Posted by: becketfund | April 18, 2009

Somalia: Government Institutes Islamic Law

MOGADISHU – Somalia’s Parliament voted unanimously on April 18 to institute Islamic law, a measure lawmakers say they hope will strengthen popular support for the government and siphon it away from the Islamist militias fighting an insurgency, the NY Times reported on April 18. The vote ratified a decision by the cabinet last month to adopt the legal code of Islam based on the Koran, known as Sharia. The minister of justice, Sheik Abdirahman Mohamoud Farah, speaking to the lawmakers, said that the opposition hard-liners would no longer be able to use Islam as a justification for attacking the government. Most Somalis generally welcome the introduction of Sharia, suggesting that it was the only solution that Somalis could agree on. “I am happy with the Sharia,” said Ismahan Haghi Aweis, 24, a student in Mogadishu, the capital. “I hope that the fighting is all over.” The Shabab, a hard-line Islamist insurgent movement that controls large swaths of southern Somalia, however has imposed its own version of Islamic law and vows to rebel against the government.

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