By Abdirahman Mohamed Dirye
Somalilandsun – On August 25 of this year Djibouti basket players went to Hargaysa, Somaliland for friendly match.
Less than an hour of their arrival, ” Talibanized” police officers were deployed to contain unusual threat as eye witnesses were assuming—many thought de-miners were defusing landmines in nearby or Somaliland terror returnee from Somalia is on the run and he needs to be captured because passersby were told to vacate the place . There was large number of police everywhere as far as the eye can see but people finally seen the police looking at the two dudes wearing headphones and going ape.
Some people is said to invoke the police to act and arrest those players dressed in western attire, nonetheless; if those people were rational why not call the police to 20 cases of brutal murder that occurred in Hargaysa in the last month alone instead of the trivialities. Sultan Mohamed Abdiqadir ” Dhabeye” spoke of police’s negligence when it comes to murder cases. “Dozens of murder cases occurred in the last months alone without single perpetrators brought to justice” he angrily said.
Of the arrest, new passersby crowded again to enquire what crime they committed. “The way they dressed is anathema and blasphemy” said beardy police man. Some rational witnesses asked if such insignificant can provide enough reason to deploy police and why reinventing the wheel. People saw the two sportsmen looked shocked once handcuffed and led to cockroaches-infested prison in Hargaysa which fleas are commonplace. What could you imagine could happen to foreigners unable to speak Somali if Somaliland is recognized while this backward mentality still is the dominant? Djibouti national team was on friendly match to play with their counterparts in Somaliland but their visit turned tragic when they were thrown behind bars for dressing beyond the Sharia Law: wearing shorts, t-shirts ,and necklaces .The boys were wearing shorts below knee, in other words, they were modestly dressed to an extent they can say their prayers with it but all of sudden, Islamist police who, according to local sources, penetrated into core of the law enforcement agencies intercepted them soon after they came out of the hotels they were residing and ensured putting them behind bars! This naked violation of their rights met no condemnation either by the government or human rights NGOs.
The national games recently held were played with widely known standard uniforms of FIFA: the shorts and sleeveless T-shirts according to televised footages, no Sharia compliant robes were televised if I am not wrong, but that was without any consequences upon players. By the way, what is difference between those and the arrested ones? Somaliland claims to be genuine democracy, but; closely examining the underlying forces, it does not add up because one “handsome as handsome does”.
It is a sad event that Somali-speaking sportsmen from Djibouti were arbitrarily detained in Hargaysa in broad daylight by so called Police officers to force them to a certain dress code in their fantasy. Imagine what would happen to European investors relocated from Saudi Kingdom? Eye witnesses said the police wearing uniform like any other constables of the free world but acting like Taliban ones in Kandahar. But where are the police men whom trained by British police trainers with European taxpayers’ money during Riyale’s administration? Did they all go into hiding when president attached mysteries if not outright criminals with badges on their shoulders? Where is the freedom of lifestyle which SNM had fought for? Basically, the young men were not enough Muslim in the police perspective. But, some counter-argue that the police were only obeying orders probably from radical officers in the police ranks but not necessarily fanatics themselves.
The police forces are recently recruited from Buroa town locally known as the “The Kabul of The Horn” stronghold for Al-qaeda Muslim types and epicenter of bigotry are rocking the boat, two Guantanamo Bay ex-inmates live there.
Somaliland so called sport ministry unfortunately did not apologize the horrific act even after the athletics were released, moreover; the clergy so far kept silent to confuse those whom indirectly affected by the brutalities of the police. The body of Ulimas or Islamic scholars always shut their mouth when events like occur to keep Somalia’s Islam ambiguous, they unable to oppose the new trends coming back from Yemen or Morocco.
To discredit the media frenzy and, the government begun to engage in massive media campaign to whitewash the terrible event but they can’t rewrite history.
The last Ramadan, the restaurants were entirely shut down, police were patrolling in the streets to monitor if people attend at the foodstuffs outlets to buy some canned food and eat indoors, the police couldn’t imagine patients and women in period are there and Islam has allowed such great sector of the society to eat in public without any sin and need some restaurants kept open. Islam in Somaliland is forced to worshippers’ throat unlike the will of the people in the past.
This bizarre behavior of the police wasn’t born out of vacuum, it must have relationship of their spiritual training to behave certain ways in place aspiring to be the newest capital of the world, but Arabian trained preachers have forget to tell them the nature of relationship between faiths and cultures at the time of sport let alone Muslims players. This prejudice towards fellow Djibouti basketball players, not foreigners, however; may undermine the whole of project of independence. Does anyone in the free world want to recognize “totalitarian democracy-cum-theocracy” run by intolerant, old-fashioned police that chained and handcuffed innocent Somali-speaking simply for the allegation of wearing sportswear? Capitals including Jeddah or the Vatican City have vibrant nightlife and social meetings for tourists, but in our world that is closed book to us. There so much policing than Islam had allowed? Did you comb your hair according to Sheikh Muqbal, etc? what a social hypocricy! Did your toilet islamically designed and so on and so forth? That is why Islamists in the central Somalia banned the bra and napkins because it is an infidel product while they enjoying downloading the liberal adult movies into the latest gadgets like smart phones and apple unblocked by any Somali telecoms owned by Islamist businessmen.
