ICC NOTE: There have been many articles lately that the Somali people are welcoming the Islamic movement as the next governing body, but this article is showing there is some opposition against them, including this protest in Mogadishu on Thursday. Pray for Somalia as the country is at a crossroads, where it appears like greater oppression could exist for Christians and other religious minorites.
Mogadishu residents march against Somali Islamist rulers
Friday 23 June 2006
June 22, 2006 (MOGADISHU) Hundreds of Somalis marched in Mogadishu on Thursday denouncing their new Islamist rulers as fundamentalists in the latest protest since the sharia courts militia ousted U.S.-backed warlords earlier this month.
About 700 hundred protesters, including children from Koranic schools, marched through war-shattered streets in the central Sinai district in a demonstration organised by the traditional Sufist group Ahlu Suna Wal-Jammaa.
“We are Muslims and we do not want these fundamentalists who seized Mogadishu ,” said demonstrator Muumina Ali during the three-hour march and rally.
“Sheikh Sharifs group are fundamentalists,” shouted another protester, referring to Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, chairman of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) which controls Mogadishu and other towns across a swathe of southern Somalia .
While the ICU has brought relative peace and stability to Mogadishu for the first time in years, residents say some Islamist militia are imposing hardline practices like forcibly cutting hair and making women cover their heads and faces.
Ahmed, the moderate face of the ICU which also includes more radical Muslim leaders, has denied accusations his organisation wants to establish a Taliban-style rule in Somalia .
The Islamist takeover of Mogadishu has further complicated the 14th attempt to restore central rule to Somalia since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
Interim President Abdullahi Yusuf said this week the Islamist militia could not have succeeded without support from Muslim fundamentalists across the world.
The ICU says the government was formed without the consent or consultation of the Somali people, and is conspiring with Ethiopia to launch an offensive against them.
At Thursdays protest in Mogadishu , militia linked to local civic groups and the Sufist group kept guard.
ICU militia stayed away, witnesses said.
The march followed other anti-Islamist protests, including one organized by a defeated warlord and another by people protesting the breaking up of World Cup viewing in some cinemas.