Global Jihadism in Somalia. Analyzing Al-Shabaab Legitimization Discourse

Master's Thesis, 2015
96 Pages

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1.1 Background
1.1.1 The Emergence of Militant Islam in Somalia
1.1.2 The Rise and fall of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC)
1.1.3 The Emergence of Alshabaab
1.2 Thesis Question
1.3 Summary

2.1 Introduction
2.2 The concept of Ideology: An Overview
2.3 The concept of Jihad
2.4 Jihad ideologues in modern and contemporary times
2.5 The ‘Operationalization’ of the Concept of Jihad
2.6 Global Jihadism in Somalia
2.7 Harakat Al Mujahideen Al Shabaab
2.8 Summary

3.1 Introduction
3.2 Research Questions
3.3 Theoretical framework
3.4 Analytical Process
3.4.1 Laclau and Mouffe Discourse Theory
3.4.2 Critical Discourse Analysis
3.4.3 Integration of Social Theories in the Analytical Framework
3.5 Challenges and Limitations
3.6 Summary

4.1 Introduction
4.2 Micro-Level Analysis: Alshabaab selective usage of Islamic Lexicon
4.3 Jihad as Central Theme in Alshabaab discourse
4.4 Analysis of the Discursive practices
4.5 Analysis of the Social Practices Introduced by Alshabaab in Somalia
4.6 Summary

5.1 Introduction
5.2 The Ideological Construct
5.3 Opposition between two ‘systems’: Islam versus Thaghuut
5.4 Identities Ascription
5.5 Prescription of Individual and Social Norms
5.6 Alshabaab’s Challenges: the limit of the global jihad ideology in Somalia
5.7 Summary

6.1 Introduction
6.2 Countering the Global Jihadism in East Africa
6.3 Recommendations
6.4 Summary


Appendice A-Alshabaab leader’s 2009 Speech.
Appendice B-Alshabaab leader’s 2014 speech


Alshabab is a radical Islamic movement which is waging an insurgency in Somalia against the internationally recognized government and the troops of the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).This movement is affiliated with Al-Qaida whom it shares the same ideology. This study is concerned with Alshabaab discourse and how the radical organization is legitimazing Global Jihadism in Somalia. The finding indicate that Alshabaab discourse draws heavily on Salafim and contemporary jihadists tenets, but posses also its own peculiarity due to the East African context in which it is operationalized. In addition, it is a discourse with strong hegemonic and ideological features which relate to power and control, and which entail a normative effect that shape social practices. The latter features of the organization discourse are increasingly becoming problematic for the Somalia-based radical group.

Initially, Alshabab succeeded in establishing itself as a resistance movement, and then gradually, the radical organization started to publicly advocate the Global jihad. To justify this ideology, and beside Salafism doctrines, Al shabaab uses a literalist and selective reading of the Quran. In recent years, however, Alshabaab is increasingly challenged in Somalia. The organization discourse is becoming less and less relevant as the statebuilding efforts are making slow but steady progress. Thus, the inherent contradictions in the militant discourse are made more apparent. Indeed Alshabaab positioning as a national resistance movement is quite incompatible with its call for a world domination as promoted by Global Jihadism. Furtermore, Somalis were repulsed by Alshabaab harsh practices of the Sharia, and its terror tactics. As a result, the militant group is faced by increasing challenges in Somalia. Therefore, Alshabaab is compelled to change. A shift in strategy is already perceptible, as Alshabaab is expanding its operation into Kenya which indicates the radical organization intention to regionalize its struggle.


Ideology, Radicalization, Islam, Quran, Terrorism


I would like to thank:

My supervisor, Mr. Piers Maclean for without his guidance, this thesis would not have completed it.

The Cranfield University officials and associated staffs of the MSc Ethiopia program who provided an unvaluable level of support for the completion of this course. A deep gratitude is owed to their dedication and professionalism.

Finally, to my family who has supported me throughout the academic year.


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


1.1 Background

During the 2000s decade, Somalia was back, once again, on the international political agenda. Several initiatives launched by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) with the support of the international community renewed the state-building process. Nevertheless, the path toward normalization in Somalia was challenged, among others factors, by the rise of a radical Islamic militancy opposed to secularism. Among them is Harakat Mujahideen Al-Shabaab, known as Alshabaab, a radical Islamic organization that gained preeminence in Somalia political scene. Alshabaab emergence is due to a number of factors proper to Somalia historical evolution, such as an Islamic revivalism amid a collapsed state, but also to some extent to the global context characterized by the US ‘war on terror’. This organization has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida and has instilled the Global jihadism ideology in Somalia and in the region. The present research is concerned with Alshabaab discourse, and how the group is legitimizing its cause in Somalia. In this introductory chapter which sets the background of this study, first the historical evolution of the Islamic militancy in Somalia is briefly explored. Secondly, the circumstances that led to the rise of Alshabaab are reviewed. Finally, the thesis question is presented as well as the aim of this research.

1.1.1 The Emergence of Militant Islam in Somalia

In his book Somalia between Jihad and Restoration, Shaw Shay (2008, p.37) asserts that “Islamic faith in Somalia is one of the basic identities including class, race, and location of origin, which cut across clan lines”. He identified three categories of Islamic movement in Somalia: political Islamism, missionary Islamism, and jihadi Islamism (Shay, 2008, p.38). In the 1960s, two Islamic organizations, ideologically inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood, were very active in Somalia; the Wahdat al-Shabaab al Islami and the Jama’at al Ahli al Islami (Shay, 2008, p.37). During the military rule, due to a harsh repression many of the proponents of Islamist ideas adopted a low profile. After the fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991, an islamist armed movement emerged, Al Itihad al Islaami, with the aim of creating an Islamic state in Somalia (Andre Le Sage, 2007, p.473). Al-Ittihad had also link with the Ogaden National Front (ONLF) an armed movement waging an insurgency in Ethiopia in order to “liberate” the Somali inhabited regions. The Ethiopia government sensed the threat and intervened inside Somalia to attack Alittihad bases, in 1996 and 1997 (Andre Le Sage, 2007, p.474). In addition the Ethiopian government gave support to other Somalia based movements rival to Alittihad. The later was also rifle with internal strife and was unable to bare the pressure and finally the organization disbanded its militia and gave up all military activity (Le Sage, 2007, p.474).

After the demise of the Al-Ittihad, its members rejoined their respective clans. These men, still imbued with an Islamic revivalist ideal, reinforced the spread of the Islamic courts that appeared in Somalia in the mid-1990s. These Sharia courts were appreciated for their ability to enforce a modicum of rule of law, albeit in their own clan-based area (Ken Menkhaus, 2007, p.88). The Islamic courts were so successful in bringing order and security that the influence of the warlords became gradually eroded (Menkhaus, 2007, 88). The business community was particularly supportive and trade started to flourish in the still stateless south due to these courts. Similarly, various Islamic no-governmental organizations started to build schools and universities.

In early 2000s, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held a conference in Arta, in the Republic of Djibouti, which resulted in the creation of a Transitional National Government headed by Abdiqasim Hasan Salad (Afyare A.Elmi and Abdullahi Barise, 2010, p.40). The TNG outcome was disappointing and in October 2004 another transitional government led by late president Abdillahi Youssouf was established in Mbagathi, Kenya (Ashley Elliot and Georg-Sebastian Holzer, 2009, p.218). Meanwhile in Mogadishu, the Islamic courts gained more influence and they begun to challenge the authority of the Somalis most prominent warlords (Cedric Barnes and Harun Hassan, 2007, p.153). The latter were also part of the nascent political institutions which on the eyes of the Islamists casted doubt on the whole state-building process.

1.1.2 The Rise and fall of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC)

By the end of 2004, the Islamic Courts united across clan boundaries and elected Sheikh Sharif, a local cleric and school teacher as the chairman of the Union of Islamic Courts , (UIC) ( Barnes and Hassan, 2007,p.153). The global context was dominated by the US war against Al Qaida, and the risk of Somalia being used as a safe haven by Al-Qaida was a strong motivation for helping stabilizing this country. Opportunistically Mogadishu warlords created an alliance for combating terrorism, the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter Terrorism (ARPCT). They started to hunt down and arrest alleged Al-Qaida linked individuals inside Mogadishu (Elliot and Holzer, 2009, p.219). These actions generated a wide spread resentment among the population. Subsequently, the UIC takes advantage of the situation and with a large popular support it confronted militarily the ARPCT. In four months, all the warlords were defeated and Mogadishu fell under the control of the ICU in early 2006 (Ashley Elliot and Georg-Sebastian Holzer, 2009,p.219).

The UIC did not, however, recognize the transitional government, and in spite of mediation attempts made by countries such as Sudan, all talks failed (Elliot and Holzer, 2009, p.219). The crisis between the UIC and the Transitional government heightened and finally, in late 2006 the courts militia launched an offensive towards the siege of the TFG in Badoia .The 24th of December 2006, Ethiopians forces intervened on behalf of the Somali transitional government and defeated the ICU militia, allowing therefore the TFG to settle in Mogadishu (Elliot and Holzer, 2009, p.220). The demise of the ICU whom its leaders fled the country and found political exile in Eritrea, let the more radical militants like Alshabaab take the lead in the resistance struggle against Ethiopian forces (Oscar Gakuo Mwangi, 2012).

1.1.3 The Emergence of Alshabaab

The origin of Alshabaab is quite unclear ( Elliot and Holzer, 2009,p.230).The group seems to have been gradually formed through different phase before becoming what it is today, an Al-Qaida linked Somalis jihadist movement . According to Roland Marchal (2009, p.388) the origin of Alshabaab goes back in early 2000s. Hasan Dahir Aweys, a former leader of Al Ittihad appointed one of its clan related young man, Aden Hashi Ayro, at the head of the Ifka Halane Islamic Court’s militia (Marchal, 2009, p.388). The later was then one of the powerful militia in Mogadishu, but still very much embedded inside its clan, the Ayr sub-clan of the Hawiyeh Habargadir clan. Aden Hashi Ayro expanded the militia and brought in the jihadist ideology. He broadened its recruitment base with the help of some of its friends from other Somali clan who joined him in Mogadishu. Some of them, including Ayro, have been in Afghanistan in previous years and they shared a common goal of joining the global jihad against the West (Marchal, 2009, p.289). The young commander set up training facilities called Mu’askar and Madrasa, (Islamic school) in a former Italian cemetery that the militia desecrated in late 2004 ( Marchal, 2009,p.288). Further development such as the Ethiopian military intervention in Somalia, mentioned earlier, provided for them the opportunity to call for the jihad in Somalia.

The deployment, in 2007, of African troops as part of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the withdrawal of the Ethiopian forces did not resulted in a cessation of hostilities. In contrary, Alshabaab considered AMISOM as a tool for fulfilling the West’s interests (Paul D. Williams, 2009, p.517). The radical organization vowed to continue its struggle against what it saw as a Christian aggression on a Muslim country. Alshabaab adopted Al-Qaida tactics and introduced in Somalia the use of suicide bombing previously unknown. Furthermore the group expanded its operation outside Somalia and launched several terrorist attacks in Uganda, Kenya, and Djibouti. Alshabab has also demonstrated an active communication strategy. In fact this is not exclusive to Alshabaab, according to Manuel R. Torres, et al (2006, p.399), terrorist organization such as Al-Qaida and its affiliates show a strong inclination for communication. This desire for publicity is motivated by the fact that violence by itself is not sufficient to promote the cause of terrorist group (Torres et. al 2006, p.399). Thus communication is an important activity for radical jihadist group who consider the media as a battlefront. Al-Qaida current leader Alzawahiri defined the importance of the media for their cause in the following terms:

“[W]e are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media. And that we are in a media battle in a race for the hearts and minds of our Umma.” (Hosaka Shuji, 2012,p.4).

In recent years, the greater regional involvement against Alshabaab has weakened the radical insurgency Alshabaab has lost many towns, including the key port of Kismayo used by the insurgents for exporting charcoal into gulf countries. In spite of its military setback, however, Alshabaab demonstrated resiliency and are still a force to reckon with in Somalia (International Crisis Group, 2014, p.3). The radical insurgent are still undefeated and several factors could explain it why. Among them, the slow progress in the state-building process and the inefficiency of the successive Somalis government in achieving a nationwide political support. The main assumption of this research, however, is that the most important factor that could help explains Alshabaab resiliency is its ideology which helps it to recruit and to keep the fight with staunch fanaticism.

1.2 Thesis Question

The aim of this study, then, is to investigate Alshabaab discourse in order to understand how the radical organization is legitimizing the Global Jihadism ideology in Somalia and in the region. The radical group is very active in the communication field which gives a hint to a deliberate planning in propagating information for a desired end. Therefore the investigation is concerned with unfolding key characteristics of Alshabaab discourse. Gaining knowledge of the strength and weakness of its message could help devise counter-radicalization and de-radicalization program in Somalia and in East Africa in general.

1.3 Summary

It is in the context of a collapsed state and a fragmented nation that Islamists organizations emerged in Somalia with the aim of re-establishing the rule of law by applying the Sharia, the Islamic law. However, the Islamic revivalist agenda entered into a collision course with the secular state-building process that was renewed in Somalia in the 2000s by the International community. The global context of the war against terror served as a catalyst. It impacted on the Somalia situation and led the more radical fringes of the Islamic movement to exploit any opportunity for gaining preeminence. It is this aforementioned historical circumstance that led to the emergence of Alshabaab, a radical Islamic movement who adhered to the Al-Qaida call for a global jihad. It is truly striking that such a phenomenon could have appeared in a society with a nomadic cultural background characterized by a love for freedom and moderates religious practice. How such radical ideology as the Global Jihadism has been instilled in Somalia is the main concern of this research which seeks to uncover key features of Alshabaab discourse.


2.1 Introduction

More than a decade after the US “war on terror”, the jihadist’s ideology has paradoxically spread and many radical Islamic organizations are waging insurgency and conducting terror attacks in various countries. There is not a single day without the international media reporting on a terrorist attacks by a jihadist group in countries like Nigeria, Libya, or Syria, to give just a few examples. One factor, and not the least, which could explain this situation is the growing sophistication of jihadist propaganda, and their ability to use the internet for spreading their messages. However, and above all, this rapid expansion translates the lack of an adequate global response against this radical ideology (Jarret M. Brachman, 2009, p.183). Such response necessitates first a deeper understanding of the nature of the Global jihadism, the objectives sought by its adherents, and the way they propagate and legitimize their cause. One cannot fully grasp the jihadist phenomenon without investigating the genesis of their ideology, and moreover the concept of jihad itself. The present research is concerned with the contemporary jihadist discourse that emerged in Somalia, in recent years, and which since then has affected many countries in East Africa. Alshabaab, the Somali based jihadists militant, is the main organization that has affiliated itself with Al-Qaida, and which has spread Global jihadism ideology in the region. The organization has a very active communication strategy that serves its propaganda, a fact that almost all existing researches on the militant group have mentioned. This study, however, is aiming at understanding how Global jihadism ideology is legitimized in Somalia and in the region. As such, the technical aspects of Alshabaab communication strategy as well as the ways and means of its propaganda are considered less crucial than the content of its discourse. As pointed out by Teun A. Van Dijk (2006, p.115) “since people acquire, express and reproduce their ideologies largely by text or talk, a discourse analytical study of ideology is most relevant.” Alshabaab discourse draws heavily on Global jihadism, but posses also its own peculiarity due to the East African context in which it is operationalized, particularly in Somalia.

