WARARKA BARAAWEPOST Monday 4 janury 2010 





Mogadishu turns to Jonestown


By: Dr. Qasim Hirsi Farah, Email: qaasim@mail.com

To comprehend the illicit suicidal missions running in the main cities of Somalia, we need to remember the sinister operations took place in Jonestown in Guyana in 1978. Then, we can understand Al-Shabab’s myth that they are God-chosen individuals came to watch-dog Islamic religion through Shari’ah application form. I wish them have basic knowledge about Shari’ah before they attempt its enforcement. Not only the story of Jonestown, but also we need to study historical tussles and conflicts between Christianity and Democratic Governance system before eighteenth century. After the study, we need to answer one question that is “why people of religions other than Islam are happy to separate between religion and political administration, while Muslims are so adamant that religion to play all administrative roles?”

Summing up the answer of the latter question, there were a number of fanatic religious cults, predominantly catholic Christians, who dedicated to forcing people in the application of their faith. Those religious extremists were not so different from our current radicals. Their haphazard missions were based on do or die, just like the trouble-makers of our era in our main cities. They eliminated millions of people, subjugated millions, conflicted with millions, confused millions, and humiliated other millions. Consequently, there had been constant civil wars and indiscriminate massacres that were continuous over a century. Finally, almost everybody became fed up of those religious extremists’ nuisance and turned against them. Societies do not only detest the extremists’ cults, but also forgo all about faith and practices of worshipping. Many turned to atheism.  With the help of those victimized civil societies, secular politicians won the battle and conquered the administrative power. Hence, they legitimized religions affairs to be practiced at home and few underestimated worship places: churches, tumbles, mosques, and synagogues, while secular politics should be the ruling instrument. Overall, religion was not recognized only as a private choice, but also as underrated matter. That is why most of the people of religions other than Islam are not so fanatics and do not bother seeking the application of religious rules and regulations as national jurisdiction.

Tracking down to our targeted topic, let’s compare and contrast between Al-Shabab’s missions and that of Jonestown, Guyana. In 1978, a satanic spiritual leader called Jim Jones left his hometown, Indianapolis, the USA to a city In Guyana, South America, which later on was named after him as “Jonestown.” The man was extremely religious who thoroughly devoted to serving the church until he became more catholic than the Bishop, just as like Al-Shabab pretend are more religious than their sheikhs. As a result, he became so obsess to implementing religious laws and ordainments, just like Al-Shabab. Due to his increased adamant to faith accomplishment, he ordered his followers to fulfill chains of suicide drills. He manipulated the most influential individuals in the community and commissioned them for gathering clusters of people to join his congregation. Through this way, he extensively enlarged his cult that proclaimed to be religious, though acting as a satanic, just like Al-Shabab. Yet, mistreatment and threat against his elites would increase day after day. He preached them to remove fears from their hearts and be courageous to committing suicide in order to move from this world, which is full of nuclear, sins, corruption, and immorality. Also, he had been urging the leaders of his cult to kill the mainstream followers so that they may successfully inherit paradise and gain better life hereafter. Among his famous speeches are: “Only God can harm you, never be afraid, if you die for the sake of God you will get a better life, God loves brave persons, etc.” these terms and mottos are more or less the same as those are active in Somalia “fii sabili llahi, shahiid, mujahid, shujac- asadullahi,etc.” At one point, to show his braveness and powers, Jones arranged to be shot in the heart in front of the congregation. When he fell down, they heaved him to a nearby accommodation, where he remained for an hour, and then returned alive, well dressed and smiling. He said “look, I am happier than I was before the shooting”.  His well organized and supernaturalized antics to prompt believers' faith bear a resemblance to the Al-Shabab’s tricks and tactics of “There are hundreds, if not thousands, of warrior angels fighting beside us”, even though they know that they aggressively jeopardize innocent civilians. What a naïve idea!

Jim Jone vivaciously preached them to kill themselves on a daily base. Every family was required to bring forward one of their children for sacrifice. Among the religious call; please dye so that you inherit the paradise. If you leave this horrific world, you will go to better place where you will meet with your God and will sit beside him. Therein, you will have a new beautiful family by marrying couple of the angels.

In fact, the sinister missions in Somalia’s main cities incur in a way similar to that of Jim Jone. In each suicidal mission, approximately fifty youth who are our nations back bone are piled into small cars with bundles of explosive substances to crash another bunch of innocent citizens. In such a kind of evil mission, hundreds of innocent Somali Muslims die without any reason to mention.

