Friday, March 25, 2005

Unhappy Masses and the Challenge of Political Islam in the Horn of Africa

by Professor Said S. Samatar, Rutgers

I'd like to start, if I may, with a personal confession: my friend and fellow alumnus of Northwestern University , Professor Alessandro Triulzi, has, by flying me across the Atlantic, made a considerable investment in me. Although he surely will not get his money's worth out of me, that fact does not weigh heavily on my mind. More than this, thanks to Bin Laden and Co., the ghost of political Islam has lately drawn academic attention to my professional interests and, in doing so, has turned out to be my premiere meal ticket, a manna from heaven to ensure earthly prosperity.

Somalia is once again, as indeed is the Sudan , the object of attention by the West. The once-neglected villages of Somalia are, as we speak, crawling with CIA agents, looking for the elusive specter of Bin Laden hideouts, presumably in the bushes and in the grazing grounds of camel herds. I am loath not to welcome this development, if only for the enormous employment opportunities it has opened up for us, the Somali elite, as well as expatriate fellow travelers. Who needs, from now on, to trouble with the teaching of complacent, overfed, gum-chewing American undergrads when the CIA pays better--and with far less exertion of the mind as of the body. Continue...

In The News...
Holy war threatened in Somalia
An Islamic leader on a U.S. terrorist list threatened a holy war Friday if an African peacekeeping force enters Somalia to try to install a new government and stop more than decade of clan warfare.

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