War moves ever onwards and upwards.
This century wars are religious. Religion is the prime cause of hate and dissent in the world’s activities and all for political ends that have nothing to do with the faiths they espouse.
Ethiopia has made preparations for a conflict with the Islamists who control much of southern Somalia. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr. Meles Zenawi, is preparing his people for the war and has asked the US to send envoys to Somalia.
The Islamists have repeatedly declared a Jihad or Holy War on Ethiopia accusing it of backing their rivals in Somalia’s interim government. The nation of Eritrea backs the Islamists, and thus a regional war in the horn of Africa seems set to ignite within days.
There are political problems because of the mixture of populations within Ethiopia’s borders. Some Islamist leaders want Somalia to take control of Somali-speaking areas of Ethiopia and Kenya. That will guarantee war and drag Kenya in to it.
There is also the spectre of Al-Qaeda within the Islamists. The Union of Islamic Courts is an Islamist alliance aimed at enforcing Sharia Law and Islamisation on the nations. The Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) has denied claims by Ethiopia and the Somali government that it has links to Al-Qaeda.
The Prime Minister said the government had completed preparations to defend itself against UIC attack. Opposition politicians said a resolution put forward by the ruling party calling on the house to back whatever moves the government thought necessary amounted to a declaration of war on Somalia.
A UN report this month accused Ethiopia and Eritrea, among other countries, of breaking an international arms embargo by supplying arms to Somalia.
The UIC in return accuses Ethiopia of having thousands of troops backing government forces in Somalia.
The Prime Minster, Mr Meles Zenawi, has denied these claims but admits to having hundreds of military trainers in Somalia. This is rather like the initial involvement in Vietnam. Eritrea equally denies claims that it has sent troops and weapons to the UIC. The problem with the Somali interim government is that it only controls a small patch of territory around the town of Baidoa. The countryside is open to control by the most ruthless aggressor.
The UIC was successful in defeating Somali War Lords, but having done that, the alliance that formed the UIC is split by conflicting ideology.
The UIC is split by two factions one Salafist and the other Qutubist. The Salafists are led by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys. The Qutubist are led by the more moderate cleric Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
Sheikh Aweys, reported as being on the US list of those allegedly linked to terrorism, is widely credited as being the genius behind the military campaign that led to the UIC's victory.
The Qutubist Sheik Ahmed, who is a Sudanese-trained former secondary school teacher, managed to establish himself in the international media as the acceptable face of political Islam in Somalia.
Sheikh Aweys converted to radical political Islam in the early 1990s and joined al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, a group that, like the UIC, brought together various strains of modern political Islam. Ethiopian forces and militia loyal to Puntland leader Abdullahi Yusuf, who is now Somalia’s interim president, defeated al-Itihaad.
Sheikh Aweys withdrew to his home region in central Somalia. He then re-educated himself in Mogadishu which was instrumental in his adoption of the Salafi ideology, which is an offshoot of the Saudi Wahhabi school.
That sect seeks to promote a version of Islam that emphasises ritual purity and violently shuns rationalism and modern technology, which it terms bid'a, or modern innovation, and which it regards as vulgar pastimes or lahw. In many ways it is like the Taliban and thus UIC-aligned militiamen cracked down on cinemas, even those showing World Cup Football matches. The UIC prefects have raided cinema halls, wedding parties and mixed-sex gatherings. The more moderate Somalis, who formerly typified a more tolerant Somali Islam, oppose this behaviour. Small-scale traders are also unhappy with the high taxes imposed by the UIC resulting in sometimes-bloody protests in UIC-controlled towns such as Jowhar, north of the capital.
Salafis favour a rigid and literal interpretation of Islamic texts and regard other Muslim sects as deviants. They teach against compromise, and holy war is the pivot around which their beliefs revolve. They are thus Hadithic fundamentalist militarists.
Not surprisingly, the opposition to this one-eyed fundamentalist theology emerges around the more moderate Qutubism. The sect of Qutubism derives from the Egyptian Islamist thinker Sayyid Qutub and the ideas he promulgated in his book, In The Shade Of The Koran.
