Somalia: Al Qaeda Fan is The Man


June 27, 2006: The Islamic Courts plan to demonstrate their application of Islamic Law in Mogadishu by having five accused rapists stoned to death.

June 25, 2006: The Islamic Courts called on the African Union to help keep foreign troops (peacekeepers) out of Somalia. The Transitional Government (which represents a still formidable coalition of warlord and tribal militias) continues to call for foreign peacekeepers. The Islamic Courts blames Somalia's problems on foreigners, especially Ethiopia and the United States.

June 24, 2006: Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who is on a U.S. watch list as a suspected al Qaeda member, was appointed to lead of the Islamic Courts Union. At the same time, the name, "Islamic Courts Union" was changed to the " Somali Supreme Islamic Courts Council". Sheikh Aweys believes Somalia should be a religious dictatorship, run by clerics who will interpret the application of Islamic law. Sheikh Aweys believes democracy is incompatible with Islam. However, the number of people in the ruling council of the Islamic Courts was expanded, to prevent a civil war among sub-groups that do not agree with each other on many important points.

June 22, 2006: A Swedish journalist in Mogadishu was shot dead while covering a rally by Islamic conservatives. The killer walked up behind the victim, fired, and then fled the scene. The Islamic Courts later blamed foreigners for the killing. There were other Western journalists at the rally as well. Somalia has long been considered too dangerous for foreign journalists, and most of the reporting was done by Somalis working for foreign news organizations.

June 22, 2006: Several hundred moderate Moslems demonstrated against the Islamic Courts in Mogadishu. There was no violence. Meanwhile, the Islamic Courts and the Transitional Government signed a truce and agreed to negotiate their differences.


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