I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so — the Islamic Courts faction in Somalia have ‘banned’ watching the World Cup
Now, I plan on not watching any of the World Cup, but at least I have the right to watch it if I want to – it is a basic democractic freedom. However, the Islamic Courts faction which is winning control of Somalia from the US backed, and very disorgnaised, warlords, has banned World Cup watching. I posted a few weeks ago when they sezied control of Mogadishu and wrned that this would happen.
Apparently they have not ‘banned’ the World Cup per se, but armed fighters believed to be associated with the Islamic Courts have cut off power to cinemas which were showing the matches. For practical purposes, I do not see the difference here, and I imagine the guys who were watching the games don’t see a difference either, but the distinction is, apparently, important to the Islamic Courts. The ordinary people in Mogadishu and Jowhar might well have welcomed the freedom to walk the streets in peace, without fear of being caught up in a random gunfight, but in 5 or 6 years time when they have become used to ewating and having running water, they may well come to regret the bargain they made.
And whose fault is this — well, it is our fault. We in th west could have acted to push the peace process along faster in Somalia and prevent the continuance of conditions which allowed the success of the Islamic Courts faction, but we didn’t. We probably spent more money buying ‘Black Hawk Down’ on DVD than on aid for Somalia in recent years. We may be slightly amused by reading aobut the ban on watching the World Cup, but I think we’ll find it less funny when we start to read about women being stoned to death for adultery.