Thursday, April 12, 2007

Advice To Cabdale Faarah Sigad

Advice to Cabdale Faarah Sigad
Prof. Cabdisalam Yassin Mohamed

I read an article written by Cabdale Faarah Sigad in the Somaliland electronic press today. The article was entitled, "SNM a State Within a State". I also read another article by Cabdale, which he wrote last year, having the same vitriolic tone which he uses to criticize the SNM. I did not respond to his vitriol last year, as I thought that they were the words of an angry opponent who could have been wronged by some SNM people. But I will this year, as his bitter criticism and abusive language has become a yearly occurrence that coincides with the commemoration of the founding of SNM.

Cabdale is angry, extremely angry, vengeful, and bitter towards the SNM. He may have a good reason to feel so towards SNM, or he may simply be expressing his prejudices against it. Which ever the case may be, Cabdale, I would like to give you an advice as a fellow Muslim, a fellow countryman, and a fellow human being.

Harboring bitter feelings and prejudices and insulting those against whom you have complaints is not Islamic, Somali, or even for that matter proper human behavior. Allah (SWT) tells us in Surat Al-Xujuraat: "Innamal mu'minuun ikhwa faslixuu bayna akhawaykum wa taqu Laah lacalakum turxamuun...." "...Wa la talmizuu anfusakum wa laa tanaabazuu bilalqaab..." In addition, our noble Prophet (PBUH) teaches us that, "Lays Al-Muslimu bi lacaan wa laa faxaash." Somalis also say, " Af xumo nabadna waa kaa kaxaysaa colaadna wax kama tarto." "Ragna waal wuxu ku dhaamaa ma jiro."

Cabdale, if you had any genuine personal grievances against the SNM before, you have none now, for in your own words you said, "I am proud that I fought against the SNM. They killed my men but I also took revenge. However, I was not the aggressor. I did not go to Hargeisa and Borao to fight but I fought to defend my land and my properties." If you had taken your revenge and killed SNM men as they killed your men as you say, then why do you still feel bitter and harangue the SNM once every year? When one revenges an injustice, injury, or insult one feels relieved and content. That is tit for tat, a fair play in a crude and lawless way, but nonetheless a fair play and a way of settling scores that is prevalent in many cultures including ours.

You have spared no pain to accuse and slander the SNM and its people. You called them Nazis, killer, henchmen, and crooks. "26 April (correct date though irrelevant to you is 6 April 1981) was the formation of Somali Nazis Movement group known (SNM). It was the destruction of Somaliland unity. Indeed this day is a day to remember but not they way the remaining SNM killers want us to remember."

By the way, I am one of those people that you call "the remaining SNM killers", indeed, I am one of the founders of the organization and I do not feel any remorse, nor do I think SNM in general should be remorseful as neither I nor the general organization intently harmed any person or group of people.

Cabdale, your argument is not only confused but contradictory. In the above quote you said that the founding of the SNM in 6 April 1981 was the destruction of Somaliland. Somaliland did not exist then, so how could SNM destroy it. If by Somaliland you mean Siad Barre"s regime that is something else. You said, "I have nothing but respect for the Isaac people but it is not acceptable to have a state within a state and that is what the SNM appears to be now." SNM, Cabdale does not even exist as a viable organization so how can it be a state within a state? If you constantly argue this way, I am sorry to say, but you appear to lose your senses when you hear the word SNM.

One moment you say, " whole heartedly believe that Somaliland is a sovereign country and should remain so." The next moment you say, "And if the SNM officials want a tribal state where they can have their SIYAARO then may be it time we should depart from each other." Which moment, I wonder, are you expressing your true personal feelings?

From the tone of your argument you are a Somalilander from Awdal, but your bitter opinion is only personal. Neither the tone nor the spirit of your argument reflects, in my humble opinion, the general public of Awdal. The people of Awdal are not strangers to their Isaac brothers or for that to the SNM as an organization, and if they have any grievances against them, they know the proper way to redress the wrongs and get their rights from Isaac and from SNM. There is a shared and cherished tradition to which, I presume you are oblivious.

For your information, Cabdale, SNM was not "...Isaac own organization." Yes, its rank and file and its leadership were predominantly Isaaq, but, in differing numbers, it had members of other Somali clans, including those who settle what we now call Somalia. It had members from Dhulbahante, Warsangli, Akisho, Gadabuursi, Hawiye, and even Digoodi who live in Norhtern Kenya. And it did not fight clans. It fought the regime of Said Barre many of whose supporters who were killed in the wars were Isaaq.

If during the long years of fighting, some members of SNM committed unwarranted offences against some innocent people (which happen in times of war), there are good ways or bad ways to redress that. You unfortunately chose the bad way, which is revenge, rancor, and hostility. I trust that others who have a case against the SNM, from Awdal or from anywhere else, can take the good way and claim their rights against the SNM face to face without vilifications and vile speeches.

I am not really sure if you know the serious connotations of words such as Nazism and Fascism, but if SNM or Isaaq (and for you they are synonymous in spite of your expression of respect for Isaaq) were Nazis or Fascists, they would not have allowed others to join their organization or accepted a non-Isaaq to lead them, which happened both in SNM and is now the case in Somaliland. People who subscribe to these ideologies do not accept the other.

Cabdale, this is another one of your excesses in your argument. As you said in your own words, "you had taken your revenge against the SNM", so you ought to cool down and leave us alone. That is decency and fairness in any standards. We can certainly tolerate your vituperations and those of others who feel the same as you, but it is better that we do not vilify and insult each other. If we want to complain against each other as compatriots, we do that decently and legally. I hope you will heed my brotherly advice.

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