The Islah Movement; Islamic Moderation in War-torn Somalia:
By Abdurahman M. Abdullahi (Baadiyow)
The growth of Islamic movements has been attracting greater interest over the last three decades, in particular after the 9/11 attack on US targets and the subsequent declaration of the Global War on Terrorism. Many factors have contributed to this growth; one of the major causes has been the failure of the post-colonial states in many Muslim countries and the attractiveness of the oppositional Islamic approach as an alternative. These movements took various courses to realize their agendas and formulated different methodologies and strategies because of the diverse conditions and environment in which they have grown and are operating. For instance, some movements in dictatorial regimes or in Muslim communities under foreign occupation or those living as a marginalized minority may resort to violence as the only available means of political expression.
On the other hand, movements in the democratic environment usually participate in the democratic political process and implement successful social programs. In the Somali context, Somali students in the Arab World universities in 1960s had been interacting with different Islamic groups, embraced similar ideas and gradually formed comparable movements. In particular, two main organizations have become more prominent since the 1980s; namely the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Islah (reform) Movement (1978) and the neo-Salafia associated al-Ittihad (Islamic Union) Movement (1980) and its successive offshoots…….