Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Somalians to As Shabaab: Leave Our Khat Alone

Apparently alQaeda linked as Shabaab has gone too far by banning the popular narcotic Khat.
MOGADISHU, Somalia — Hundreds of Somalis demonstrated against Islamist fighters Wednesday after they imposed a ban on a popular narcotic leaf in a southwestern town, witnesses said.

The protest is the latest setback for the group, whose leaders the U.S. State Department say have al-Qaida links.[Setback?.. hardly..ed]

One person was wounded during the protest in Baidoa, the country's former parliamentary seat, after the Islamist al-Shabab fighters fired in the air to disperse protesters, witness Abdirahman Abdullahi said.

Al-Shabab's head of security in Baidoa, Sheik Hassan Deerow, said several protesters had been jailed. Resident Mukhtar Adaw said more than 50 people had been detained, among them many women and children.

The protest began after the hardline al-Shabab militia banned qat, Baidoa resident Hassan Eden said.

Qat leaves produce a mild narcotic buzz when chewed and are a central part of traditional Somali social life. Many Somali women make a living selling the green leaves, and Somali men enjoy chewing them with friends.

Unfortunately, As Shabaab's will undoubtedly give harsh punishment to these people. Unlike the recent punishment they gave one of their own members for killing a UN aid worker - 100 female camels to be given to the victims family as compensation.

Crossposted at Jawa Report

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