Somalia: Are Somali Americans snared victims of Al Shabab or Terrorist?

Published: August 19, 2010

Are Somali Americans snared victims of Al Shabab or Terrorist?
Dr.Yusuf O. Al-Azhari

By Dr.Yusuf O. Al-Azhari
There has been recently, highly promulgated row on finding few Somali Americans who were prosecuted as being sympathetic to Al Shabab terrorist group. The US Justice Department and the FBI, announced that four separate indictments were unsealed in the District of Minnesota, the Southern District of Alabama and the Southern District of California charging 14 individuals with terrorism violations for providing services, money and personnel to the foreign terrorist organization al-Shabaab.

To find sympathizers among the hundreds of thousands of loyal honest devoted Somali American citizens would not be surprising. One of the reasons why would it not amaze any one is tracking back the history why Somalia became a failed State, shade better light and evince facts to comprehend the root causes of who is a Terrorism in Somalia, than the un-dissected prompt conclusions reached by the US security authority, to state in collective manner, “Somalis have to chose between being good citizens or end up in American prisons…”. Such psychologically despairing statements by highly responsible organs of the America Security are not conducive in the sense of protecting the rights of the great majority of Somali Americans who are more devoted citizens than some who have been in the United State for centuries.
While every country has the prerogative to secure its Nation, both morally and legally, from evil intending Terrorist that may cause disastrous and painful pogrom to its civilians, simultaneously the State authorities are equally obliged to safe guard the unity, equality and Nationhood pattern without rebutting any sector in a collective manner. Discerning the devoted good citizens from those few snared evilly engrossed is quintessential to prevent further decent with in the implicated society. Making collective implicit accusations are the worst weapon the evil mongers are yearning for to disintegrate any unified guild.
I am aware like most good American citizens that the absolute majority of the Somali Americans are staunch citizens who serve their new country stalwartly. Most of the educated elite hold very high positions in the academic field where a large number of them became Deans of their Faculties providing diligent sincere lectures to educate thousands of students in famous American Universities. Would it be proper, hence, to such devoted lecturers and elite to feel they are suspects because of few trapped misguided individual and have to choose between being good citizens or end up in America jails? Parallel to this thousands who sweat and toil day and night to gain their daily bread while contributing to the America economy who are entirely deaf to pursue any other political syndrome outside their routine job, deserve to hear appreciations rather than such implicating statements. There is no doubt that criminals must be brought to justice and there should be no leniency towards them. Equally the good Somali citizens must have the privileges of trust and embracement as assiduous Americans which they rightly deserve.
It is normal and perceivable for some to ponder over their lost dear country after the Somali State crumpled due to years of sewing disintegrating inauspicious vagaries among the various Clans, creating atmosphere of miss trust and hatred which ignited a Clan sponsored civil war. The infusion of antagonism among the Clans as foes was the basic principle that created the present fiasco which factually promoted and fortified Terrorism in Somalia. This occurrence lead us to acknowledge the existence of individuals obsessed with deep Clan hatred which sneak into the US or other countries and could easily mobilized from the weak and refute individuals of the society to enroll with the Terrorists for vengeance. Further more Al Shabab has jus declared to accelerate attacks on America interests in the Horn of Africa. If the United State Government is determined to eliminate Al Shabab and Terrorism ones and for all, it is pertinent that they go to the dale of the Terrorist where all the evil acts are masterminded and the plan to execute the needed painful pogrom emanates, which is inside Somalia instead of fishing for less significant individuals around the world.
The weakness of Al Shabab, not to succeed to win the hearts and mind of the Somali public is apparent. And that is mainly due to their adoption of an alien culture which is incompatible with the hereditary traditional way of life pursued by the Somali people. Parallel to that they forcefully tried to introduce a Religious cult that contradicts the sunny Shafii faith which constitutes a strong basic spiritual principal for all Somalis who unequivocally adhere to it. Eighty percent of the Somali populations are natural nomads and while they pursue their sunny Shafii denomination they tend to be less dogmatic Religious fundamentalists. As a result Al Shabab has no firm ground to build on, spiritually or otherwise to further their domination of Somalia. The main power remaining for them now is the munificent chip in by the Salafiya multi millionaires Sheikhs and the lack of capacity honest leadership that would fight them with the same tactic as theirs and liberate the country from the shams of evil Terrorist tyranny and foreign ideology. I believe that we Somalis given the necessary support could lead the country out its present mess and start the clock tick again from where it stopped in 1990. That is if we sincerely get listening ears from the International Communities and at its head the US government.
Islam has never been a factor of dispute in Somalia prior to the appearance of Al Shabab. It has always been practiced and protected individually by all Somalis and by the National Constitution, while the system of Governance was allowed to progress like in any other trendy Islamic countries, in this century of scientific technology. Imposing a sixteenth century despotic Islamic rule in Somalia is neither logical nor acceptable by the absolute majority of the Somalis. Islam should be strengthened and all must be given the right to worship which should be guaranteed by the Government and the Nation. Similarly the government Institution should function in a free and contemporary manner as was stipulated by the 1960 Democratic Constitution with amendments here and there to be compatible to the Somali culture and present political structure.
The paramount remedy to overcome the impasse and resolve the political quagmire, we need to sincerely cure the Clan disintegration to stabilize the situation in Somalia. Duped individual alliance with the Terrorist would continue to popup here and there for years to come unless strong government of National Unity is ensconced. The core solution to establish such good governance, therefore, rests mainly on a transparent and honest Reconciliation between the two major clans of Darood and Hawiye without which there will never be any tangible peace. The Darood Clan never had any major conflict with the other major Somali Clans who are peace loving and clean from distractive motives. Restoring peace to Somalia would not only eliminate the chaos in the country but would greatly contribute to the world stability and enhance peaceful coexistence between the Somali Diasporas and Nations of the countries of their choice.
In this foregone conclusions despite not doubt whatsoever of the pride and passion of the Somali Americans to become good citizens of this bless land of plenty of opportunities, yet most of them acquired such citizenship for the first time and their attachment to the root mother land are still fresh in their memories, which understandably is a natural human phenomenon in the science of psychology. It is therefore pertinent if they want to surmount any future implications to assimilate more with their fellow citizens which will greatly improve their acquiescence as Americans in their quest to their Audacity of Hope; by follow the shining example set by President Barack Obama who proved as a first generation Afro-American to hold the highest office in the United State. Consequently Somali Americans would not be less astute to hold, one day, that office or other important positions in this great country of Freedom and Equality for all.
The writer is veteran Civil Servant and career Diplomat.

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