In this chapter, for a better understanding of the concepts and paradigms that the research is dealing with, at first the literature on the notion of ideology is reviewed. Secondly, the concept of jihad and its inception in the original sources and in classical times are discussed. Thirdly, the writings of the modern and contemporary ideologues of jihad are explored, in particular those who have put the concept in practice. Then the discussion focuses on the expansion of Global Jihadism, and its emergence in Somalia. Finally, researches and existing studies on Alshabaab are reviewed.

2.2 The concept of Ideology: An Overview

The literature on the concept of ideology reveals that it is rather a versatile and difficult notion to define. According to John Gerring (1997,p.957) ‘Few concepts in the social science lexicon have occasioned so much discussion, so much disagreement, and so much self-conscious discussion of the disagreement as “ideology”.’ The debates are not only about the definition of the concept and its scope but involve also epistemological questions about its relation with objectivity and truth.

The term, introduced by the ideologues of the French Enlightenments had known various historical connotations throughout time (David Hawkes, 1996,p.59). For instance, in the nineteen century ‘Marxist theory uses the notion of ideology to describe the process through which the dominant ideas within a given society reflect the interests of a ruling economic class’. Then, in the first half of the twentieth century, the term is used to refer almost exclusively to totalitarian political systems, including communist regimes. Thus history and its tribulation has impacted on the meaning of the concept of ideology and rendered it difficult to define at once. As pointed by Terry Eagleton (1991), ‘the word 'ideology' is a text, woven of a whole tissue of different conceptual strands’ which are ‘traced through by divergent histories.’ Below are few examples of common definitions cited by Gerring (1997, p.958):

“A consistent integrated pattern of thoughts and beliefs explaining man’s attitude towards life and his existence in society, and advocating a conduct and action pattern responsive to and commensurate with such thoughts and beliefs”

“Systems of belief that are elaborate, integrated, and coherent, that justify the exercise of power, explain and judge historical events, identify political right and wrong, set forth the interconnections ( causal and moral) between politics and other spheres of activity’ ‘Whatever else ideologies are, they are primarily some kind of ‘ideas’, that is, belief systems”( Van Dijk, 2006,p.116)

The wide scope of meaning that the concept of ideology bears has discouraged many in the social science to use it for their work. For instance, as pointed by Terry Eagleton (1991,p.8) Foucault and his followers have preferred to use the word 'discourse'. Others have coined terms such as belief systems, worldview, philosophy, value, etc. However, according to Gerring, (1997, p.961), ‘these alternative terms tend to miss the sense in which ideology groups together a large number of idea-units in a single, reasonably coherent, package. ‘

In an endeavor to synthesize the core meaning of the concept of ideology, Gerring (1997) made an interesting comprehensive framework of all attributes associated with the concept. He proposes, for the sake of differentiation from others concepts, to limit the concept of ideology to political subject matter (Gerring, 1997, p.982). He also argues that it is not necessary ‘to stretch the meaning of ideology to perform so many semantics functions precisely because we already possess other terms which cover adjacent areas.’ (Gerring, 1997, p.983)

In general, Ideology has often been attributed a pejorative connotation; usually dogmatic; expressing rigid belief, or related to domination. According to Terry Eagleton (1991, p.5) the most common conception of ideology is its power legitimating function. It is a view inherited from Marx which led post-Marxism thinkers such as Althusser to define ideology as a ‘false consciousness’ (David Hawkes, p.153, 1996). Post-modernists thinkers, characterized by their skepticism further discussed the matter and raised epistemological questions about the objectivity of ideologies and their relation with truth.

The various debates on the concept of ideology have impacted on how it is analyzed. According to Jonathan L. Maynard, (2013, p.300) the subject is suffering from an ‘intellectual parochialism’ as “theorists see ‘current research on ideology’ as denoting only that portion of thinking which is in their immediate methodological proximity”. However, although there is no a ‘map of the field’ of ideological analysis, the existing various approaches could be categorized in three broad fields; the conceptual approaches, the discursive traditions, and the quantitative methods (Maynard, 2013, p.301). In short, the conceptual approaches look at the ‘ideational content’ of ideologies, the discursive ones are interested on the communicative practices involved, and lastly, the quantitative approaches focus on ideologies’ cognitive underpinning and political functions (Maynard, 2013).

As shown in this very brief overview, the concept of ideology is at the center of various academic debates, it is also a central term of social science discourse (Gerring, 1997,p.959). Furthermore, the emergence of Al-Qaida and the propagation of its call for jihad have once again made the notion of ideology relevant nowadays. Al-Qaida has initiated and propagated a discourse, which it justifies on religious ground (the Jihad), calling Muslims to struggle against the West, the Jews, and their puppets rulers in Muslims countries in order to be fee of current political, economical, and cultural domination.

This discourse which offers, for Muslims, an ‘account of the existing order’, the vision of a better future, and the way to achieve this goal, bears all the hallmark of an ideology, and scholars recognize it as such (Mark Sedgwick, 2012,p.362).

2.3 The concept of Jihad

Literally the word jihad means in Arabic ‘to strive’, and although contemporary jihadists tend to define it exclusively in militaristic terms, the concept of jihad is much more complex. In order to investigate its real meaning, scholars have explored the classical sources of Islam and the evolution of the concept of jihad from the time of prophet Mohamed up to the modern and post-modern era. Such an approach has the benefit of highlighting the evolution of the concept of jihad and the importance of contextual and historical circumstances for its interpretation.

According to David Cook (2009, p.177) “the word ‘jihad’, so emblematic of later Muslim warfare, only occurs with a military significance rarely inside the Qur’an”. In Arabic, jihad means to strive, or to persevere and according to Shireen Burkhi (2013,p.234) “in the Qur’an, the term is primarily used to refer to the act of striving to serve the purposes of God on this earth (jihad fil sabil Allah)”. Muslims scholars, in general, held the view that jihad has various meaning, including but not exclusively, fighting. For instances, in his book on jihad, “The Fiqh of Jihad: A Comparative Study of its Rulings and Philosophy in Light of the Qur'an and Sunnah”, the contemporary eminent scholar Sheikh Yussuf Alqaradawi notes that “the word is also used in the Qur'an and Sunnah with various meanings, including exerting oneself in resisting the enemy, resisting the devil, resisting one’s desires, etc.” (Rashid Al-Ghannoushi, 2008, p.4)

However, as pointed by Burkhi (2013,p.234), “throughout Islam’s 1400 years, jihad has been leveraged as the rallying battle cry by various Muslim rulers (Sunni and Shia) to motivate their respective military forces to undertake lethal action on their behalf in the name of Islam.”According to Cook (2009,p.177), it is “the great Muslim conquests that followed 634, and changed the face of the Middle East and North Africa irrevocably” that “crystallized” the concept of jihad, and conferred it for, later centuries, its predominantly martial characteristic.

The concept of jihad is also differently categorized. According to Burkhi (2013,p.235), there are two jihad; the greater jihad (jihad al Kabir), and the smaller or lesser jihad (jihad al saghir). The greater jihad concerns “the need to struggle to be a better human being and abd (slave) of Allah” (Burkhi , 2013,p.235-236), whereas, the smaller jihad refers to warfare and to military actions. Another classification divides jihad into three categories; jihad with the hand, jihad with the tongue, and jihad of the soul (Cook, 2009, p.178). Jihad with the Hand has a violent and militaristic nature. Jihad with the tongue means publicly denouncing unjust ruler whose conduct is deemed overtly un-Islamic. Lastly, Jihad of the soul is a conception developed by Sufi writers which emphasize the inner struggle against oneself (Cook, 2009, p.178).

It should be said, however, that discussions on jihad are usually limited to the militaristic jihad and the spiritual jihad. In Islamic jurisprudence the militaristic jihad is rigorously bounded and it is divided into defensive and offensive terms. The defensive jihad (jihad al dafa’a) is according to Quintan Wiktorowicz (2005,p.83):

“(…) a widely accepted concept that is analogous to international norms of self-defense and Judeo-Christian just war theory. According to most Islamic scholars, when an outside force invades Muslim territory it is incumbent on all Muslims to wage jihad to protect the faith and the faithful. “

In contrasts the offensive jihad is aimed at propagating the religion by physically subduing any potential obstacle to its peaceful spread. Wiktorowicz (2005,p.83) describes it in the following words:

“In most contemporary interpretation, jihad can only be waged under the leadership of the caliph (successor to the Prophet), and it is tempered by truces and various reciprocal agreements between the Islamic state and non-Muslim governments, such as guaranteed freedom of worship for Muslim minorities.”

Determining which type of jihad is more important than the others is a contentious point reflected by the literature on the subject. Contemporary authors are also divided on this question, whether they are Muslims or not. According to Cook (2005, p.65) for the fourteen century Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyya, jihad is a key determinant of one’s faith. The medieval Muslim scholar was “willing to identify the quality of a given person’s Islam with that person’s being willing to fight for Islam” (Cook, 2005, p.65). Unsurprisingly Ibn Taymiyya is the primary source of inspiration for contemporary jihadists who refer abundantly to his writing.

Others opinion see jihad in Islam as a spiritual endeavor and it is only in case of aggression that Muslims are allowed to defend themselves. According to Paul Heck (2004, p.123) “Jihad in the Quran, (…), does emphasize the relation of religion to the moral life of the polity.” Such position is often deemed apologetics by critics who recognize the spiritual dimension of jihad but who deny its exclusiveness. Furthermore, they claim that it is not sustained by historical evidences (Cook, 2005, p.164). During the twentieth century, many Islamic ideologues have sought to redefine the concept of jihad in a context characterized by decolonization, political resistance and cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

2.4 Jihad ideologues in modern and contemporary times

The classical sources of jihad have been re-interpreted in modern times for two reasons principally; first for a puritanical reformist endeavor, exemplified by the Wahhabi movement that emerged in Arabia at the end of the eighteen century and second for political resistance against western colonization. Eventually, during the course of the twentieth century and towards its end, the two justifications gradually became unified in a single school of thought, represented by the Salafi current of Islamic thinking from which radical views such as the global jihad ideology propagated by Al-Qaida have emerged.

In his book, “Understanding Jihad” Cook (2005,p.74) asserts that the colonization of Muslim lands and the western domination in the early twentieth century with the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the Islamic caliphate has prompted many Islamic thinkers to redefine jihad in the light of the new situation. Such thinkers were Hassan Al Banna, founding father of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928, Mawdudi in Pakistan and Abu Qutb. Mawdudi introduced the concept of ‘modern jahiliyah’ which was later further developed by Sayyid Qutb, an egyptian influential authors executed by Nasser regime in 1966. Qutb wrote in his book “In the shade of the Quran” published in 1953:

“Jahiliyya (barbarity) signifies the domination (hakamiyya) of man over man, or rather the subservience to man rather than to Allah. It denotes rejection of the divinity of God and the adulation of mortals. In this sense, jahiliyya is not just a specific historical period (referring to the era preceding the advent of Islam), but a state of affairs. Such a state of human affairs existed in the past, exists today, and may exist in the future, taking the form of jahiliyya, that mirror-image and sword enemy of Islam.” (Wiktorowicz, 2005,p.79)

Although Qutb was influenced by Mawdudi, he departed from the moderate method of the latter who advocated peaceful ways of implementing change in the society by working inside the political framework (Quintan Wiktorowicz, 2005). In fact Mawdudi founded a political party in Pakistan, the jamaat Islamiyya whereas Qutb called for jihad against rulers in Islamic countries whom he deemed to be apostates (Wiktorowicz, 2005,p.78).

These thinkers inspired later jihad ideologues and terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaida which are also grounding their ideology on the original Islamic sources for legitimizing their cause. These sources are “a combination of Qur’anic selections, hadiths (traditions ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad), and legal discussions based upon the hadith literature and formal treatises dealing with jihad” ( Cook, 2009,p.177).

As mentioned earlier, these contemporary proponents of the global jihad ideology stem from the salafi movement. According to Wiktorowicz (2005,p.75):

“The term ‘salafi’ is used to denote those who follow the example of the companions (salaf) of the Prophet Mohammed. Salafis believe that because the companions learned about Islam directly from the Prophet, they commanded a pure understanding of the faith. Subsequent practices, in contrast, were sullied by religious innovations that infected the Muslim community over time. As a result, Muslims must purify the religion by strictly following the Qur’an, the Sunna (path or traditions of the Prophet Mohammed), and the consensus of the companions. Every behavior must be sanctioned by these religious sources.”

However, “there is a divergence among members of the Salafi current of thought on the concept of jihad in a contemporary setting “(Wiktorowicz, 2005,p.75). Although there is no clear cut line of division it could said that supporter of global jihad believes that the use of violence is legitimate for establishing an Islamic state while others salafist think that peaceful propagation of Islam and advice, to ruler, usually in private are better ( Wiktorowicz,2005,p.76) . The use of violence for establishing the past glory of Muslim societies is an essential feature of the global jihad ideology.

2.5 The ‘Operationalization’ of the Concept of Jihad

According to Cook (2009, p.182) the concept of jihad became operationalized by Abbdalah Azzam; a Palestinian cleric who called for jihad after the soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Azzam was according to Cook “the agent of the transition from contemporary jihad theorists and local Muslim resistance movements to globalist radical Islam (…).” ( Cook, 2005,p.128).He adds that Afghanistan became “the religious and social incubator for globalist radicals Islam in that it established contacts among a wide variety of radicals from Muslim antigovernmental and resistance movements and fused them together.”

Azzam call for Muslims to wage jihad in Afghanistan for the sake of Islam and Allah alone was made credible by his experience in fighting on the battlefield. His most popular writing on jihad is Ilhaq bi-l-qafila (Join the Caravan) (Cook, 2009,p.130). According to Cook (2009) “Azzam emphasized that jihad, and jihad alone would resurrect the Muslim world, re-create the primal Muslim society from the time of the Prophet Muhammad, unify world Muslims, and establish a state that would encompass all Muslims and be a world-wide power for the proclamation of Islam.” Osama Ben Laden was among the individuals who answered Abdallah Azzam’s call for jihad. The latter was assassinated in 1989 in Pakistan. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the USA became sole world power and its military intervention in the gulf during the first Iraq war, displeased many among the Arab veterans whom had waged jihad in Afghanistan. The refusal of Saudi government to employ these Arab veterans as proposed by Bin Laden further radicalized these individuals. Bin Laden criticized the Saudi monarchy for letting “infidels” armies to station in Arabia. Finally, Ben Laden sought to revive the call for jihad, this time against the USA and its allies in the region. For this purpose he created Alqaeda by transforming the existing organization set up by Azzam , the Maktab Al Khidama ( services Bureau) for recruiting young Arabs (Syed Saleem Shahzad, 2011).

Ben Laden sought to garner support for a global jihad against the United States by using spectacular terrorist methods. According to Shahzad (2011,p.48):

“In fact, bin Laden had become anti-American to the core - and anti the Saudi monarchy soon after they invited US troops to take part in the first Gulf War. But he did not have an ideology or a strategy. Most political analysts believed his initial sloganeering against the United States would not amount to anything, and, had he not met up with al-Zawahiri in 1997 it might not have. But al-Zawahiri indoctrinated bin Laden with the idea of armed opposition to the United States, and gave such a spin to it that bin Laden's uncertain security threat to the United States turned into a deadly reality.”