Shockingly, other clusters of under-age boys were frequently piled into flights from abroad and dropped into various hidden military camps in the country, while other children in the country’s cities and suburban are hired for committing suicide. Kids deported overseas lived in certain peaceful countries and they were really very lucky to be safe from the hell-fire of the indiscriminate genocide that has been continuous in the country for the last 20 years. However, they have been doctrinated by view psycho persons who suffer from cannibalism ailments same as Jim Jone. They target lecturing to immature young persons in basements in a dogmatic method. The main approach is to demonstrate sympathetic humbleness, though based on hypocrisy. Similar evil campaign was undertaken by Jim Jone who organized, collected, bound, and gagged hundreds of black Americans from Indianapolis, USA and landed them in Guyana, the human butchery. Guyanese children were also bought as lambs or baby sheep in order to commit suicide.

Al-Shabab sends innocent teenagers to commit suicides in the most densely populated areas by promising them a permanent place in heaven that is much better than this life. If these individuals really believe there is paradise waiting for them as they commit suicide, why they don’t start it with themselves instead of giving this valuable opportunity to others? Even, if they are so generous to give the chance to others, why didn’t they start it with their children, family members, relatives, and friends as charity begins at home?

When indoctrinating young innocent youth, the extremists start with inspiring them to hate this life in this world and seek a better life. Then they indicate them to committing suicide bombings calling themselves martyrs. Upon the death of one, they do not hesitate to announce that he is already in paradise and sitting beside his God and in the middle of not less than 72 beautiful teenager wives of him. This resembles to the onset of Jim Jone’s mission. Jone was born and grew up in Indianapolis, USA, where he later on commenced preaching his friends, neighbors and fellow church congregation to leave North America and seek a better place to live, where you can safely practice your faith. He resorted to explaining them about nuclear negative impact and wars between NATO and Warsow as an evidence of how world is getting worse and worse that would lead to the closer of the long awaited doomsday. Similarly, Al-Shabab picks up some trivial incidents and wrongdoings acted by Non-alshababa, then make it extremely destructive.

In Jonestown, public were forced to put all their efforts in religious activities by keeping them on schedules of physical and mental exhaustion, they were also forced to stay awake at night and listen to lectures by Jones (muhadarat). Anyone found reluctant to attend the lecture would meet with harsh punishments, including forced drugging, sensory segregation in container, physical torture and public sexual rape and humiliation. Beatings and verbal abuse were humdrum. Only the special guards were treated fairly humanely and fed decorously.

When it comes to the women’s treatment by Al-Shabab, a large number face veiled girls are brought into sermonic forms, where a number of boys will be displayed and announced: “Brother X and Y are on their way to martyr next week or next month, who is so lucky to marry him tonight so that he may leave his brave offset son with her”. What a weird woo wont under wobbling wimple in the shadow! 

Lastly, some American detectives, criminal investigators and journalists visited the city and interviewed him. In the interview, he simply said that he does not use force to kill someone, but they kill themselves willingly and it’s up to their choice. Following constant foreign visits residents were inspired to revolt the man’s eliminative preaching. Then, they begin fleeing one by one and family by family until the city came close to be emptied.

Finally, he prepared thousands of bottles full of poison and invited the residents left in the city. When they all gathered, he urged them to take the poisonous drinks one by one until they all die. As they were drinking, he was repeating his famous statements “please do not test it. If you test, you will feel it; if you feel the Satan will conceal its real meaning and will show you bitterness. Then, you will not be able to benefit from this golden opportunity of going to God voluntarily. This is your opportunity to be martyred, please grasp it.

Among the similarity that the two incidents share (cillah mushtarikah) is that their evildoers promise people to vague paradise and better life as soon as they commit suicide, and that the rest of the society will enjoy in a utopian lifestyle.

Shabab’s sinister missions lead to so many other criminal activities each with its own complex history and cast of characters after they are staged, just like the Jonestown missions. Another outstanding resemblance is that Al-Shabab target the most popular and benefitting persons in the society, just like Jim Jone went through. Educators, wealthy, human rights activists, medical doctors, students, professors, journalists and bystanders are killed either through suicide bombings or assassination. 

Again, look at the similarity between Guyana and Somalia in terms of natural resources. Both countries are rich of unexploited resources. That is why each of the hooligans arose in the two countries determined to impede people from any production consumption of their natural resources. Aftermath, Jonestown ended up to being ghost-town as presumably Mogadishu could end up if not being safe from Al-Shabab’s aggressive harassment.     