Qutub's vision is less atavistic than the Salafist vision and his critique of modern Western civilization is, in the main, not too extreme, and Ahmed is its spokesman in Somalia favouring engagement with the West and with the transitional government. If compromise is possible it will be through this faction.
Sheikh Aweys needs Mr Ahmed to mollify the critics of the UIC at home and abroad, but conflict seems inevitable. The BBC reported that Sheik Ahmed has hinted at resigning in an interview with the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper. In spite of the goodwill they earned by ousting the hated War Lords they appear to be in internal conflict, and sectarian war with the Sunni seems inevitable.
There are now further breakdowns in Mogadishu. Warring factions are arising from inter-clan rivalries and the emergence of mainstream Sunni Sects creating their own Sharia or Islamic Courts to counter the UIC. The stage is set for the sectarian violence of Iraq.
The Somalis are a violent people ruled by war and warring factions, and the violence of the Salafists confers power on its leaders by armed struggle. Mao said that: “All power comes out of the barrel of a gun,” and these people believe it. Sheikh Aweys will no doubt try to use his power to compromise the weakened President Yusuf because of Al-Itihaad's bloody defeat. They want a greater Somalia over which they can rule. Their ideology demands that they wage armed struggle until the opposition is totally defeated and absorbed. That is the aim of all Islamic fundamentalists and they will not stop until it is achieved or they are all dead or totally crushed. The only other way to prevent war is by proper religious re-education and the Trinitarian-oriented West is incapable of that objective. They could only succeed by killing their opposition within their own borders when they had power. Even that was not successful because the Bible still existed and while the Bible exists neither Hadithic Islam, nor Trinitarian Christianity, will ever succeed among rational men convicted by truth.
Islam is now at the stage of the early violence of the Protestant Reformation.
Trinitarianism will never convince Islam of its position because Islam was formed precisely to oppose that ideology. What Islam may succeed in doing is to force Trinitarianism into a marriage of convenience of its factions to simply survive the Islamic onslaught, and then we will see the prophecy of Revelation fulfilled and the daughters of the whore will consolidate before their final end. That will result in the persecution of both Islam and the Sabbatarians of the Churches of God, and everyone who is not a Trinitarian Sunday-worshipper.
This week, over 150 people were killed in Baghdad by suicide bombers in cars and by mortar attacks in an ever-increasing wave of sectarian violence. The focus was the Shi’a controlled Sadr City district, which left more than 200 injured also. These were the greatest losses suffered in any single day since the invasion began. The airport was closed and an indefinite curfew imposed.
The Health Minister, Ali al- Shamari, blamed the attacks on Sunni extremists of the former ruling Baath party.
These Sunni Muslims used the afternoon shopping period ahead of the Juma’ah holiday to detonate at least three car bombs 15 minutes apart for maximum panic among packed shoppers and bus commuters. Mortars were then later rained down on the largely Sunni Adhamiya district.
The Shi’a militia, the Mehdi Army, controls Sadr City and had been accused of a carrying out many sectarian attacks. It is difficult to see this in any other way than the ongoing sectarian escalation of violence that is in fact an Islamic sectarian civil war. BBC Middle East Analyst, Roger Hardy, says that the attacks are more brazen and more sectarian. There is little doubt that the situation will escalate as the entire region is thrown into a civil war. The emerging winners will be the dictatorship that attacks the West.
In the meantime the Kings of the East form and reform. China and India and Pakistan are grouping to control resources and the world is powerless to stop the increasing destruction.
The UN has met in Kenya for protracted discussions on Global Warming . They did not discuss the facts of the preceding Warm Periods and the fact that we were going to get a seven-foot rise in sea levels no matter what we did, and the likely rise will be much worse, and within ten years and not fifty as thought (see also Global Warming and Bible Prophecy (No. 218)).
These religious wars are allowed to happen in order to bring into effect the plan of the adversary and to consolidate the false religions of the world.
We will continue to see these escalations and hatred develop. The Internet is being used to that end and the US courts are undermining the capacity for the rule of law in its control. The West is under serious threat and its leaders are unable to control the situation.
Pray that we are able to deal with the issues and given leaders that are able
to carry us through with the least damage.
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