This morbid quest led to the deadly 9/11 attack in United States which triggered a US “war on terror”. It was a perfect example of a type of “propaganda of the deed”, which caused the united state to respond militarily. According to Neville Bolt (2012), propaganda of the deed is “an act of political terrorism with strategic objectives aimed at goading states into over-reacting with excessive force”. Indeed, the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 has paradoxically helped the spread of Al-Qaida ideology of global jihad. More than a decade after the 9/11 attack, and even after Ben Laden death, many radical groups have emerged and are conducting insurgency in the Middle east, the Caucasus, in Asia and in Africa.

2.6 Global Jihadism in Somalia

In the Horn of Africa, the waging of Jihad is not new, and at least two instances are recorded in history, the first one took place in the medieval era, and the second in modern time in the context of the colonization. It could be said that Alshabaab has reintroduced the jihad discourse, once again, in the region, albeit this time with a global outlook.

In the medieval era, Imam Ahmed called for jihad and launched from its Harrar base, located in the east of Ethiopia, a military campaign against the highlands Christian kingdoms. In the late nineteen century, a Somali cleric, Sayyid Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, in a bid to resist western colonization, called also for jihad and justified its struggle on religious ground. It is interesting to note that the two historical instances of jihad in the horn of Africa bear the same hallmarks that characterize contemporary debates on the concept of jihad. For the case of Imam Ahmed, nicknamed ‘Gragne’, the left- handed, his jihad, although resulting from economic disputes and power wrestling with the Christians inhabiting the Ethiopian highlands, was aiming at forcefully spreading Islam. By contrast, Sayyid Mohamed Hassan resistance was a nationalistic endeavor. In each case, however, the end result was a failure, nor Imam Ahmed obtained the conversion to Islam of all Abyssinia, neither Sayyid Mohamed succeeded in uniting Somalis tribes for his cause in expelling British and Italian colonialists. Nowadays, Alshabaab has reintroduced the jihad discourse in the Horn of Africa. This time, the causes and the objectives are linked with the global jihad advocated by Al-Qaida.

2.7 Harakat Al Mujahideen Al Shabaab

As found by a recent study, ‘the literature on Alshabaab could be divided in three categories; its origin in Somalia and Islam, its organizational anatomy, and opinion on how the group could be defeated’ (Brian Tabarovsky, 2014). In recent years, several articles were written on Alshabaab propaganda and its use of internet and social media, however, these works do not provide a comprehensive picture on Alshabaab efforts to legitimize the global jihad ideology in Somalia.

Roland Marchal (2009) is one of the researchers who took an earlier interest in Alshabaab. According to him, the organization was gradually formed through different phase before becoming what it is today, an Al-Qaida affiliated Somalis jihadist movement. Authors such as Ashley Elliot and Georg-Sebastian Holzer (2009) confirm the shadowy origin of Alshabaab and its circumstantial emergence. According to Marchal (2009) Alshabaab succeeded in gaining the support of the Somali community during the Ethiopian military occupation of Mogadishu. The militant group emerged as a leading movement among the Muqawamat, (Resistance in Arabic) the upheaval against Ethiopians forces ( Marchal, 2009) .

Taking advantage of the wide support it received as a resistance movement, Alshabaab managed to control large swath of territories in Somalia and implemented its interpretation of Sharia with harsh legal punishments such as stoning and amputations. On this topic, the most interesting work on Alshabaab practices of Sharia is written by Michael Skelderup (2014). The author found that Alshabaab practice of Islamic criminal law is far more severe than required by the Islamic Jurisprudence ( Skelderup, 2014,p.327). The main reasons for this state of affair are Alshabaab willingness to assert a tight control over the population through fear but also for the political aim of marking its radical ideological inclination ( skjelderup, 2014,p.327) .Thus Alshabaab is careful of casting the image of a true jihadist organization, and for this end the militant group has a well developed communication strategy.

On this account, Hosaka Shuji (2012) observed that Alshabaab communication strategy share common features with others jihadist groups, but the Somali radical organization which operates in a collapsed state has also its own methods. Author such as Oscar Gaku Mwangi (2012) noted that, in its earlier years, Alshabaab displayed a well formulated discourse calling both on patriotism and religious obligation for jihad and resistance against foreign occupation (Oscar Gaku Mwangi, 2012). In fact, Alshabab developed its own media organ in 2009, the al-Katā’ib Foundation for Media Production (Mu’assasa al-Katā’ib lil-Intāj al-I‘lāmī) (Hosaka Shuji, 2012).

In recent years, Alshabaab developed a presence on social media, such as twitter and facebook. According to Michel Avino (2013) “twitter offers a real time communication tool which allows spreading information on event recently occurred. This platform allows followers to be part of the jihad in real time creating some sort of excitement to the members of the Somali diaspora and English speaking Muslims”. Alshabaab twitter accounts were particularly actives and provided the group with a worldwide publicity. For example Alshabab twitter account HSM Press Office created on December 2011 had 20000 followers before being suspended (Michel Avino, 2013). Alshabaab has also a very active public relation inside its controlled area in Somalia where it holds seminars, charity events and press conference. Shuji (2012) asserts that due to lack of necessary technology Alshabaab preferred method for engaging with the local is face to face meeting.

In spite of this observed propensity for propagating its ideology, research focused purely on Alshabaab discourse is lacking. What is the content of its message? Which Islamic principles and concepts are Alshabaab advocating and propagating? Which Islamic scholars, past or present, are Alshabaab referring to? How these sources of radical interpretation of Islam could be countered, in Somalia and elsewhere? The literature on Alshabaab, although growing, gives little information on these questions. Yet, these issues are important to counter the Global jihadism ideology in the region, and elsewhere.

2.8 Summary

The notion of Ideology has a long history and encompasses a large scope of definition. However, if the epistemological question on the objectivity of the concept is left aside a core meaning could be identified. Indeed, the philosophical debate on the cognition of truth and falsehood is an old and difficult question. Whether ideology is a ‘false conscience’ or not, it is a notion that involves a system of belief and which provide coherent and simple understanding of the world. Therefore, the way the concept of jihad is framed today by global jihadists makes it an ideology. Indeed, their claim provides a simple worldview and legitimizes the use of violence for attaining an Islamic golden age emulating the achievement of the first’s generations of Muslims. Nevertheless, an exploration of the literature on the concept of jihad, past and present, shows that it is a complex notion.

Jihad encompasses both military struggles as well as spiritual and moral endeavor. The historical evolution of Muslim societies and various political struggles has led to the development of radical interpretation of classical sources of jihad, in particular in the twentieth century. The war in Afghanistan after the soviet invasion became the first contemporary instance of a legitimate call for jihad with many Muslim countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia allowing their citizens to go for jihad. Thus Afghanistan became for many young Muslims a sort of incubator of revivalist and fundamentalist ideas.

After the end of the soviet occupation of Afghanistan, new historical circumstance such as the first gulf war of 1991 led to the emergence of the first global jihadist organization, namely Al-Qaida, which means the foundation, created by Osama Bin Laden. This organization called for resistance against Western political and military domination. Al-Qaida and its affiliated organizations made use of terrorist methods for gaining notoriety. This led to the 9/11 attack and the subsequent US “war on terror”. Paradoxically, in spite of the global war on terrorism Al-Qaida ideology has spread toward many regions, like Somalia. The development of internet, the sophistication of jihadist propaganda materiel has contributed to the spread of the global jihad ideology. In Somalia, Alshabaab movement has affiliated with Al-Qaida, and it has adopted its methods. Alshabaab has also developed its own capabilities for its propaganda. The group has a public relation strategy but unfortunately there are few researches on it. Although the literature on Alshabaab recognizes the importance the organization gives to its propaganda, however, few have investigated its discourse in depth.


3.1 Introduction

Alshabaab communicates extensively and in various ways. The radical group seems deliberately putting great emphasis on Public Relation along its violent actions. This research main purpose is to gain an understanding of Alshabaab communication strategy. The focus is put on the discourse used by the organization. Therefore the methodology of this research is largely informed by theories and methods developed in the field of Discourse studies. First, the primary and secondary research questions are presented as well as their related objectives. Then, the theoretical framework of this research is discussed with a focus on post-structuralism and Critical Discourse Analysis, and the ontological and epistemological assumptions of these schools of thought. Next, the multidisciplinary analytical methods selected in this research for processing the collected data are described. Finally, the scope and the limitations of this research are explained.

3.2 Research Questions

The main question of this research is how does Alshabaab make the global Jihad ideology relevant in Somalia? This central question entails two subsidiary questions:

- What is the current Global Jihad ideology?
- What are the main features of Alshabaab discourse?

The answers to these questions should first shed a light on the evolution of the jihad concept from classical time up to modern era, and its contested meaning in the Muslim world. Then by analyzing Alshabaab discourse, key rhetorical features (vocabulary, expression, argumentation, concepts, and themes), should be identified and how Alshabaab frame its message. The research should lead to an understanding of the usage of these concepts in Somalia context.

3.3 Theoretical framework

Studying radical Islamic group’s discourse and communication strategy situates the research in the fields of Discourse studies. Discourse theory posits that “social and political life acquires its meaning through discourse, especially through the articulation of meaning and identities” (Nicolina Montesano Montessori, 2011). It is a key ontological and epistemological premise that considers language as a fundamental element of social construction. As noted by Marianne Jørgensen, and Louise Phillips, (2002,p.8):

“Discourse analytical approaches take as their starting point the claim of structuralist and poststructuralist linguistic philosophy that our access to reality is always through language.”

A poststructuralist perspective on discourse is particularly relevant for this research because post-structuralism claims that meaning is never definite and stable but always contested. Indeed Alshabaab strives to redefine Islamic principles and to give them meaning in Somalia context in order to legitimize its cause.

Post-structuralism emerged in mid 20es century as a critic of structuralism, and was introduced by theorists such as Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault and others. These theorists were critical toward structuralism which asserted the existence of underlying structures or systems in every aspect of human existence and the constraining effect of these structures. Although post-structuralists recognize the existence of systems or structures, and the cognitive importance of these structures, they refute their immutability and universalism. For example as pointed out by Mark Olssen (2003, p.192) Foucault rejected “the notion central to structuralism as a system of universal rules or laws or elementary structures that underpinned history and explained it in surface appearances”. Post-structuralism gives a pivotal role to discourse which is fundamental for shaping social practice. For theorists such as Ernestau Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, “discourse constructs the social world in meaning, and that, owing to the fundamental instability of language, meaning can never be permanently fixed” (Jørgensen, and Phillips, 2002,p.6). In fact a poststructuralist discourse approach stresses “the radical contingency and historicity of social objectivity, as well as the primacy of politics and power in its formation” (David Howarth, 2010).

Discourse study investigates the relation between meaning, power, and hegemony. According to Jorgensen and Phillips (2002, p.76) who cite Fairclough:

“...the concept of hegemony gives us the means by which to analyse how discursive practice is part of a larger social practice involving power relations: discursive practice can be seen as an aspect of a hegemonic struggle that contributes to the reproduction and transformation of the order of discourse of which it is part (and consequently of the existing power relations).”

Introduced by Antonio Gramsci and developed by Laclau and Mouffe this concept derives from a critic of Marxism historical materialism (Marianne Jørgensen, and Louise Phillips, 2002). Anthonio Gramsci was a leading theorist of neo-Marxism “interested in ‘ideologies’or ‘philosophies’ and in moments of mass adhesion” ( Richard Johnson, 2007). He rejected the rigidity of Marxism and its class determinism as exclusive account for social transformation. He developed “a theory of hegemony, which holds that power can never be maintained by force or repression alone. It depends on coercion and consensus, which are dialectically related” ( Nicolina Montesano Montessori, 2011). Alshabaab discourse is hegemonic in a sense because it seeks to obtain the consent of people. Although Alshabaab rule is brutal, authoritative and totalitarian, the group strives to justify its system on religious ground, and thus reinforce obedience to its harsh rule and attract new recruits and supporters. Mark C.J. Stoddart (2007,p.201) asserts that “hegemonic power works to convince individuals and social classes to subscribe to the social values and norms of an inherently exploitative system”.

The theories aforementioned are generally grounded in social constructivist and anti foundational worldview. It is worth reminding here that there is a wide array of approach in discourse theory and discourse analysis with various methodological guidelines. Therefore, and in order to take full advantage of the richness of paradigm in discourse studies the methodology of this research is based on a multi-perspectives approach.

3.4 Analytical Process

Following the aforementioned mentioned philosophical underpinning of the research, two approaches grounded on Discourse Analysis are used for this study; Critical Discourse Analysis, and Laclau and Mouffe’s Discourse Theory. Such an approach is recommended by Marianne Jørgensen and Louise Phillips (2002). The choice of such multiperspectival analytical framework is motivated by the desire to enrich the analysis of Alshabaab discourse by combining methods that differ in their approaches of discourse but share the same field of study. The goal is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the subject within the timeframe of the MSc in Security Sector Management.

Each of the two approaches offers interesting way of studying a discourse through the lens of its own set of concepts and its own methods of investigation.. In fact these approaches taken together in a multiperspectival framework could afford a comprehensive analysis of a discourse. Of course each approach has also its own strength and weakness. In the following paragraph each approach is briefly presented along its benefit for this research as well as any limitation or related constraint.

3.4.1 Laclau and Mouffe Discourse Theory

For Laclau and Mouffe discourse is exclusively constitutive, and they consider that social structures as well as cultural process are all emanating from discursive practice. In sum, discourse is the source of all social practices. Although Discourse Theory does not offer detailed analytical tools, it is an approach, however, which introduces interesting concepts useful in analysing a discourse.

The following are some of these concepts: as noted by Jorgensen and Phillips (2002,p.50):

“- Nodal points, master signifiers and myths, which can be collectively labelled key signifiers in the organisation of discourse.
- The concept of chains of equivalence which refers to the investment of key signifiers with meaning,
- Concepts concerning identity: group formation, identity and representation.
- Concepts for conflict analysis: floating signifiers, antagonism and hegemony.”

These concepts could serve as analytical tools in investigating a text.

3.4.2 Critical Discourse Analysis

Critical Discourse Analysis, although not necessarily grounded on post-structuralism ontology, is an important approach in discourse study. Although CDA has a lot in common with other approaches in discourse study, there are important differences. Therefore, in this section, CDA is described more lengthily than Laclau and Mouffe’s Discourse Theory. CDA focuses on language, societal conflict, power and context:

“ (…) on a wide variety of theories, ranging from microsociological perspectives (Ron Scollon) to theories on society and power in Michel Foucault's tradition (Siegfried JaÈger, Norman Fairclough, Ruth Wodak), theories of social cognition (Teun van Dijk) and grammar, as well as individual concepts that are borrowed from larger theoretical traditions.” (Wodak and Meyer, 2001, p.17)

According to Jorgensehn and Philips (2002) theorists of Critical Discourse Analysis consider that discourse“is a form of social practice which both constitutes the social world and is constituted by other social practices.” It is a key premise which differentiate proponents of CDA and others theorists of discourse study. Critical Discourse Analysis recognizes others social dimension that have a non-discursive nature and that affect on social practice as well as on discourse. For example political institution and social structure such as the family contribute in shaping social practice. Contrarily to other poststructuralist approach such as Laclau and Mouffe’s Discourse Theory, CDA in general, upheld the view “that discursive practices are influenced by societal forces that do not have a solely discursive character (e.g. the structure of the political system and the institutional structure of the media).” (Jorgenhsen, Philips, p.62, 2002). In sum CDA refuse to see discourse as the sole constitutive factor of social practice.

