Revered Cleric Says War in Somalia Not ‘Jihad’

A respected Somali cleric Sheik Nur Barud Gurhan on Sunday declared the war in Somalia between the government and extremist rebels as “Un Islamic” saying that it can not be described as Jihad.

Sheik Gurhan who is also a member of the association of Somali Islamic scholars said that innocent Muslim Somalis are killed, wounded and displaced by the un-wanted wars in the country which he said must be stopped.

“In accordance with Islamic religion, the war in Somalia in not Jihad so we are calling on the rebels to top fighting and instead come to the negotiation table with the government so that differences between them can be solved” the cleric whose speeches are revered told reporters in Mogadishu Sunday

He said the recent meeting of International Islamic scholars held in Dubai condemned the war in Somalia describing it as a war against Muslims in Somalia and asked it to be ended.

“The AU peacekeepers in Mogadishu will leave as soon as you have ended up fighting” the Sheik added, directing his remarks to the radical Islamist rebels fighting the Somali government and AU peace keeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Fighting in the restive capital alone has engulfed the lives of more than 21,000 people, mainly civilians since early 2007. More than 1.5 million others fled from the city since then.

The United Nations says more than 3.5 million people, about half of the country’s total population are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. The emergency is a result of draughts and the long-running civil strife in the chaotic horn of African nation, which lacked a functioning central government for the past two decades.

Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar is the NewsBlaze Somalia reporter. Shafi’i has extensive experience in journalism, international relations, and football management. He is the founder of Somali Sports Press Association, a long-time sports journalist and a member of the International Sports Press Association.

Shafi’i has a Master’s Degree in international Relations obtained at De Montfort University in Leicester and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Multimedia journalism from the University of Northampton. The photo shows Shafi’i in action while at CAF Centre of Excellence in Cameroon.