Traditional weddings are often hold in closed compounds and more or less are very selective parties to avoid the born-again-Muslims of Mercenery Wahabi reformer preachers.
Madarasa and Islamic Centers in Somaliland are third rate and very often below the required standard if not on par with Gondahar. Therefore; they are Garbage in garbage out.
Such heinous act reveals the true color of who the hell we are despite claims of democracy. Somaliland and Somalia is fundamentally the same thing, both controlled by militants of the same mentality and financed by Arabian alms and thus no much reason to detach one from the other.
Many analysts say Silanyo’s election campaign was heavily influenced and bankrolled by Islamists, so there is no wonder today to see Hargaysa looking like Gandahar where passersby are stopped to check their dress code to meet Sharia Law. Somaliland finally has turned into little Afghanistan, of what many have considered the prayers of Godanites were answered by God.
Does Somaliland could be ever an independent country which foreigners both Muslims and non-Muslims go for work and live without fear? Did Somaliland is gradually turning into dictatorial regime or we misunderstand it and inflate our expectations? I leave readers to judge.
After of 22 years of democratization, Hargaysa recently labeled as the “Rape Capital” of Somalia by the world press due to unprecedented scale of gang rapes took the path of Mogadishu where police officers are acting like Taliban Police of Vices and Virtues who are directly controlled by Mullah Omar and his ilk, while the world was expecting us to reach political maturity to engage in real world, not superficial issues.
The issue of Somaliland being democracy blended with outdated theocracy is not just grey area but as a reality; many foreign powers who were advocating the secession begun to have second thought of the secession. This is not mere assertion but backed by clear cut evidences, if the West wasn’t backed off the secession when president Silanyo turned to rogue states like Iran and the monarchies, the venue of Somalia and Somaliland Talks wasn’t be in Turkey but in the UK or EU.
However, the reunification euphoria in Somaliland is all time high because the last election simply incredibly empowered and fulfilled the agendas of the Islamists who abhor disunity and horrified by the concept of Muslim lands balkanization. In Hargaysa, once the ex-capital of Somaliland but now the second largest city in Somalia according to the recent deal joint airports coordination treaty in Turkey, the secession is a taboo in some ministries and most criminals in ex-Riyale led administration are in key ministries and in intelligence offices. How time brings its change! The “Akhwanisation” of political narrative has taken over Somaliland radically altering the rules of engagement forever.
for instance, the beheading of Ibrahim known as ” Afghani”, who co-masterminded Hargaysa suicide bombing which cost the lives of 30 people and injured more drew mountain of sorrows in Hargaysa and elsewhere like a kind of prophet has passed away; like Najashi, Abyssinian Muslim emperor, some radicals even held state funeral in absentia in Hargaysa for his name, a raw fact that Islamists have dominated Hargaysa and still have the appetite to impose their radical Paki-Suadi version of Islam on us despite the military defeat in Somalia, however, they might be deterred by US sophisticated weapons: Drones and satellite spy technology that can detect thousands of miles beneath the earth exposing cave hideouts to smart bombardiers .
Mohamed Ali Waran’adde, the new interior minister of Somaliland said he cracked a joke with mullah by saying “how I can trust you when a Sheikh, holier than thou, of bigger beard or faith and religiosity has murdered his fellow brethren of his skin” referring Godane’s recent beheading of his like-minded and closest comrade-in-terror which forced Sheikh Aways to escape from his 30 year old terror mentor though he could be his grandfather.
Similarly, Shiekh Dahir Aways’s house arrest, too, triggered massive protests in support of him by his victims in Mogadishu where he sanctioned mass murder of innocents and meted out multiple suicide bombing to chronically impoverished and famine-stricken society. He also dared to demand a mansion in Mogadishu or to be deported to Qatar, like his colleague, Sheikh Sharif who currently studies in Boston probably to be reinstalled as the future president of Somalia.
But Somalilanders don’t realize that they live in such hellish conditions of unnecessary policing over their lives on daily basis as they get used to because these arbitrary arrests are the norm. By the way, old fashioned police of Virtues of in Infidel uniforms in pre-Islamic periods have got us by the short and curlies. We’ve no choice but to passively agree.
Mr. Dirye is a Somaliland Activist and Senior Editor at Democracy Chronicles – African Edition.
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