Paul Lachine

A Thousand Fatwas for Somalia

The latest outrage by the Somali jihadist group al-Shabaab – a truck bombing in Mogadishu that killed more than 100 people – should spur the Islamic world to action. What the Muslims should provide, aside from more aid, is intense pressure on al-Shabaab, in the form of fatwas from every corner of the faith.

WASHINGTON, DC – The latest outrage by the Somali jihadist group al-Shabaab – a truck bombing in Mogadishu that killed more than 100 people, targeting students lined up for news about scholarships to Turkey – has produced condemnation from the United Nations, Western states, the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), and Somali civic groups.

That makes no difference at all. Al-Shabaab’s leadership wears criticism from the West like a badge of honor. As for the Somali people, al-Shabaab treats them like cannon fodder, and uses their country as a platform for jihad and as a base for a small financial empire based on extortion and environmentally rapacious charcoal exports.

Most of al-Shabaab’s fighters are forced conscripts – young boys offered up by frightened, destitute households in lieu of taxes. Worst of all is its shocking handling of the massive famine now taking place in southern Somalia.

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