Saturday February 10, 2024
Mogadishu (HOL) - Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with a group of Somali religious scholars at the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu on Friday to discuss the ongoing war against al-Shabaab.
President Mohamud praised the Sheikhs for their support of the government in its fight against the group, whom he described as enemies of Islam and Somalia. He emphasized that the scholars are the inheritors of Somalia's noble religious tradition.
He urged the scholars to utilize their knowledge and influence to counter the extremist ideology of al-Shabaab, which he characterized as rooted in ignorance and violence.
In response, the scholars expressed solidarity with the president and the government in their efforts to defeat al-Shabaab and rebuild the country. They condemned the atrocities committed by al-Shabaab, stating that such actions are contrary to the teachings of Islam and the values of the Somali people. They called on the Somali populace to unite and collaborate with the government and security forces in the fight against terrorism.
In January 2023, a conference of Somali scholars was convened in Mogadishu with the aim of delegitimizing the influence of al-Shabaab. Prominent scholars and religious leaders from Somalia and abroad discussed strategies for combating the extremist ideology of al-Shabaab using theological arguments.
Somalia's federal government has conducted a military offensive against al-Shabaab, reclaiming most population centers in Hirshabelle and Galmudug states over the past two years. However, al-Shabaab has responded with numerous attacks on military and civilian targets in Mogadishu and some recently lost territories.