The notion of Ideology is very important for this research and CDA gives great consideration to it. Indeed “for CDA, ideology is seen as an important aspect of establishing and maintaining unequal power relations.” (Ruth Wodak and Michael Meyer , 2001,p.10). Another key point is that among the various approaches of Discourse study, CDA offers the most detailed methods for empirical research. As pointed by Jorgenhsen and Philips (2002,p.62) “Critical discourse analysis engages in concrete, linguistic textual analysis of language use in social interaction. This distinguishes it from both Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory which does not carry out systematic, empirical studies of language use, and from discursive psychology which carries out rhetorical but not linguistic studies of language use.”

Among the theorists of Critical Discourse Analysis, Norman Fairclough’s approach is the most developed ( Jørgensen and Phillips (2002). He gives primacy to systematic analysis of text and spoken language. His methodology reflect the influence of linguistic studies and its focus on detailed text analysis, macro-sociological analysis of social practice, and the micro-sociological interpretative tradition within the field of sociology. ( Jørgensen, and Louise Phillips, 2002,p.66).Fairclough aims at an analysis which encompass both text and social analysis. For him discourse takes part in the construction of social identities, social relations, and system of knowledge and meaning ( Jørgensen and Phillips, p.67, 2002). Fairclough developed a three dimensional model that offer an analytic framework to investigate relation between discourse (text), discursive practice (production and consumption of text), and social practice”(Jorgenhsen, Philips, p.68, 2002).

By using Fairclough’s approach , the analysis should shed a light on the link between Alshabaab discourse and the discursive practice involved and the social practice resulting of it or affecting the discourse of the radical group itself.

3.4.3 Integration of Social Theories in the Analytical Framework

For CDA proponents, an analysis of the social practice dimension is necessary in order to grasp the socio-political context in which the discourse under study has emerged and how, in turn, it contributes to reshape the social order. For this purpose, Critical Discourse Analysis approach recommends the use of appropriate Social theoretical framework relevant for the order of discourse under study. Indeed discourse analysis is not sufficient for grasping the non-discursive elements of the social phenomenon investigated (Marianne Jørgensen and Louise Phillips (p.69, 2002). Therefore, for the present research, in order to understand the social processes at play and to fully grasp the context in which Alshabaab is operating, it is necessary to look at relevant paradigms. However, the problem is how to select these paradigms and how to find the right theoretical tools. The matter is further complicated by the subject studied. Indeed the jihadist phenomenon is widely studied and was tackled from many different perspectives such as political science, international relation, sociology, security studies. A consideration at the nature of Alshabaab indicates a way to solve this problem. It is a movement striving to impose its ideology. Thus, two paradigms are found particularly meaningful for this present research on a radical Islamist organization; cultural theory, and Social movement Theory. A brief description of them is elaborated in the following paragraphs.

Theorists in sociology have strived to unfold the mechanism which could explain people action and the social order (Andreas Reckwitz, 2002). Competing views have differed on this issue. One view is The Rational Choice Theory which has its origin in the eighteen century utilitarian and Scottish moral philosophy, and which is a purpose oriented theory of action (Andreas Reckwitz, 2002). Another view is the norm-oriented approach developed by Durkheim and Parsons. (Andreas Reckwitz, 2002). A third view, termed cultural theories “has emerged as a result of the ‘culturalist’ revolutions in twentieth-century social philosophy and are rooted primarily in structuralism and semiotics, phenomenology and hermeneutics, and in Wittgensteinian language game philosophy (Andreas Reckwitz, 2002).

In contrast to rational choice theory and norm-oriented approach, which respectively focus on individual interest ( Homo economicus) and normative socials constraints ( Homo sociological), cultural theories give primacies to “the symbolic structures of knowledge which enable and constrain the agents to interpret the world according to certain forms, and to behave in corresponding ways” (Andreas Reckwitz, 2002,p.245). It is about how one sees the world and interprets it; it is about belief and ideology. The resulting social order is then the product of a shared interpretation which is enacted upon collectively.

The other set of paradigms which provide useful analytical lens of the social dimension of Alshabaab discourse are those provided by the theory of social movement. Colin J. Beck (2008, p.1565) asserts that, “social movement theory, due in part to its integrative and interdisciplinary nature, is uniquely positioned to contribute a necessary conceptual framework for the study of political violence and terrorism.” Nevertheless, the issue is far from certain, at least as regarding Islamic political activism which the salafi jihadist is a radical brand. For Asef Bayat (2005) social movement theories are grounded on western political evolution and the phenomenon of political Islam is complex and extremely varied. Bayat was speaking specifically of Islamism in general. He does not exclude, however, any potentially meaningful contribution of social movements’ paradigms in studying political Islam (Bayat,2005). In this present research, global jihad is not considered as a conceptually isolated phenomenon that emerged ex nihilo, but in contrary, it is an intellectual construct to be located at an extreme side of the complex specter of political Islam.

Social movement theory has many various perspectives and theoretical approaches developed by different schools. Some of them took inspiration from Marx, others from Weber. The main approaches were the collective behavior, mass society, resource mobilization, and relative depravation. However, during the last 15 years, three main theoretical perspectives strain have emerged; mobilizing resources, political opportunities, and framing ( Beck,2005).

Although no more fashionable, the collective behavior approach merits consideration for this research. According to Aldon Morris and Cedric Herring (1984,p.11) who cite Turner(1981), “the collective behavior approach is social psychological in orientation rooted in symbolic interaction theory.” It emphasizes the un-institutionalized character of social movements and it defines it as “a collective enterprises to establish a new order of life” (Aldon Morris, Cedric Herring, 1984,p.5). For Bayat (2005,p.892) the “the collective behaviour approach extensively emphasizes ‘generalised belief’ and ‘shared values’ as the central axis around which mobilisation takes place.” For him this approach implies that “the sense of commonness gets formed spontaneously, motivated by a strong psychological impulse, often without the actors rationalising their orientations.” This could apply to people who join group such as Alshabaab. But, ‘psychological impulse’ is an ambiguous notion and it could not account alone for the acceptance of a radical discourse such as the global jihad or for the radicalization process involved.

Bayat describes the two kind of interpretation of Islamism , held by western scholars; the modernist one considering Islamism as reactionary and anti-modernity, and proponents of such view “ portray Islamism as reactive movements carried by traditional people, the intellectuals, and the urban poor, against Western-style modernisation. These movements are said to be anti-democratic and regressive by character.” The second interpretation, according to Bayat, is viewing Islamism as a postmodern phenomenon claiming right for difference. Bayat cites Foucault words describing the Iranian revolution as the ‘first post-modern revolution of our time’, as the ‘spirit of a world without spirit’. (Asef Bayat, 2005,p.894).

Global jihad ideology is on one extreme side of political Islam, and its main characteristic is the use of terrorism. Beck (2008) points to the difficult conceptualization of terrorism and the debate among scholars about what constitutes a terrorism act. He proposes to consider such act as “one mode of contentious politics.” This is in line with the view held in recent years, by theorist of social movement theory searching for synthesis and calling for an integrative approach to all form of contentious politic. According to Beck (2008,1566) “terrorist groups are first and foremost movements with political claims and can be analyzed as such.” Alshabaab, according to the various accounts on its emergence in Somalia, falls in this category.

3.5 Challenges and Limitations

Subjectivity is inherent in this research in selecting texts, documents and other materials, but criteria such as credibility of authors could insure a good sampling. Such criteria restrain the selection of materials to, for example, speech of Alshabaab leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane aka Abu Zuber and interviews made by Alshabaab formal spokesperson as well as others prominent personalities in the group. In this research the analyzis is focusing on Alshabaab leader public speeches, for at least two reasons. First, as this leader, called ‘emir’ fulfil also the role of a religious guide, then his public speeches embodied the core belief of the group. Second, as propaganda tools, the public speeches of Alshabaab emir provide valuable information on how the global jihad ideology is presented to the Somali public.

Concerning the scope of the research, the study is concerned with Alshabaab discourse and therefore other jihadist organizations text and messages are not included in the analysis unless the material is relevant for the present inquiry.

Another important point is that the effect of Alshabaab discourse in Somalia is not investigated. The research is not conducted in Somalia and although some sort of contact could be attempted through internet, security concerns impede to conducting any interviews with officials from Ashabaab or any other sympathiser. However, the extensive communication of the jihadist proponent can overcome this difficulty because there are sufficient materials on internet that allow gaining knowledge of their belief system.

3.6 Summary

The ideology of Al-Qaida and likeminded groups such Alshabaab denotes a peculiar world view based on radical interpretation of Islamic tenets. Proponents of Global Jihad ideology, or Global Jihadism, strive to impose their peculiar worldview, their “social construction of realities.” To investigate such ideology, one needs to be cognizant that such ontological assumption of a socially constructed world entails an interpretivist epistemology which consider that ‘’there is not a ‘real’ world, which exists independently of the meaning which actors attach to their action” (Paul Furlong, and David Marsh, 2010). Furthermore, the endeavor to investigate Alshabaab discourse has led to explore existing methodologies in the field of discourse study. Two main traditions, which investigate discourse in relation to ideology, stand out: post-structuralism and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), (Maynard, 2013). In particularly, Laclau and Mouffe’s Discourse Theory and Fairclough’s CDA approach. Discourse Theory is a pure product of post-structuralism, whereas CDA, take a more critical and objective stance, and incorporate social theory. Although with difference in degree, both approaches recognize that discourse influence social practice. Therefore, the methodology of this research is a multidisciplinary approach combining Discourse Theory and Critical Discourse Approach, in order to enrich the analysis of Alshabaab discourse.


4.1 Introduction

As said earlier in this research, the Somalia-based radical Islamic insurgency Harakat Mujahidin Alshabaab, known simply as Alshabaab , has introduced a new discourse in the horn of Africa, the call for a global jihad in line with the Al-Qaida ideology. The present study is aiming at understanding how Alshabaab is legitimizing its cause in Somalia. This chapter constitutes the analysis part of the research in which key speeches of the late Alshabaab leader, are examined with the methodology outlined in the previous chapter. The two speeches analyzed were selected following a strategic choice of data based on two factors. First, Alshabaab is an organization highly hierarchized, with a single leader at the top, the emir. All formal utterances of the latter are of normative character which means any other discourse that does not conform to the official line expressed by the emir is forbidden. Second, the analysis of Alshabaab’s discourse is taking in account historical and contextual perspectives as the two speeches selected were made at different time, in 2009 and in 2014. It is intended to see how Alshabaab discourse evolves, if at all and how the group adapts its rhetoric to changing historical conditions. The main challenge was to render the data analyzable and a process of transcription and translation had to be done. However, the poetry parts included in the speeches, as Alshabaab slain leader was fan of Somali poetry, were not transcribed. Although this poetry has a valuable propaganda value, the study is concerned with the content and the core message of Alshabaab discourse, and analyzing Somali poems would have required extra-time and expertise.

The resulting texts are analyzed by using two approaches of discourse studies; Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis and Discourse Theory. By combining these two approaches equal focus is given to the discursive dimension, considered as fundamental in Discourse Theory, and the social realm which is seen by Fairclough as depending of others factors not necessarily of a discursive nature. Thus, social theory could be integrated in the analysis of a discourse for a better understanding of phenomena such as the global jihad ideology. In addition, such combined approach allows the use of a variety of analytical tools and concepts that enriches the analysis. Furthermore, although a textual analysis is done in the following paragraphs, the translation process of Alshabaab leader speech (from Somali to English) is altering the reliability of this method. Therefore using a combined approach will also ensure the validity of the analysis. Indeed, contrarily to Fairclough critical discourse analysis, Laclau and Mouffe method do not involve a detailed analysis of linguistic structures. Thus, the combined approach alleviates the risk of any shortcoming or mismatch between the analytical tools and the data investigated that may have resulted by using a single method. It should be said that Fairclough framework is aspiring the organization of the chapter. Thus, the latter is organized according to a logical progression which starts first at the level of text (micro-level) by looking at words and sentences. The aim is to uncover key vocabulary and, in spite of the translation process involved, eventual pattern of linguistic features. Then the analysis progress toward a meso or middle-level that examines Alshabaab discursive practices. Here, the goal is to find the order of discourses involved, the themes and concept characterizing Alshabaab discourse. Thirdly, a macro-level analysis is undertaken focusing on the social practices introduced by Alshabaab in Somalia.

4.2 Micro-Level Analysis: Alshabaab selective usage of Islamic Lexicon

The first text analyzed (Annexe A) is a transcript of an audio speech in Somali language, which was transcribed and translated for analytical purpose. Therefore, a detailed grammatical analysis will not reveal much since the original text has been transformed. Nevertheless, key linguistic features and grammatical construction are examined such as the vocabulary, the modality and transitivity. The speech was made in 2009 by the now defunct Alshabaab leader, Ahmed Abdi Mohamed, known also as Godane, and Abu Zubeyr. The later was his Arabic ‘nom the guerre’ as it is common practice of jihadits to use the nickname of ‘Abu someone’, which means ‘father of’ and refers usually to the eldest child ( Abdi Aynte,..). In this research, Alshabaab’s leader is referred to as Godane, as he was widely known in Somalia as such. The speech was one of its first public declarations made at a time when Alshabaab was powerful and controlled almost the entire capital city of Mogadishu. Thus, it was addressed primarily to the people of Mogadishu and it introduced in Somalia the peculiar style of Alshabaab jihadist discourse.

In this speech, Godane uses a vocabulary which belongs to the lexicon of Islamic literature, in particularly to its most sacred book, the Quran. Although his speech is in Somali, he uses Arabic words taken from verses of the Quran, such as ‘Mujahidin’ (plural of Mujahid), ‘Munafiqin’(hypocrites) , or ‘Rida’ ( Apostasie). He also uses derogatory words in Somali. For instance the word “Gaallada” is the Somali term for unbelievers. Godane uses these words in order to create a polarization in identity, in belief, and in political agenda, between Alshabaab and the Somali transitional government supported by AMISOM troops and the international community.

The polarization process is reflected also in the use of words such as truth (al Haq) and falsehood (al Badil). The opposition of truth and falsehood is used as a metaphor to explain and legitimize Alshabaab cause and explain why it is fighting against the Somali government and AMISOM. Alshabaab troops are mujahidin fighting against ‘evil’. Sentences like the following show the clear intention of polarizing the issue:

6- “Waa loolan ka dhexeeya xaga iyu baadilka, bidhca iyo sunaha, Galnimada iyo Islamka.”

[It is a struggle between right and wrong, between innovation and tradition, unbelief and Islam.]

10- “Marnaba ma dhicikarto horeyna uma dhicin in xaaq iyo badil heshiyan ama ey wala noolaadan.”

- [It never happens and it will never happen that falsehood and truth coexist].

17- “Dagaalka muqdisho wa mid u dhexeya Mujahidinta Alle darti u dagalamaya iyo kuwa u diriraya jidka Taaghut ka, demoqradiyada, iyo hirgalinta danaha yahuda.”

[The fighting in Mogadishu is opposing Allah’s Mujahidin and those who are fighting for the ways of Thagut, Democracy, and for the interest of Jews.]

47- “Wa dad u dagalamaya Alle swt jidkisa iyo dad u dagalameya jidki shaydanka iyu thaagut.”

- [Some are fighting on Allah way and other are fighting for the way of Satan and Thagut.]

A grammatical analysis of Godane speech shows that sentence are constructed in a coherent way with a process (predicate), an actor ( Agent), and a goal ( Patient). The syntactic structure is often elaborate and complex for rhetorical purpose but in general the semantic is unaffected and the meaning is unambiguous. The use of coordinating conjunction indicates also the argumentative nature of this discourse. The Somali word ‘Maxa yeelay’ is translated here as ‘because’ to render the relationship of causality which is manifest in Godane’s language.