If you investigate Al-shabab’s harsh punishment, you can easily understand that it is based on resentment and hate against humanity. I wish them to realize that hatred against God’s people is nothing but hatred against God Himself.  If you consider deeply their practical activities you can get that it is based on “show off”. All they are interested in is to announce that they fulfilled criminal cases according to Shari’ah. I wish them read and comprehend the Qur’anic injunctions. For instance, had they read Verse no. 25 in Chapter the Victory of the Qur’an, where God forbade, which is still forbidden, Muslims to wage a war against the city of Makkah after the dwellers of that city offended them and banned them from performing their annual pilgrimage. There were only nine people who were hiding their faith in Islam that lived in the city. As a result, God ordered Muslims not to fight therein out of fear that one or more of the Muslims may die among Non-Muslims. God says in this regard “They are the ones who disbelieved and debarred you from the Inviolable Place of worship, and debarred the offering from reaching its goal. And if it had not been for believing men and women, whom you know not – lest you should tread them underfoot and thus incur guilt for them unknowingly; that God might bring into His mercy whom He will – If (the believers and the disbelievers) had been clearly separated” (see Qur’an: Fathi: 25, Tafsir Ibnu Kathir). Now, the question that begs an answer is “is there any city in the world where there is no 9 Muslim individuals”?

In fact, the Al-Shabab (youth) abuse almost all the legal cases of Shari’ah. One of the outstanding examples is their act of flogging people or stoning them to death for accusing them that they have committed adultery. Had they read and understand the explicit meaning of the Qur’anic verses of No. 2-9 in chapter “the Light” that defines the judgment and the witnesses over adultery they would neither stone to death nor flog anybody. Similarly, had they read the Qur’anic verse in chapter Al-Baraha, No. 256, they would neither judge/condemn nor eliminate somebody for apostasy?

In short, the Al-Shabab’s malevolence mission is comparable to the story of Jonestown and others followed after it. Again, the reality is that such kinds of missions are gruesome experiments of vandalism behavior against humanity, which is intended to ultimately cause hatred against religion. In retrospect, this mission was in its creation since early 199s.

It was early 2001 when I went back to Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, after missing that lost paradise over 10 years. I took a time to investigate several socio-political issues out of curiosity. Among the strangest behaviors attracted my attention was how some religious scholars were teaching about Islam. I frequently heard preaching cassettes played in bars and tea-shops that mostly addressed about jihad and jihad related issues such as being brave in jihad missions. This behavior gave me the impression that Somali young generation may believe in that Islam is all about jihad and warmongering matters. Although, this was a clear analytical perception, I could not dare to oppose it in public due to my personal security. However, I approached one of the prominent Islamic teachers and requested him to focus on teaching the fundamentals and societal issues of Islam rather than issues that are not necessary at the time, particularly in such a clannish war torn society. I told him that the best lesson to teach this kind of society should be antiwar, and not war motivated lessons. Unfortunately, that teacher (Sheikh) condemned me for being influenced and blunder by Westerners. In our friendly dialogue, I told him about the story of Jonestown in Guyana where a Bishop convinced over thousands people to kill themselves so that they may inherit a better life - paradise. In conclusion, I anticipated that one day Mogadishu may change its clannish civil war to a religious war and suicidal attitude that could be similar to that of Jonestown.

 It was only this week, after 9 years, that the Sheikh called me and reminded me the story-telling. He said to me: “Qasim, could you please tell me how you observed the situation, the city of Mogadishu turned to the city you were talking about the other day, remember the Jonestown you told me!.” Then, he requested me to write down this story and publish it. That is what lured me to publish this article.

Some individuals of the Al-Shabab denied their engagement in the incident, but simply their denial is baseless. It is their misleading education that led all these evil deeds including all forms of suicides while labeling innocent Muslims to apostasy (riddah). Al-shabab and other bad Islamic teachers (wadaad xume) maintain inspiring young student irrelevant issues instead of teaching pertinent lessons of Islam.

Among the weird messages Al-Shabab provide are: apostasy – riddah, al-wala wa al-bara, dar- al-kufri, dar al-harbi, and kill the Muslims around Non-Muslims so that you may have an access to Non-Muslims. Neither of these terms is in the focus of the pure Islamic teachings. They have been made up by late inexperienced Scholars and laymen. The pure Islam is the one refused Muslims to wage a war against Polytheists prevented Muslims from performing their mandatory pilgrimage, just because there were nine Muslim individuals lived in their city - Makkah. In my personal advice, I would let them know that the easiest and probably the only way that they could attain a better life is that they change their lifestyle from suicide committing to engaging in either job or education or both. This engagement would create internal eternal happiness and love to life as well as both fauna and flora. 

No doubt, the likeness of the sinisterly missions in Somalia is like that of Jim Jone in Guyana in late 1970s. Thus, if the idealistic gangs committing suicides in Somalia inherit a better life and Utopian eternal living standard hereafter, then, Jim Jone and his disciples may also inherit the same. If we ignore to tackle the Shabab’s nightmarish event, there will be more Jonestowns and Al-Shababs to arise in the coming future. They will move from Southern Somalia to everyone’s own back yard and between footsteps.

 By: Dr. Qasim Hirsi Farah

Email: qaasim@mail.com 

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