Thursday, July 13, 2006

deja vu: Taliban Re-visited

The Saudi-owned daily said the Somali Islamic courts, like the Taliban, are 'an ignorant group taking power, and Somalia, like Afghanistan, is a country torn by civil wars.' It complained that like the Taliban, the Somali Islamic courts have started to 'whip and kill indiscriminately without taking society and its needs into consideration, where people are dying of hunger and disease.' The daily, distributed in most Arab capitals, opined the Somali courts were an exact copy of the Taliban in terms of their rise to power, their wars, policies, statements and controlling half the country. 'They arrested those celebrating weddings and killed the World Cup fans watching the games, while the people want a government that chases down the warlords and the criminal gangs, to establish stability that believes in food and medicine, not one that chases wedding celebrations and football fans.'

The unanswered question, the paper said, is the relationship between the Somali Islamic courts and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, adding that while bin Laden welcomed the courts, the latter denied any involvement with al-Qaida, 'although it speaks its language and has the movement`s characteristics.

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