In many places, demonstrative pronoun such as ‘this’ are placed at the beginning of sentences. It could points at the intention of the speaker to emphasize a universal fact and not its personal views. For example:

46- “Halka marka waxa ka muqata ee hirdanka manta ka dhexeya ee muqdisho dad ka ku dagalamaya wa dagal nocas ah.”

[This shows that the conflict in Mogadishu belong to such a category of conflict.]

An examination of the modality reveals an interesting pattern. According to Alena Kacmarova (2005) “modality is generally defined as a means of expressing the relationship between a speaker and an utterance, in a stricter sense a speaker and the truth-value of an utterance.” In his speech Godane makes several incontrovertible statements that the audience should receive as truth. It shows that the speaker asserts complete commitments to its statement. The following examples are explicit about the knowledge-claim of the statements made by Godane which exclude any doubt:

4-“Alle subhana wa taala sunaha kownka uu ku aslay waxa kamid ah hurdaneka xaqa iyo badilka ka dhexeya.”

[ It is part of Allah tradition (Suna) that falsehood and truth confront each other on this world.]

59- “Jihadku uu soconaya ila qaradaha adun ko dhan Islamku ka taaliso.”

[ - Jihad will continue until all continents are ruled by Islam.]

9- “Waa loolan ka so bilawday Iblis iyo nabiyu l’allahi Adam aleyhi salam, socona doona ila laga gaaro in islamka ka udambeya la dagalamo Dajal.”

[ - It is a confrontation that started between Iblis ( satan) and Allah’s prophet Adam (peace be upon him) which will continue until the last Muslim fights with Dajjal [ the antichrist].]

Godane makes use also of explicit obligational modalities with the modal verbs ‘must’ and “ought” used in sentences addressing the people of Somalia. For example:

45- “Camal kasta oo la rabo in Alle loogu dhawado wa in laga heela laba tilmamod.”

[Any deed that is performed in order to be closer to Allah must fulfill two criteria.]

46-“ Wa in uu yahay camal Alle kali iyo darti logu jeedo oo maal iyu madaxtinimo iyo maamus midna an lagu raadineen.”

[ It must be a deed performed only for Allah sake and not for worldly gains such as fortune, leadership,and notoriety.]

47- “Mar labad kana wa rasul Alle asw lagaga dayaneyo oo camal kas ku sargo’an yahay kitabki Alle iyu suna rasulka saw.”

[Second, it must emulate the conduct of the prophet and should be based on Quran and on the tradition of the prophet.]

62-“ Arinka kale waxa is weydin le umada muslimka ee manta ku dhaqan somaaliya gudahan, gar ahan muqdishu, maxa la gudbon?”

[The other issue is what should the muslim of Somalia do, in particular those of Mogadishu?]

63-“ Waxa la gudbon in ee xaqa garab istaagan.”

[They ought to stand beside the truth.]

The types of modalities used by Godane indicate the knowledge-claim and the authoritative character of his discourse. As regarding transitivity, in several instance Godane uses the personal pronoun ‘I’ in his speech. Thus his discourse takes a more personal character; the form of a message that he is sending to the people. It develops a sort of ‘conversational discourse’ and generates familiarity and closeness. This is shown also by the politeness of the speech. Godane starts by greeting and praising the Somali people and particularly the people of Mogadishu. Such politeness indicates the desire of the speaker to show its good intentions toward its audience, as demonstrated in the following extracts:

1- “Ugu Horeyn waxan salamaya umada muslimiinta ee somaliyed.”

[- First of all I extend my greetings to the Muslim people of Somalia.]

15-“ Waxan dooneya halkan ina ku qeexo dhowr arimod oo muhim ah.”

[- I want to clarify here few important points.]

68- “Inta kadib waxa halkan baaq uga jeedinaya cidamada la so khalday.”

[- After that, I am sending a message to the troops that have been fooled.]

He points to moral responsibility and use the Quran to urge the people of Mogadishu to fight against the apostates. A remarkable feature of this speech is the recurrent reference to God from the beginning to the end. Godane uses verses from the Quran and presents them in his speech as Allah’s injunctions addressed directly at the people of Mogadishu. Allah is presented as an active agent on the side of Alshabaab , urging people to fight AMISOM and the Somali government.

In sum, it could be said that the leader of Alshabaab defines the context and makes his claims fit the situation that he describes. In addition he sets the philosophical and ideological basis for his claim. In the next sections the analysis is focusing on identifying the central themes in Alshabaab’s emir speeches.

4.3 Jihad as Central Theme in Alshabaab discourse

In order to enrich the research, the second text (Annexe B) is analyzed with concepts derived from Laclau and Mouffe’ Discourse Theory. This second text is also a speech in Somali language and it had to be processed for analysis purpose. Although the second speech was made almost five years after the previous one, there are some commonalities in both. Therefore, for the sake of conciseness only pertinent features are reported below.

In the 2014 speech Ahmed Mohamed Abdi aka Godane, is depicting the situation in Somalia as a confrontation between Muslims and Christian crusaders. For him Somalia is being under aggression. He accuses the West of waging a war on Somalia by using Africans Christians proxy states, as part of a global crusade on Muslims. Godane is talking about the renewed role of Ethiopia which has been formally integrated with AMISOM forces in January 2014. He is asserting that this is part of Christian Crusade led by the West with the help of Ethiopia against Somalia and East Africa’s Muslims in general.

Godane is also describing the state-building efforts in Somalia which is supported by the international community as an aggression ( Duulaan in Somali). For him, the AMISOM is part of the crusade and the aggression on Muslim in Somalia. He speaks about neo-colonialism and new ways of indirect rule on Muslim, particularly on Somalia. One of the aims is according to him, to plunder Somalia resources. He abundantly refers to ‘Dagal’ a Somali world for ‘war’. In addition, he mentions in many instances the word ‘Dalka’ which means the country in Somali. His entire speech is revolving around the idea of ‘crusade’ and Somalia being ‘aggressed’. In Discourse Theory such key words in a speech are termed ‘nodal points’. According to Marianne Jørgensen and Louise Phillips (2002) who cite Laclau and Mouffe, “a discourse is formed by the partial fixation of meaning around certain nodal points.” After depicting this ‘crusade’, Godane call Somalis to resistance, and thus introduce the jihad as a religious and moral obligation as it is only in the last part of his speech that he speaks of jihad. In sum it is by the articulation of ‘floating signifiers’ such as ‘the country’, ‘Muslim’ or ‘Jihad’, that Godane constructs new meanings and shift between ideas. As pointed by Johnsen and Philips (2002), “floating signifiers are the signs that different discourses struggle to invest with meaning in their own particular way.” The word jihad is articulated in way that fits Alshabaab interpretation of this Islamic concept. According to this discourse engaging in jihad and resisting against the Christian aggression is a religious duty. In fact, as in the previous speech, Alshabaab leader defines the context according to his reading of international relations which is seen through the lens of a radical religious interpretation. The analysis of Alshabaab discursive practices helps understanding how this discourse is generated.

4.4 Analysis of the Discursive practices

According to Marianne Jørgensen, and Louise Phillips, (p.69, 2002) the analysis of discursive practice “focuses on how authors of texts draw on already existing discourses and genres to create a text, and on how receivers of texts also apply available discourses and genres in the consumption and interpretation of the texts.” Thus, in this section, the focus is upon identifying intertextuality and interdiscursivity in Alshabaab leader’s speeches under scrutiny.

In both speeches, the intertextuality is manifest, although it is more significant in the 2009 speech. Godane cites verses of Quran which he comments for supporting his arguments: The following extracts from the 2009 speech (Annex B) show the recurrent reference to the religion:

19-“ Alle waxu no sheegay inu ‘Muminiinta jidkiisa u dhagalamaya lakin Gaaladuna jidka Taaqutka .”

[- Allah tells us that ‘the believers are those fighting in his way and unbelievers are fighting in the way of Thagut’ (Quran, Sura An-Nisa, verse 76).]

38-“Alle wuxu leyahay Munafiqin ta waxa ugu bishareysa cadab kulul.”

[- Allah says, ‘inform the hypocrites that they will end up in hell’ (Quran, Sura An-Nisa, verse 138).]

Alshabaab leader draws on Quran and reinforces the religious character of his discourse which takes the form of a religious sermon or a religious lecture.

As regarding interdiscursivity, Godane speeches are hybrid because composed of several intermixed discourses. An examination of this interdiscursivity, beside the aforementioned religious discourse, reveals also features of a nationalistic discourse.

The nationalistic feature is more pronounced in the 2014 speech (Annex B). This is not surprising given the timing of this speech which appeared two months after Ethiopia integration into AMISOM. Alshabaab leader uses a xenophobic language to emphasize the nationalistic discourse while also making reference to crusade to indicate that there are as well religious motives for Somalia being aggressed. Thus he provides a simplistic historical narrative by interpreting past and current situation in Somalia as resulting from a long and permanent Christian crusade with the help of Ethiopia. Godane explains also the current situation in Somalia as a deliberate action from the West to counter the implication of Sharia in Somalia. In the 2014 speech, He describes the objectives pursued by the “enemy” as follow:

16-“Hadaf ka kowad: wa in inta hadhey dalkan itobiya iyo keeniya lo kala qeybiyo -iyado gabod laga dhiganayo mamul gobaledyo.”

[- The first objective is to divide the remaining territories of the country (Somalia) between Ethiopia and Kenya, while disguising this action as a creation of administrative regions.]

17- “Ka labad na wa in khairad ka dalka la boobo, si toos ah iyo si dadban labadaba iyado lamarayo mamulka maqarsarka ee ridada.”

[- The second objective is to plunder Somalia’s resource both directly and indirectly with the complicity of the puppet apostate government .]

18-“Hadaf ka sadeexad na wa in lala dagalamo ku dhaqanka sharcika Alle ee ka hirgaley wulayadka islamiiga, umadana loo diido in ey nabad ku heesho dinteyda.”

[-The third is to oppose the implementation of the Sharia which has been enforced in the Islamic Wilayats, and to deny its benefits such as the peace that people gain from it.]

19-“Ka afarad na wa in wadanka marlabad laga huriyu wadanka colad ku saleysan degamo iyu beelo, ka dib marki alle sharcigisa ee umadu ee gu midowdey.”

[- The fourth is to create dissension and conflict based on regional and clan rivalries while people were united under Islamic law.]

20-“Ujedada shanad na wa sidi itobiya eek u xaqinjin lahed riyadeydi aheyd in ee mar un dhigto cagta xeebaha Somaaliyed.”

[-The fifth objective is to provide Ethiopia with its long dreamed access to sea shore]”

The analysis of the discursive practice reveals that Alshabaab discourse belong to the global jihadism order of discourse. It is primarily a political discourse which is justified on religious basis with a radical interpretation of the Quran and the Sunna. Such discourse excludes other meaning and imposes its own interpretation of Islamic principles and its view on the political situation of Somalia. It offers only a Manichean choice. This is well illustrated when Godane declares in the 2009 speech that there is no middle ground:

57- “The other issue is what the Muslims of Somalia, in particular those of Mogadishu should do.

58.They ought to stand beside the truth, because there is not a middle ground in the issue at concern.

59.Since the conflict is a between truth and falsehood, it is necessary that they should support the truth, In order to gain the satisfaction of God, and obtain honor and consideration in this world.”

In discourse studies such discourse is qualified as hegemonic. The concept of hegemony was developed by Anthonio Gramsci, who was a leading theorist of neo-Marxism. He rejected the rigidity of Marxism and its class determinism as exclusive account for social transformation. He developed “a theory of hegemony, which holds that power can never be maintained by force or repression alone (but) depends on coercion and consensus, which are dialectically related” (Nicolina Montesano Montessori, 2011). According to Richard Johnson (2007), “Gramsci was interested in ‘ideologies’ or ‘philosophies’ and in moments of mass adhesion.” Alshabaab discourse is hegemonic because in spite of its radicalism, it seeks to obtain the consent of people. Although Alshabaab rule is brutal and totalitarian, the group strives to justify its system on religious ground. The aim is to reinforce obedience to its harsh rule and but also to attract new recruits and supporters. According to Mark C.J. Stoddart (2007) “hegemonic power works to convince individuals and social classes to subscribe to the social values and norms of an inherently exploitative system”. Thus the cultural realm is very important. For Gramsci “the cultural realm is a central location for the exercise of social power” (Mark Stoddart, 2007). It is perhaps the main reason behind Alshabaab endeavor to monopolize the religious field in Somalia. The organization is presenting itself as a movement that want to implement the true Islamic way of life. The myth of Sharia rule as a perfect political system is at the center of its claim. Indeed, Alshabaab asserts that it is fighting for a just society. They propose the establishment of an ideal society which emulates the first generations of Muslims. This radical and utopian project is a sort of ‘social imaginary’, according to the concept introduced by Laclau, which refers to the symbolization of social aspirations and expectations (Mark Stoddart, 2007).

Alshabaab, however, has translated its utopian project into reality in Somalia, and the result is far from being appealing. Such a practical implementation of radical ideas makes Alshabaab a revolutionary movement, and as shown by previous historical instances, such endeavor shakes the foundation of the society which is aiming to change.

4.5 Analysis of the Social Practices Introduced by Alshabaab in Somalia

Scholars of discourse studies assert that discourse contribute to the construction of social identities, social relations, and systems of knowledge and meaning ( Johnsen, and Phillips, 2002). In other words, discourse contributes in the shaping of social practices. By practice, here, it is meant “a routinized way in which bodies are moved, objects are handled, subjects are treated, things are described and the world is understood”(Andreas Reckwitz, 2002). Since its emergence as a powerful actor in Somalia, Alshabaab has had the opportunity to practice what it preaches. The organization used to control must of south and central Somalia. In its territories, Alshabaab implemented the Sharia, the Islamic law, based on its radical interpretation. The new practices comprised harsh judiciary measures, such as stoning and amputation, and were far removed from the Somali cultural and religious traditions. An analysis of the social practice dimension is necessary in order to grasp the socio-political context in which the discourse under study has emerged and how, in turn, it contributes to reshape the social order. Therefore, in this section, the task is to investigate the relationship between the jihadist order of discourse used by Alshabaab and its social context. This analysis will further contribute to understand how Alshabaab is legitimizing the global jihad discourse in Somalia. A consideration at the nature of Alshabaab indicates that it is a revolutionary movement striving to impose its ideology. Thus, theories on social movements provide a relevant analytical lens. In particular, the collective behavior paradigm which is, remarkably, applicable to the situation in Somalia and could explains the emergence of radical group such as Alshabaab. Aldon Morris, and Cedric Herring, (1984) assert that “collective hehavior arises under some form of structural breakdown --dramatic event, migration, natural disaster, urhanization, rapid social change, etc. -- that leads to noninstitutionalized efforts aimed at reconstituting ruptured social structures.” Indeed Alshabaab has emerged in a context characterized by the lack of central state and public governance although at that time regional and international actors were supporting a laborious and still unfinished statebuilding process. Individuals who created the Alshabaab movement proposed a competing project, a statebuilding process of their own, shaped through ideological persuasion and brutal coercion. The 2006, Ethiopian military intervention helped the radical group to acquire greater autonomy after the defeat of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), the umbrella of Islamists organization that achieved control over Mogadishu before being expelled by the Ethiopian troops. Alshabaab then positioned itself as resistance movement and was able to secure the support of the Somali people. Alshabaab was able to control most of the south and central Somalia.

