"...'And the best of men have promised and they have delivered,' said an Arabic statement issued by Al-Shabaab's press office and obtained by CNN. 'Blessed and exalted among men -- (taking) full responsibility ...We wage war against the 6,000 collaborators; they have received their response.'My guess is that folks in Uganda are thinking about Al-Shabaab now. Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, raised a significant, if rhetorical, question:
"The 6,000 is an apparent reference to African Union peacekeepers in Somalia. Uganda contributes troops to the peacekeeping effort.
" 'We are behind the attack because we are at war with them,' Al-Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamoud Rage told reporters at a news conference in Mogadishu, Somalia.
" 'We had given warning to the Ugandans to refrain from their involvement in our country. We spoke to the leaders and we spoke to the people and they never listened to us.'
"Rage said young suicide bombers carried out the attacks, but did not specify their nationalities. 'May Allah accept these martyrs who carried out the blessed operation and exploded themselves in the middle of the infidels,' he said...."
"...'If you want to fight, why don't you attack soldiers or military installations instead of fighting innocent people watching football?' said Museveni, who on Monday visited a rugby sports center where two of the blasts occurred Sunday...."The two targeted sites mentioned in the CNN article were an Ethiopian restaurant and a rugby center.
This is speculation, but I suggest three possible reasons for picking such sincerely civilian targets:
- Killing lots of innocent people makes the survivors feel bad
- By now, hitting civilian targets is a tradition among 'defenders of Islam' like Al-Shabaab
- Civilians often can't shoot back
- Soldiers can
With Friends Like This, Islam Doesn't Need EnemiesMy guess is that the people Al Shabaab wound up and sent to commit suicide and kill rooms full of people were quite sincere. They probably believed that they'd get a celestial whoopie house, or whatever Al Shabaab's recruiting line is.
Whoever's running Al Shabaab may really believe that they're setting up their 'martyrs' to get a grade-A-number-one harem, or a ever-full hookah, or whatever their clerics dreamed up as a reward.
That seems to work for the folks who get sent out to kill themselves. I doubt that praising "martyrs" who kill themselves and take dozens of football (soccer, here in America) fans with them is going to help Islam's image.
There are already quite a few folks who assume that all Muslims are homicidal maniacs following an insane religion. Al Shabaab's efforts won't change their minds - and might convince others that the anti-Islam crowd is right.
I've said this before: With friends like these, Islam doesn't need enemies.
- "Ali Hussain Sibat, Islamic Law, and Getting a Grip"
(March 19, 2010)
- "In the News: Shaking it for Islam; Wannabe Jihadist Stopped"
(October 21, 2009)
- "Terrorists, America, and Generalizations"
(July 28, 2009)
- "Saudi Cleric Wants Women to Use One Eye - I'm Not Making This Up"
(October 4, 2008)
- "Pro-Islamic Ads Coming to New York City Subways: There's a Real Danger Here, of Becoming Informed"
(July 21, 2008)
- "With Friends Like These, Does Islam Need Enemies?"
(January 22, 2008)
- "Juashaunna Kelly's Track Suit Disqualifies her: Islamophobia? an Official on a Power Trip? or Bureaucratic Cluelessness?"
(January 16, 2008)
- "Somali militants claim responsibility for Uganda bombings"
CNN (July 13, 2010)