Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Somalia-UK, and other bits and bobs of interest

Some quality reporting from the UK's Channel 4 from last month that I only just stumbled across, looking at the links between British Somalis and suicide bombings in Somalia/Somaliland.

Don't just watch the vid, read Jonathan Rugman's report as well. Also if this is your type of thing, check the Jamestown report that Rugman mentions, on the various stories of western Somalis who have gone back to fight - Americans, British, Canadians, Swedes and possibly Norwegians - but no Finns mentioned. I wonder if any young Somalis have gone back to fight for any of the other groups besides the Jihadists? The answer could be no - in which case it leads to the question why not? Why aren't, say, Puntland nationalists or Les éradicateurs of the TFG as an attractive a cause for a kid in a western city as wack-job jihadism? It sort of makes Olivier Roy's globalised Islam point for him. Alternatively, the answer could be that Somalis have gone back to fight for other groups - their clan militia, the TFG etc. and we just haven't heard about it because it's not then part of the 'terrorism-link' game the media and some analysts like to play. If British Tamil kids go and get themselves blown up in Jafna fighting for the Tigers, frankly who in the media gives a shit? I hope MI5 do, but it's not going to make Channel 4 News, let alone the front page of Sun*.

Apropros to nothing and probably only of interest to those who have similar research/geeky interests to me; I note the Jamestown report is written by James Brandon. I was at a seminar with James last year, and because he was at from the Centre for Social Cohesion, I was a little bit suspicious of where he was coming from. So I noticed with interest he's now at the Quilliam Foundation. Hmm.... I think: "from the outwardly neoconservative, to the group just called neoconservative by it's critics... interesting", but looking just a wee bit further into it, I found this quite amazing op-ed by James in CiF. Well said, Mr. Brandon. If you ever need to write a resignation letter, it would be good to do it with the honesty and clarity of James' piece.

*And just as a side note, the Sun has been caught making up nasty-Muslim stories. Again. The victim of the Sun's lies is thirty grand richer, and good for him, but at Pickled Politics they have a few suggestions of how to make a paper really think twice before running this sort of shit.

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