In its controlled territories Alshabaab enforces a strict and harsh rule based on their interpretation of the Islamic laws although it is at odd with Somali traditional Islamic practices. The organization ostensibly imposes and enforces a strict moral code. It has ban sport like soccer, public cinema, and it has imposed a dress code (hijab for women, no short for men). Alshabaab has also destroyed Sufi shrine, an important aspect of Somalis culture.

Although the application of Huddud is strictly defined and regulated in Islam, Alshabaab has demonstrated an eagerness to overlook at the legal constraints imposed for implementing corporal punishments such as amputation and stoning (Michael Skjelderup, 2014). Although the exact numbers of cases could be higher, Michael Skjelderup (2014) estimates that “from October 2008 to June 2011, al-Shabaab courts ordered at least eight executions by stoning, twenty-three amputations for theft, and fifteen amputations for banditry.” According to Michael Skjelderup (2014), the application of Hudud holds a political signification for Alshabaab. It is a testimony of their pious intention of establishing a truly Islamic government in Somalia.

Nevertheless, and in spite of Alshabaab propaganda efforts, the symbolism of the global jihad with the black flag and its other semiotics aspects are at odd with the notion of a Somali identity and a Somali nation. For solving the manifest contradictions between in one hand the ideology and its resulting social practices, and in the other hand the patriotic stance as a resistance movement , Alshabaab is compelled to justify its action on religious ground. Thus Alshabaab must monopolize the religious ‘field of power’, to use Bourdieu’s expression.

4.6 Summary

Alshabaab share the same ideology than Al-Qaida and it justifies its ongoing insurgency in Somalia against the western backed Somali government and the African union troops as part of the global jihad for establishing an Islamic caliphate. The analysis of the two speeches of the late Alshabaab leader reveals a hybrid discourse which deliberately mixes nationalistic and religious language. This could be partly explained by the historical circumstances in which Alshabaab has emerged and gained preeminence as a national resistance movement. However, the organization endorsement of the Global jihad contradicts his early positioning as a resistance movement. Therefore, these flaws could be exploited for countering its propaganda. The finding of the analysis are discussed in more detail in the next chapter.


5.1 Introduction

This chapter is summing up the finding of the analysis conducted on the Alshabaab discourse. The study which was done with tools derived from discourse studies reveals two main characteristics. The first one is that Alshabaab uses a hybrid discourse that blurs the line between the political and the religious realm. Secondly, it is a discourse which draws on global jihadism doctrines and which uses a literalist, selective and ahistorical reading of the Quran. These are the fundamental proprieties that characterize the core of the radical organization message. This chapter discusses how these features participate in the legitimization process. First, there is an ideological construct based on concepts developed by Salafis. Second, the subsequent worldview generates a cognitive framework which defines reality, and identities. Third, individual and social norms are established and political goals are set according to the constructed belief systems. However, the ideology that Alshabaab endeavors to implement in Somalia is faced with increased challenges. The nature of these challenges is also covered in this chapter.

5.2 The Ideological Construct

Alshabaab translate Somalia’s socio-political reality in term of religious wording and according to doctrines derived from Salafism, the Islamic reformist and puritanical movement. The researcher Adis Duderija(2010,p.76), who refer to the contemporary Salafi as Neo-traditional Salafi, describes the belief of this movement as follows:

“(…) Neo-traditional Salafi is viewed primarily as the belief that the historical legacy of the Prophet’s interpretation of the Qur’an as understood by the most eminent authorities belonging to the first three generations of Muslims (al-salaf al-salih) is normative, static and universalistic in nature (in terms of methodology/manhaj and its by-product, the creed/‘aqı¯da). As such, these teachings are to be literally adhered to and imitated in a temporal and spatial vacuum by all subsequent generations of Muslims, primarily by being faithful to a literal and decontextualized Qur’an–Sunna hermeneutic epistemologically and methodologically anchored in Hadith-based literatures.”

The concepts developed by Salafism were reformulated by contemporary ideologues of the global jihad. Basically, the global jihadism is recasting the social, political and religious issues of the prophet Muhammad era to the present time. This contextual transposition provides the cognitive framework for interpreting contemporary international relations, setting political objectives and justifying violent actions. According to Jarret M. Brachman (2009) the Global jihadism ideology upheld five fundamental doctrines: Tawhid (unicity of God), Aqidah (creed), Al Wala wal Bara (loyalty and disavowal), Takfir (excommunication), and Jihad (struggling). These doctrines are briefly defined below.

The concept of Tawhid (unicity of God) is in fact a key principle in Islam, and the first of its five pillars which are comprised by ‘Salat’ (prayer), ‘Sum al Ramadan’ (fast of Ramadan), ‘ Zakat’ (alms giving), and ‘Hajj’ ( the pilgrimage) . The elaboration on the concept of Tawhid is one of Ibn Taymiyya greatest contribution to the Salafi thought ( Wiktorowicz, 2005).The renowned medieval scholar considered that belief in unicity of God entails not only worshiping him but also submitting exclusively to its law and rejecting human made legislation (Wiktorowicz, 2005). Aqidah, or Aqeeda (creed) is the set of core Islamic principles derived from the basic creed of Islam “Laa ilaaha ill’Allah, Muhammadun Rasuul Allah” (There is no God other than Allah, and Muhammad is his Messenger). Another important concept for Salafi is the notion of “al Wala wa al Bara” (commonly translated as “loyalty and disavowal”) which is an intellectual construct, disputed in contemporary Islamic thoughts. It is derived from the belief that “that God and His Prophet commanded the believers to reserve their love and friendship for Muslims and to disassociate themselves from infidels, despise them and avoid imitating their beliefs and customs”( Uriyat Shavit, 2014,p.67). The implications of this concept along the doctrines of Takfir and Jihad are discussed later in this chapter.

The aforementioned doctrines added to a literal and ahistorical interpretation of the sacred text are used by the adherent of the global jihadism, often called Salafi-jihadists, included Alshabaab, to interpret the world and to justify their actions. They use Islamic vocabulary and concepts for discussing contentious worldly matter such as politic, war, and legislation. For instance, the concept of Taghut or Taagoot is used to emphasize the polarization between two socio-political systems; one based on Islamic creed, and another characterized by manmade laws.

5.3 Opposition between two ‘systems’: Islam versus Thaghuut

According to Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhab, the eighteen century cleric who inspired the founder of the Saudi kingdom, and who wrote a treatise titled “Ma’anaa at-Taaghoot”[ The Meaning of Taaghoot], the word “Taaghoot is derived from the verb taghaa (to transgress), and it means everything that has passed and transgressed its limit.”(Muhammad bin ‘Abdir-Rahmaan Al-Khumayyis, 2003). In the Quran, Taghut is mentioned in the following verses:

“And We have indeed sent to every nation a messenger (saying to his people): ‘Worship Allaah alone and avoid the Taghut (false deities).” [Surah An-Nahl: 36]

“Have you not seen those (hypocrites) who claim to have faith in that which has been revealed to you, and that which was revealed before you, and they wish to go for judgement (in their disputes) to the Taaghoot, when they have been ordered to reject them? But the Devil wishes to lead them far astray.” [Surah An-Nisaa: 60]

Thagut could also refer to tyrannical ruler. According to Muhammad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhab, the second verse indicates that Thagut means also “the tyrannical and oppressive ruler who changes Allaah’s rulings” (Al-Khumayyis, 2003). The concept of Taghut is recurrent in radical Salafi views because it allows them to vilify and deem un-Islamic most of the rulers of Islamic countries. For instances, Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al Maqdisi (GPUBS,2013), a contemporary Jordanian radical cleric, argues that “ one of the worshipped deities nowadays, that every monotheist must disbelieve in and its followers, in order to follow the firmest handhold and to be saved from the Hell fire, are the transitory man made gods and godesses of the so called legislature.” Pointing to the importance of this concept, Al Maqdisi even adds that “If you come to understand this, you should know that the greatest step of adherence to this firmest handhold and the highest step of disbelief in this man-made deity [man made legislation] is the apex of Islam.” (Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, 2013)

Such beliefs upheld by adherents of the global jihadism help understand their aversion to secularism and democratic political system. Likewise Alshabaab is opposed to the advent of a secular state in Somalia, and it is decided to derail the statebuilding process. The group is calling for the creation of an Islamic state, and for the implementation of the Sharia. The group redefines the Somali identity according to its worldview.

5.4 Identities Ascription

Alshabaab ascribes new identities to different actors for the purpose of justifying its actions on religious ground and for disparaging opponents. In Alshabaab discourse, a human being is primarily categorized by its supposed religious status. Hence, individuals are deemed believers, unbelievers, hypocrite, or apostate. Such lexicon affords Alshabaab to refer to the African troops of AMISOM as Christians and Unbelievers waging a crusade on behalf of the West. Opposed to them are the Mujahidin, Muslims fighters whom, in the eyes of Alshabaab, are believers who conform to the tenets of Salafism. According to Jarret M. Brachman (2009,p.25) “a Salafist is a Muslim who rejects traditional religious authority in favor of a narrow body of teaching, including the Quran, and the literal model established by the life of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers in the Hadith.” In addition, and as said earlier, this a critical distinction that characterize global jihadists for whom using violence is at the core of their ideology, and a true proof of one’s faith, a believer is one who his willing to die for his religion.

Furthermore, Alshabaab make uses of notions and concepts found in the Quran, and which pertain to historical circumstances, to vilify its opponents. For instance, the hypocrites which in the Quran refers to individuals who made allegiance to prophet Mohamed in Medina but who were secretly hostile to him is used by Alshabaab in the Somalia context, in particular against the religious establishment who do not share the radical jihad ideology. Likewise, Somali political leadership and the Somali government are deemed apostate (Murtad from the root Rida in Arabic) by Alshabaab. The use of such strong word is an indication of the radical characteristic of Alshabaab ideology. Accusation of apostasy is part of a process, called ‘Takfir’ (excommunication). This notion is unpopular in mainstream Islam and although fundamental to global jihadist, one of their weakest doctrinal point (Jarret M. Brachman, 2009,p.45).

The use of a religious lexicon provides a higher moral standing for Alshabaab which can afford to present its statement as truth and to claim that its struggle is just. The identities ascription entails also the prescriptions of normative behavior in line with Salafi-jihadist creed.

5.5 Prescription of Individual and Social Norms

The ideological construct of Global jihadism entails that individual as well as society must conform to a behavioral model that emulate the first Muslim generations. Doctrine such as ‘Al Wala Wa Al Bara’ , developed by Salafi scholars and fundamentalist thinker determine the social norm to follow and what to reject. According to Uriya Shavit (2014,p.67), an Israeli academic and researcher in religious studies , “Salafīs, relying on several qur’anic verses and Prophetic traditions, promote an understanding of “loyalty and disavowal” that requires Muslims to refrain from befriending or loving non-Muslims, or imitating their beliefs and customs.” This concept is disputed in Islamic contemporary thoughts because the way it is understood and propagated by Salafi lead to rejection of non-Muslim norms. It is problematic, in particularly, for Muslim minority living in the West (Shavit, 2014). Such concept has influenced the adherents of Global jihadism who find in it the justification for rejecting all social norms not conforming to those of the seventh century earlier Muslim community. Similarly, the implementation of the Sharia proceeds from the same willingness to replicate the socio-cultural norms of the earlier Muslim generations. This is why Alshabaab is calling for the creation of an Islamic state in Somalia, and for the implementation of the Sharia. In fact, the latter is at the core of Alshabaab claim.

The adherents of the contemporary global jihad ideology share the same willingness to implement the Sharia, in particular the ‘Hudud’, the penalty for criminal offenses that entail amputation and stoning. According to Michael Skjelderup (2014), although the ‘hudud’ are not strictly prescriptive and not unbending, this eagerness of applying the ‘Hudud’, notwithstanding the rigorous and difficult judicial process involved, indicates that it holds a political significance for the adherents of Global jihadism. For the “hụdūd punishments, visible laws that find solid textual basis in the Qu’rān and the hadı̣ ̄th, and which clearly counter modern Western legal thought, are seen as evidence of a truly Islamic government” (Michael Skjelderup, 2014,p.327). Thus implementing the Sharia is an end in itself and the way to achieve this goal is jihad. For Alshabaab the Somali people are first and foremost Muslim before anything else, and as such they have the religious obligation to wage jihad against unbelievers in order to defend their religion, their land, and to support other oppressed Muslims.

5.6 Alshabaab’s Challenges: the limit of the global jihad ideology in Somalia

Alshabaab positioning as a jihadist organization was gradual. Although scholars who studied the group recognize that Alshabaab was created by individuals who received training in Afghanistan such as Ibrahim Al Afghany and Ahmed Abdi Godane, the jihadist ambitions was not clearly manifested by these members from the onset, at least publicly. After the demise of the Islamic Courts in late 2006 and the subsequent military occupation of Mogadishu, by Ethiopian forces, Alshabaab presented itself as a resistance movement and called for jihad. The concept of jihad is widely understood in the Muslim world as defensive war against aggression. Alshabaab played on this and secured a wide support. According to Adlini Ilma Ghaisany Sjah ( 2008,p.38), Alshabaab had initially three main “preferences”; a nationalistic one with the aim of gaining a political power, a religious one , concerning the project of implementating the Sharia in Somalia, and a transnational one, related to the global jihad .Until 2008, the nationalistic goal was predominant as demonstrated by interviews given by the organization spokesperson ( Sjah, 2008). However, a marked shift has occurred after the dead of a key leader in 2008, Aden Hashi Ayro killed by an US airstrike ( Sjah, 2008). The advent of Ahmed Abdi Aw Mohamed aka Godane, its successor, is paralleled by a notable change of Alshabaab discourse, and a more pronounced jihadist outlook. Furthermore, suicide bombing and the targeting of civilian have increased since then, showing the global jihadist orientation. Finally the merger with Al-Qaida in 2012 made public by Ayman Alzawahiri, then acting as the leader of the organization after the death of Bin Laden, has made Alshabaab an African franchise of the organization created by the latter. This was clear evidence that Alshabaab was, more than anything, dedicated to the global jihad. This stance with its ideological implication was in contradiction with the previous positioning as a resistance movement and has caused the group to lost support from many Somalis. For instance the emergence of Ahlu Suna wal jamaa, one of the most successful Somalia armed militia against Alshabaab , testifies of the rejection by many Somalis of the radical ideology of Alqaida.

In fact, the semiotics aspects of the global jihad do not left a room for a national identity. This is demonstrated by the practices of the militant group in Somalia. Alshabaab has forbidden the national flag and replaced it with the black flag bearing names of Allah and prophet Mohamed. For them a national flag is a symbol of the nation-state systems established by the west to divide Muslims. In addition, the organization has also prohibited centuries old Sufi traditional practice that became part of Somali culture.

In recent years, due to the increasing military pressure and the slow but steady improvement of the situation in Somalia, Alshabaab is being weakened and the flaws and contradictions of its discourse are becoming increasingly apparent. Frictions and internal dissensions have emerged. Many preeminent figure of the movement have either been killed by Godane loyalists or left the organization.

As the circumstances are changing in Somalia, it become evident that the group is still clinking to the call for national resistance, made again in 2014 after Ethiopia was included in AMISOM, only for propaganda purpose. The main political predicament for the Somalis nowadays is no more to counter an Ethiopian or any other foreign occupation but to participate in the political process. Indeed, the federal process and the political project of creating regional administration have put the Somali clans in a furious and sometime violent race for power. These developments indicate that the religious factor, so instrumental for the rise of Islamic Courts in 2005 and 2006 due to their ability to transcend clans rivalry, is no more relevant, raising questions about Alshabaab ‘raison d’être’ and its future in Somalia.

