ll be forced to defend it one day in the future against more formidable enemy. If the conservative religious leaders have their way most of the politicians will not be candidates for an office; because they lack sufficient religious credentials, so it would be helpful to see some level of self-preservation effort on the part of the politicians, both in the government and in the opposition, by uniting to support democracy in Somaliland.

This type of problem is not one that politicians can take leadership role to solve on their own, because it comes with heavy political price tag. It requires independent group (commission) to recommend a solution. Hence the natural group to take leadership is the Diaspora, who benefited significantly from living in a democratic society.

rgaruf@msn.com


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