Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Islamist Extremists?!

For the past few weeks, it seemed that the media was willing to give the Islamist militias in Somalia the benefit of the doubt. They were reaching out to convince the world that they weren't extremists, they were supposedly bringing stability to a country that has known only chaos for over a decade and, of course, it is important for the media to maintain impartiality in such matters.

But now the news out of Mogadishu is that the extremist Islamist extremists have wrested power from the moderate Islamist extremists. It seems that Hassan Dahir Aweys, who has been appointed head of the militias in Mogadishu, is considered a terrorist with al-Qaeda connections. That's the sort of thing that is hard to ignore for too long.

I won't pretend that stability isn't important. It is very hard to build a future on the chaos brought on by unending war. That having been said, stability is not the only thing that matters. I would think that we have seen enough of dictatorships in Africa, and their disastrous effects, to not herald their arrival. Furthermore, given all that has happened so far this century, is it asking too much that the world respond with at least a healthy dose of skepticism when Islamists promise moderation?

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