5.7 Summary

The Global jihadism ideological construct helps Alshabaab to develop a cognitive framework adapted for Somalia and which defines international and societal relations, as well as individual identity and behavioral norms. Firstly, Alshabaab builds a cognitive framework by re-contextualizing Islamic sacred text, i.e. Quran and the prophetic tradition collected in the body of Islamic literature known as ‘Hadith’. It affords them to present the situation in Somalia as part of a worldwide crusade waged by the West. Secondly, based on this framework, the radical organization ascribes identities and prescribes individual and societal norms, centered on the Sharia and the call for Jihad in Somalia and throughout the world. This discourse, however, is not without challenges, as beside its justification of violence and world domination, it upheld an ideology that entails social practices at odds with Somali culture and identity. Alshabaab historical evolution and its ‘formal’ integration into Alqaida network in 2012 have cost the organization the wide support it had benefited during the 2006 Ethiopian military intervention. At that time, the group had capitalized on its image of national resistance movement. Nowadays, as the organization has firmly entrenched itself in the global jihadism camp, and as the situation is evolving in Somalia towards stability, the relevancy of Alshabaab’s cause is in question. Finally, and from a wider perspective, the issues covered in this research point to the existence of a crisis in contemporary Islamic thoughts dominated by the Salafism puritanical doctrines. The predominance of Salafi discourse has led to the development of more radical intellectual brands, for instance, the jihadist brand. The Global jihadism is a bellicose and apocalyptic ideology . It present a mannicheen view of the world; polarized between forces of good and those that are evil. Moreover this ideology promotes a ‘dehumanizing’ process against its enemy which makes ‘acceptable’ for its adherents the use of indiscriminate terrorist tactics and the display of outmost violence. Indeed, once the reality is interpreted with selective and literalist sacred text, and that people and societies are categorized along religious lines and more importantly in conflicting relationship, then it becomes feasible to justify violent actions. Such philosophy need to be tackled by Islamic academic establishments who must counter the bellicose and radical interpretation of the Quran. This endeavor is necessary for the sake of world peace but also for the sake of Islam which, as the third monotheistic religion on earth had contributed to the intellectual and ethical uplifting of Humanity.


6.1 Introduction

In the course of this research, Alshabaab has suffered several setbacks. AMISOM has renewed its military campaign and launched a series of operations that enabled to liberate from Alshabaab dozens of villages and towns across South and Central Somalia, including the strategic town of Buleburde, in Hiraan province, liberated by the Djiboutian contingent. Alshabaab has also lost Barawe, its last significant port. In addition to the territorial losses, its leader, Godane has been killed in a US strike. As a result the organization has been severely weakened. Moreover, the continuous defections in its rank, including of high profile individuals, give a hint of a serious crisis affecting the militant group. Thus, Alshabaab’s future as an organization is uncertain. Yet, the radical movement continues its asymmetrical actions against AMISOM troops and its terror campaign against civilians in Somalia and in Kenya. Such resilience is a testimony of an ideological stubbornness and an indication that it may be easier to defeat militarily the insurgent group than to eradicate the radical ideology it ingrained in Somalia, and in the region. Therefore, countries in East Africa should enforce a greater cooperation and coordination in the struggle against Alshabaab and the radical ideology of Global jihadism which is a threat to peace, stability, and economic development.

6.2 Countering the Global Jihadism in East Africa

The present research endeavored to analyse Alshabaab’s discourse. The finding of this research outlines how the militant group legitimizes the Global Jihadism ideology in the Somali context. Alshabaab has gained preeminency in Somalia by positioning itself as a resistance movement. Since then, however, the organization has clearly proclaimed its adherence to the Global jihadism. Alshabaab discourse still uses a nationalistic rhetoric, for propaganda purpose, but, as shown in this study, the radical organization is increasingly challenged. Indeed, a nationalistic rhetoric is quite impossible to conciliate with a discourse calling for world domination, as the Global Jihadism advocated by the Somali militant is clearly implying. Furthermore, Alshabaab introduction in Somalia of terrorist attack, suicide bombing and harsh Sharia practices had repulsed many Somalis. Therefore, Alshabaab is compelled to change, to reinvent itself or to die as an organization. The increasing operations in Kenya is a possible hint of Alshabaab changing strategy, more regionalized and no more confined to Somalia. The organization seems also shifting to more urban operations, as it is increasingly unable to hold ground. To face Alshabaab shift of strategy, more regionalized and more urbanized, East African countries must enhance their cooperation. Indeed, only greater regional coordination efforts could help countering the Global Jihadism ideology.

Regardless of its place of occurrence, the Global jihadism, with its apocalyptic worldview is a threat to world peace and stability, as it entails a bellicose disposition towards ‘others’, i.e. those who do not share the same radical view, including Muslims. By using a literalist and selective reading of the Quran, and by using denominations taken out of context such as ‘infidel’, ‘hypocrite’ or ‘apostate’, jihadists want to ‘dehumanize’ their opponents. Such rhetorical device affords them to ground their claims on religious basis and to act with the outmost brutality for instilling fear, and terror. Such discourse need to be countered for the sake of world peace. As righlty said by Sheikh Al Qaradawi cited by Al-Ghannoushi, in a refutation of the jihadists’ ideology:

“We can live, under Islam, in a world that promotes peace and security rather than fear, tolerance rather than fundamentalism, love rather than hatred. We can live with the United Nations, international law, human rights conventions and environmentalist groups. In truth, our main problem with our rigid brothers, who have closed all doors and insisted on a single viewpoint, is that they live in the past and not the present, in books rather than reality.” ( Al-Ghannoushi, 2008).

6.3 Recommendations

Countering such ideology will require a lot of resources and effort to eradicate it. It will particularly need the development of communication programs tailored specifically to counter its propaganda and its discourse. As Global Jihadism is supported by an impressive intellectual work which produce a large body of literature it is critical that this intellectual challenge must be faced. In particularly, it is essential that Muslims scholars came up with doctrine refuting ‘in details’ jihadists interpretations of Islamic scriptures. The concept of ‘Wasatiyya’ (middle path,or moderation) developed by Al Qaradawi and others could serves this purpose. The concept of wasatiya is based on the verse in the second chapter of the Quran, “And thus we made you into a middle (wasat) nation”. Alqaradawi argues that Islam calls for moderation, and he present it as “the middle position between opposing and conflicting rigid positions; as the middle ground that brings all together, a middle position between materialism and spiritualism, between individualism and collectivism, between idealism and realism, etc.”(Al-Ghannoushi, 2008). Sheikh Al Qaradawi proposes the following methodology:

“Adopting the methodology of wasatiyya (moderation) in da’wah (preaching), teaching, ifta ’ (issuing legal edicts), research, reform and revival. Among the principles of this methodology in fiqh [Jurisprudence] is to revive religion from within, through new ijtihads [ Legal Interpretation] for our time, just as our previous scholars did for their time, through understanding secondary texts in the light of primary objectives, being firm when it comes to usool (fundamentals) and flexible in furu`(secondary matters), seeking wisdom whatever its source, and balancing between contemporary changes and Shari'ah fundamentals.” ( Al-Ghannoushi, 2008).

Beside the religious and intellectual dimension, countering the global jihadism imply a practical dimension. It requires a holistic approach involving good governance, respect of rule of law and above all the respect of fundamental human rights. Thus, from a security sector perspective, enforcing responsibility and accountability of members of the security forces is critical. It is necessary to understand that the jihadist organizations are exploiting to their advantage existing grievances. Hence, the security sector should not aggravate these resentment and they should avoid abuses and misconduct by members of the security forces. The later should enforce the rule of law but they have also to abide to it. Therefore, it is necessary that the security forces operate within determined boundary and according to high ethical and professional standard.

6.4 Summary

The ideology of Global jihad that Alshabaab advocates seems not only well ingrained in Somalia, although increasingly challenged, but also expanding particularly in Africa and in the Middle East. This is not surprising given the expansionist nature of global jihadism. Therefore, any strategy devised to counter the Global jihadism ideology must first start to understand its tenets and its goals. This is what this present research endeavored to achieve, with the analysis of Alshabaab’s discourse. The finding of this research outlines how the militant group legitimizes the global jihad’s discourse in the Somali context. The finding could also help grasping at the radicalization process. This is highly topical as the world has recently witnessed the rise of the organization of the Islamic State (IS), its rapid expansion in Iraq and Syria, and its ability to recruits thousands of young people from all over the world with its sophisticated internet propaganda. The proponents of Global jihadism call for a polarized world, and for an endless conflict and bloodshed with all those who do not support their view. Thus, this ideology is a challenge to world peace and stability, and no efforts should be spared to counter it.


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Appendice A-Alshabaab leader’s 2009 Speech.

1 . Quran: Alhamdullilah, wal ‘aqibatu lilmutaqin wa la ‘udwana ila ‘alal dalamin wa salalahu ‘ala muhamada wa alihi wa sahbihi ajma’in

2. Ugu Horeyn waxan salamaya umada muslimiinta ee somaliyed.

-[ First of all I extend my greetings to the Muslim people of Somalia].

3-.Gaar ahaan reer Muqdisho oo Ilaahey ku sharfay in eey bal dahaba ka galan takhirda Islamka.

-[ In particularly, the inhabitant of Mogadishu, whom God has honored to write their contribution on the golden page of the Islamic History.]

3-Muqdisho oo noqotey goob eey ku burburan mucamala kasta oo Galaada so maleegan.

-[ Mogadishu which has become a place where every unbelievers plot is doomed to fail.]

4-Alle subhana wa taala sunaha kownka u ku aslay waxa kamid ah hurdaneka xaqa iyo badilka ka dhexeya.

- [It is part of Allah tradition (Sunna) that falsehood and truth confront each other on this world.]

5- Quran (Sura 2, verse 251): ‘wa lowla daf’hu l’allah lil nas bad’hum bi ba’d fasadat al ard.’ Hadi ayna jirilahayn dadka xaqdarada usocda unu Allah swt ka horgeyo xaq hubeysan oo awodley wa dhicilaheyd in arladu ba fasado.

-[ (Sura 2, verse 251), the complete verse is: “So they routed them by Allah's leave and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him the kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of that which He willeth. And if Allah had not repelled some men by others the earth would have been corrupted. But Allah is a Lord of Kindness to (His) creatures.”]

6- Waa loolan ka dhexeeya xaga iyu baadilka, bidhca iyo sunaha, Galnimada iyo Islamka.

- [It is a struggle between right and wrong, between innovation and tradition, unbelief and Islam.]

7- Waa loolan ka so bilawday Iblis iyo nabiyu l’allahi Adam aleyhi salam, socona doona ila laga gaaro in islamka ka udambeya la dagalamo Dajal.

-[ It is a confrontation that started between Iblis ( satan) and Allah’s prophet Adam (peace be upon him) which will continue until the last muslim fights with Dajal ( the antichrist).]

10- Marnaba ma dhicikarto horeyna uma dhicin in xaaq iyo badil heshiyan ama ey wala noolaadan.

- [It never happens and it will never happen that falsehood and truth coexist].

12- Hadi ta lagu canda coodo sida dadbadani ee…maldaran….- waxay tahay in xaqi badil noqday ama badilki iya xaq uso laabtay.

-[ If this serves as pretext as some people claims, this means that truth changes to falsehood or falsehood transform to truth.]

14-Lakin sinaba suraa gal uma ahayn wala nolasha ka dhexeeya xaq iyo badilka.

- [But it is not possible that falsehood cohabit with truth.]

15- Waxan dooneya halkan ina ku qeexo dhowr arimod oo muhim ah.

- [ I want to clarify here few important points.]

16- Ugu horeyn : iya uu ka dhaxeeya dagalka muqdishu ka socda ?

-[ First of all; who are the belligerents in this current battle in Mogadishu?]

17- Dagaalka muqdisho wa mid u dhexeya mujahidinta Alle darti u dagalamaya iyo kuwa u diriraya jidka Taaghut ka, demoqradiyada, iyo hirgalinta danaha yahuda.

- [The fighting in Mogadishu is opposing Allah’s Mujahidin and those who are fighting for the ways of Thagut, Democracy, and for the interest of Jews.]

18- Quran Sura an Nisa (4:76): “Aledina amanu yuqataluna fi sabili lahi wa ladi yankafaru uqatiluna fi sabili thagut, fa qatilu awliyaa sheytan, ina keyda sheytan kana da’ifa.”

- [Sura An Nisa, 4:76 “Those who believe, they fight in (the) way (of) Allah; and those who disbelieve, they fight in (the) way (of) the false deities. So fight (against) (the) friends (of) the Shaitaan. Indeed, (the) strategy (of) the Shaitaan is weak.”]

19- Alle waxu ina baraya in dadka muminiinta jidkiisa u dhagalamaya lakin gaaladuna jidka thaagutka .

- [Allah tells us that the believers are those fighting in his way and unbelievers are fighting in the way of Thagut.]

20-Thaaghutkuna wa shey kasta oo xadkisa la dhaafiyo. Ama ha noqdo golo barlaman , oo lagu sheego inu sharci dajiyo- Ama ha noqdo culimo jidka Alle swt waxa aheyn lagu raaco

- [Thagut is whatever thing which is exaggerated or boundless, Whether it is a so called parliament which made legislation. [Sarcasm] - Or scholars which are followed in way other than Allah way.]

23- Sida Alle swt ku tiibaaxey banu Israel inay culimada ka dhigtan Rabiyo Alle sokadi, maxa yeelay xaranti iyo xumihi aye ku raacen.

- [Like Alle described Bani Israel whom have made their scholars as their gods, because they have followed them in bad and evil.]

25- Markas thaghut ku wa noocas .

- [Then Thagut is that sort of thing.]

26- Dadka u dhagalamayana Alle waxu ku sheygay in shirqol kodu iyo makridodu taag daran yahay.

- [Those who are fighting for it, Allah told that their evil and their plot are weak.]

27- Waxa is weydin lee dawlada lagu so dhisey Mbhagati ee ku saleysan 4,5. , distour keedina gaalo eey dhajisay, barlemankeduna yahey xubnihi ugu caad caad ee ashahado la dirir ka iyo koxihi Itobiya.

- [It is worth wandering that a government [ or a state] which was built in Mbaghati and that is based on 4,5, Its constitution made by unbeliever, its Members of parliament are the most preeminent ones among those who fought against the shahada (testimonies of unity of Allah and Mohamed as its prophet), and the groups supported by Ethiopia .]

30- Dawlada noocasa miya marnaba lagu sheegi kara dawlad Islam ?

- [Could such a government ever be called an Islamic Government?]

31- Dawladas wa dawlad ilaaledeedu yihin cidamo shisheye oo Kiristaan ah. Madax weyna heedu uu socdal ki u horeye ka bilabay Itobiya, baaqi u horeyay aha in u dalbado cidamo shisheye oo dheeriyah, si u ula dagalamo waxa u ugu yeero xaq jirka.

- [This government is a government protected by foreign Christian armies, Its president started his first official visit with Ethiopia, his first proclamation was to request additional foreign troops, in order to fight what he calls extremism.]

34- Wa dowlad, heshiski u horeye ee gadhaey u noqday in bada umada soomaliyed la iibiyo.

