By Sahra Abdi and Omar Faruq in Globe and Mail, from Reuters, with a report from The Associated Press, October 30, 2011
An al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group has released an audio tape calling for terrorist attacks in a host of countries, including Canada.
The tape posted by al-Shabaab was allegedly made by a U.S. citizen who blew himself up during an attack on an African Union base in Somalia’s capital on Saturday that killed at least 10 people.
The young man urges others to “do jihad in America, do jihad in Canada” and in other parts of the world.
He also urges other youth not to “just chill all day” but to carry out attacks against non-Muslims around the world.
On Sunday, 10 al-Shabaab rebels were killed in a Kenyan air raid on the southern Somali town of Jilib, the military said, as the East African nation fights to rid Somalia of the militants.
Kenya moved its troops into Somalia in mid-October in pursuit of Somali insurgents it blames for a series of kidnappings on Kenyan soil and frequent assaults on its security forces in the border province of North Eastern.
Residents and officials told Reuters earlier on Sunday that at least 12 civilians were killed when two Kenyan jets bombed Jilib.
al-Shabaab is the same group that previously blocked the shipments of food and medical supplies to the starving millions in Somalia. And this story, including both the incident between the Kenyans and al-Shabaab and the audio recording, while not in themselves necessarily earth-shattering, does not bode well for other countries, including Canada.
It was Ayn Hirsi Ali, among others, who warned of the global reach and intent of radical Islamists to take over the world. This latest report helps to confirm such suspicions.
And, while there are western leaders who publicly condemn "Islamicism" as the world's enemy number one, (Canada's Prime Minister Harper for one), such statements have often brought down showers of derision from many liberals, including some in Canada, for their alleged racism.
And while it is true that not all members of Islam are necesarily radical, the radical elements in that faith group are dangerous, and the danger grows, in small numbers, but certainly not in a small political and violent ambition.
One problem with the release of both the recording and news reports that confirm its existence and intent is that for those of us who are not Muslims, and never intend to become Muslims, we are completely blind to which members of that faith are dangerous and which members are not.
Consequently, without being racist specifically, we are extremely suspicious, even withdrawn and perhaps even a little frightened by the galloping ambitions of Islam to dominate the world. And that domination is evident, not only in audio recordings from al-Shabaab, but also from such world figures as the president of Iran, who publicly tells Fareed Zakaria that Israel must be wiped off the map of the world.
And why? we ask. And the answer seems to be "because they are Jews".
As if there were no countries in which Muslims currently live as majorities, in control of the government, the military and the legal system, including various applications of Sharia law.
The conflict between radical Islam and the non-Muslim world is one in which there are no "specialists" with answers, as there might be over the debt-deficit crisis on both sides of the Atlantic. The conflict comes out of a demographic sector which, in light of the last hundred years or so, has seem mostly calm, with some notable exceptions, like the sectarian conflicts in Northern Ireland. Making peace between protestants and Roman Catholics, for example, has witnessed some considerable progress even in Northern Ireland, over the last two or three decades, although we have to agree that there was considerable violence, murder and terrorism in the struggle in our lifetimes.
Not only are there no specialists with appropriate answers, many of those whom the world considers "scholars" within each faith community would likely be hard pressed to recommend how to approach, confront and potentially resolve this alleged domination motive of Islam. Consequently, we generally leave it to political leaders, with both intelligence and military capabilities, to deal with our response. And the history of such responses is often one clouded with attributing different motives to a perceived enemy than the real motives. Witness the change from confronting homophobia among Commonwealth leaders, to calling the issue a "health issue" because it has implications in the politically legitimate battle against HIV-AIDS.
After nearly seven decades of attempting to relate positively to people of different ethnic and linguistic and religious persuasions, along with millions of others, I am faced with the prospect of an enemy so large and so amorphous and so confident and so determined that the country of my birth, Canada, may not be the country in which my grand-daughters become adults...and that causes me profound and complicated sadness, anxiety and even some fear. And, like millions of others, I am prepared to do whatever it takes, including resisting the growth of what most would consider "legitimate" Islam in Canada, in order to preserve what we represent, stand for and seek to preserve.
That is, unless and until the moderates of that faith come out publicly, in all towns and cities in every country and demonstrate their willingness and their courage to confront the radical elements in their faith who seek violence against all non-Muslims. It will take the combined strength and power of all moderates of all faith communities to say, "NO!" to these illegitimate terrorist groups of radical Islam. And there is much less time than the public mood would indicate. We are, it seems, far too complacent, in the face of this small but imminent threat. And at least this complacency is clearly not warranted.