- [It is a state, which made as a first deals the selling of Somalia sea water zone.]

35-Billaahi caleg dowlad nocas ah miya la oran kara wa dowlad islam ah?

-[ By Allah could a state like this be called an Islamic state?]

36-Iska daf in islam lagu sheego ee xata uma qalanto in lagu tilmamo dawlad wadaniya.

- [Beside being un-Islamic it does not deserve to be considered as a nationalistic state.]

37- Quran(4,138): bashiri l munafiqina ana lahu ‘adaba alima

-["To the Hypocrites give the glad tidings that there is for them (but) a grievous penalty; (The Noble Quran, 4:138)" ]

38- Alle wuxu leyahay munafiqin ta waxa ugu bishareysa cadab kulul.

- [Allah says that tell the hypocrites that they will end up in hell.]

39- Munafiqin taas wa kuwee?

- [Who are those Hypocrites?]

40- Quran (Sura 4, Verse 139) : ‘aladina takhido kafirina awliya min duni muminin’- Wa kuwa gaalado ka dhiganaya wheel, sahib, iyo garab.

[ They are those who make companionship, friendship and alliance with unbelievers.]

41- Nin ka amar ka raadiya AMISOM ama Qarama Midowbey ama Golaha Amanka wa nin ah munafiiqinta Alle swt uu tilmamey.

- [The one who are willing to obey AMISOM, or the United Nation, or the Security Council, he is a hypocrite as described by Allah.]

42- Camal kasta oo la rabo in Alle loogu dhawado wa in laga heela laba tilmamod.

- [Any deed that is performed in order to be closer to Allah must fulfill two criteria.]

43- Wa in uu yahay camal Alle kali iyo darti logu jeedo oo maal iyu madaxtinimo iyo maamus midna an lagu raadineen.

- [It should be a deed performed only for Allah sake and not for worldly gains such as fortune, leadership,and notoriety.]

44- Mar labad kana wa rasul Alle asw lagaga dayaneyo oo camal kas ku sargo’an yahay kitabki Alle iyu suna rasulka saw. Maxa yeelay kuma filno oo kaliya qofku inu kheyrdone yahay oo ujedo wanagsan leyahay

- [Second, it should emulate the conduct of the prophet and should be based on quran and on the tradition of the prophet, because it is not enough for one to be good intentioned.]

45- Waxa la raaba in ujeedada wanagsan dhariq toosan loo maro.

-[ It is needed to fulfill good intention while taking the proper way.]

46- Halka marka waxa ka muqata ee hirdanka manta ka dhexeya ee muqdisho dad ka ku dagalamaya wa dagal nocas ah.

- [This show that the conflict in Moqadishu belong to such category of conflict.]

47- Wa dad u dagalamaya Alle swt jidkisa iyo dad u dagalameya jidki shaydanka iyu thaagut.

- [Some are fighting on Allah way and other are fighting for the way of Satan and Thagut.]

48- Arinta labad waxa weye ujedada dagalku wa maxey ?

- [The second point is what is the purpose of this conflict?]

49-Wa in la xaqijiyo kalimada Alle iyo kalinimadisa.

- [The word of Allah and its uniqueness must be proclaimed]

50- Wa in lagu dhaqmo sharciga lle isago dhamestiran.

- [The Sharia must be enforced completely.]

51- Wa in Gaalada iyo Murtadinta dalka laga sifayo, umaduna cadala iyu islam nimo ee ku dhaqanto.

-[Unbelievers and apostates must be cleansed from the country, the community must enjoys justice and Islam.]

52- Si ey badhaadhey iyo horumar aduunka na u ghado aakhiro na Alle swt raali ahan shisa ugada.

- [In order to achieve happiness and progress on this world and obtain the satisfaction of Allah on the next.]

53- Ilaahey waxu nafaray in Gaalo lala dagalamo ila adunko Shirki laga wayoo

- [God has ordered us to fight unbelievers until there is no more association (shirk)]

54- Jihadku uu soconaya ila qaradaha adun ko dhan Islamku ka taaliso.

-[ Jihad will continue until all continents are ruled by Islam.]

55-Dal kasto islam lahan jireyna qacanta musliminta lagu so ceesho galadana laga saaro

- [And until any country that belonged to Islam must be returned on muslim hand and unbeliever are expelled from it.]

56- Ow ee u horeyso beyt al maqdis insha Allah.

- [The first of such country is Jerusalem]

57- Arinka kale waxa is weydin le umada muslimka ee manta ku dhaqan somaaliya gudahan, gar ahan muqdishu, maxa la gudbon.

- [The other issue is what the Muslim of Somalia, in particular those of Mogadishu should do.]

58- Waxa la gudbon in ee xaqa garab istaagan.

- [They should stand beside the truth]

59- Maxa yeelay dheex dheex xadnimo male arinku

- [Because there is not a middle ground in the issue at concern.]

60- Waxa lo bahan yahay dagal ka socda wa dagal xaq iyo badil ka ka dhexeya, in ey xaqa garab siyan.

- [Since the conflict is a between truth and falsehood, it is necessary that they should support the truth.]

61- Si raalin ahashada ilahay uugaraan

-[ In order to gain the satisfaction of God.]

62- Adun kana sharaf iyo insi ee ugu heelan

- [And obtain honor and consideration in this world.]

63- Hadi dad iyagu fican hadi dariqa Alle ka beyraan in ee Alle xaqisa wax ba eek u lahayn.

- [If a good community deviate from Allah’s way , they have lost Allah’s rewards .]

64- Waxa umada la gudbon in ee u adkeyssato dhamestirka dawlad islam ah oo sax ah in la heloo.

- [The people should be patient and endure hardship for creating a true Islamic state]

65- Maxa yeelay hadi kale waxa imaneysa in marka dawlad islam ah la so daweyo in markasta la dhiciseyo.

- [Because otherwise each time that an Islamic state is near completion it will be sabotaged ]

66- Marlabad iyo mar sadexad kow laga bilabo.

-[ and effort should start again and again from the beginning.]

67- Manta wax yar iya haray ee an isu garabsano saarida cidamada shisheye iyu oogida sharciga Alle swt

- [Today , few things remain so we must support each other for expelling the foreign troops and for enforcing the sharia of Allah.]

68- Inta kadib waxa halkan baaq uga jeedinaya cidamada la so khalday.

-[ After that, I am sending a message to the troops that have been fooled.]

69-Waxa leenahay AMISOM gashan ha u noqonina

- [We said to them don’t be a shield for AMISOM.]

70- Distour gaal na ha u dagalina

- [Don’t fight for a constitution made by unbelievers.]

71- Dintina boqol dollars ha ku dorrsanina

- [don’t exchange your religion for 100 Dollars]

72- Tobada Alle waxa aktisa ku le dad xumata garasha laan horey ku sameye kadib na ka so noqonaya mel dhow.

- [Allah forgiving is for those who commit sin without knowledge after that seek forgiveness ]

73- kuwa Alle wa ka aqbala

- [Allah grant his forgiveness for them]

74- sido kale waxan leeyahay warbanhita ilahay ka baqa xaqiqadana sidedi u tabiya

- [Similarly we say to the media fear God and report the truth as it is. ]

82- xiil aya umada idinka saran e kalintina ka qaata jihadka

- [You have a responsibility toward the people, so play your role in the jihad]

83- ka dhigtonooda ina umada marin hababinsan

-[ Be vigilant to not fool the people.]

84- qofka saxafiiga wa in u dowro ixkanta iyu xuquqda shaqadiisa.

-[ The reporter should respect the ethics of his profession]

85- takhirda islamka, taakhirda umada, taarikhdiisa wa in una xumen …

- [Don’t wrong the history of islam, of the people, and your person.]

86- hadeyna xaqiqada sheygi Karen ka joogsada ina xaqiqada doorisan umada marin hababisan

-[ If you can’t tell the truth don’t change the fact and don’t fool people.]

87- Ilahey wa ka baryeyna in xaqu nagu sugo, dawlad Islam ah oo cadil ah u …- in uu nagu azraaqo

- [We are praying God for making us righteous, and for giving us a juste Islamic state.]

88- inagana cidamadedina naga dhiga

- [That he make us its soldiers]

89- shahadana nagu khatimo

-[ And that it grant us martyrdom]

90- wa subhana Allah wa bi hamdi

- [Glory and praise to Allah]

91- wana mahadsantihiin.

- [Thank you.]

Appendice B-Alshabaab leader’s 2014 speech

1 -“ Dulaanka saliibiga ee lagu hayo muslimiinta geeska afrika , ay hormod utahay umada Somaliyed waxu aha mid so taxna qarniyo badan, marwalbana waxa hormuud ka aha kristanka Itobiya (Ethiopia) oo kashanaya salibiyiinta reer galbeedka.

- [The Christian crusader campaign against Muslims in East Africa, especially the Somali people, has always been led by Ethiopia in collaboration with the West].

2 -Tusaale ahan qarniqi lix iyo tobanaad Bortaqiise ka iya ku soo duuley mantiqadan iyago garabsiinaya kiristaanka Itobiya (Ethiopia) lana dagalamayo hogamiyihi weyna ee muslimiinta Imam Axmad Gurey.

- [For example in the sixteen century, the Portuguese has launched an offensive in this region and helped the Ethiopian in the war against the great Islamic leader Ahmed Gurey.]

3 - Qarniqi sagal iyo tobanad ( nineteen century), ingiriska iya soo duuley, iyago iskashii lalee Amberatoorki ( Emperor) Itobiya ee xiliga Menelik.

[In the nineteen century, Britain launched an offensive with the help of Emperor Menelik.]

4 - Duulaanka waxa ka dhashey in Itiobiya iyo keenya Ingirisku uu ku deeqo qeybo kamid ah dhulka musliminta somaliyeed.

[This aggression allowed Kenya and Ethiopia to receive parts of Muslims Somalis territories.]

5 - Qarnigi labatanad Marenkaka iya ku soo duuley Somaaliya iyago weerar ku ah ….islaamiga ee ka soo ifbaxay wadanekan.

[In the twentieth century The United States of America launched an offensive on Somalia with the aim of extinguishing the emerging light of Islam in our country.]

5- Qarnigan kow iyo labatanad waxey Marenkaku ku badaley dagaal koodi ka dhanka ah tawxidka iyo sharecada Alle dagaal dadban oo ah “ al xarbu bi wakaala”-kadib marki ee ku ilka beelayn dagaaladi Afgaanistan iyo Ciraaq.

- [In the twentieth century the American transformed their war on twahid and sharia as an indirect war using proxies, after having lost theet in the Afghanistan and Irak’s wars.]

6-Waxa mudan in an miliqsano dagaalka dadban ee Marenkaka iyo heerarki u so maray iyo manta halka uu marayo Si an ugu cibra gaadano.

-[It is necessary that we analyse American indirect war and the stages it went through then and its actual state now for gaining knowledge.]

7-Ugu horeen waxu ku bilaabey hubenta iyu adeegsiga hogaamiya koxeed yadi budh cada aha ee umada naafeyey, maxaa yeelay Marenkaku gama cagana adegsiga cidkasta oo danihisa ufulinaysa.

-[First, the Americans started to arm and to use the criminal warlords that have afflicted the people, because the USA is not hesitating to use any one who fulfill his interest].

8- Isku deygii xigay waxay dadka ku soo fasaxeen cidamada tigrayka, -si ey umada ugala diriran si ey amni ku heelan sharecada Alle hoostisa

-[The following attempt was to authorize tigray troops to invade the country, to deny people to obtain security with the implementation of Sharia.]

9-Mar sadexaadki waxay keeneen isku day gumeysi oo xeeladeysan.

-[The third attempt was to try to implement a well planned neocolonialism.]

10-Kaaso aha in hoganka ridada laga dhigo dad magac dinayd huwane

-[The aim was to make individual with religious mantle as leaders of the apostate government.]

11-Ciidamada itobiyana lagu badilo cidamo wato magac nabad ilaalin

-[And to replace Ethiopian troops with other troops renamed as peacekeepers.]

12-Kana imid wadano ka dadban colada Somalia

-[Which came from country not previously involved directly in Somalia conflict.]

13-Hada waxay maraysa in marlabad wadanka lagu so fasaxo cidamo itobiyana, -arintas oo astan u ah gabi dhacleen ta Marenkaka - iyo sida ee u sabowlowdey siyasadisi

-[Now the situation is that Ethiopian will be allowed to come in this country.This issue is an indication of the failure of the american policy.]

14-Xamladan hadan ee ku goodinayan-kama duwano duulanadi iyo xamlaaki laso maarey.

- [This new strategy is not different from the previous ones.]

15-Ujeedoyinkoodu na wa ku wo cad on mugdi ku jirin, sikasto ee isuku dayan iney umada u marin hababiyan.

-[Their objectives are clear no matter how they try to conceal them.]

16-Hadaf ka kowad: wa in inta hadhey dalkan itobiya iyo keeniya lo kala qeybiyo-iyado gabod laga dhiganayo mamul gobaledyo.

- [The first priority [of the military campaign] is to divide what is left of the country between Ethiopia and Kenya under the guise of regional administrations.]

17-Ka labad na wa in khairad ka dalka la boobo si toos ah iyo si dadban labadaba ,iyado lamarayo mamulka maqarsarka ee ridada.

-[The second objective is to loot the natural resources of the country both directly and indirectly through the apostate government.]

18-Hadaf ka sadeexad na wa in lala dagalamo, ku dhaqanka sharcika Alle ee ka hirgaley wulayadka islamiiga, umadana loo diido in ey nabad ku heesho dinteyda.

- [The third objective is to fight against the implementation of sharia under al-Shabaab rule and prevent the people from finding peace and a good life under their religion.]

19-Ka afarad na wa in wadanka marlabad laga huriyu wadanka colad ku saleysan degamo iyu beelo, ka dib marki alle sharcigisa ee umadu ee gu midowdey.

-[The fourth one is to once again incite in the country into violence based on communities and tribes after they have become united under the law of God.]

20-Ujedada shanad na wa sidi itobiya eek u xaqinjin lahed, riyadeydi aheyd in ee mar un dhigto cagta xeebaha Somaaliyed.

-[Their fifth objective is how Ethiopia can realise its dream of once and for all getting its hands on the coastal areas of Somalia.]

21.Waxa see ilahey mahadi xamladan ee ku goodinayan, ey guldaradedu hadaba muqato sidi xamalaad ki horeyna ku dabeyn donto cadowka oo naffoba, ujeydoyinkisa. oo gul daresta iyo musliminta oo xogooba.

-[Thanks God, however, this strategy is showing sign of failure and it will end like the previous ones with the weakening of the enemy, the failure of its aims, and the strengthening of the Muslims.]

22-Waxan ku rumoybaya qowlki aley sumxana wa tacala u laha: ( Quran)

-[ It shows the truth of Allah’s statement:( not transcribed)]

23- Waxa ilahey mahadi ah, in xamladan ku soo aadeyso xili muslimintu ee xaqijinayan horomar iyo gulo xidhiid ah.

-[Thanks God , this strategy has come at a time when Muslims are making progress and successive victories.]

24- Dhankakaley na waxa ku so ifbaxday:

-[In the other hand what appears is: ]

25- Ugu horeyn ; xeer calami waxa gul darestay dagalki mujahidinta lagula jirey.

-[First at international level, the lack of success in the war against mujahidin]

26-Waxana astan uu ah arintan mareynkaka oo afganistan ka huleylaya sanadkan, taladooduna ey ku so hureertay sidii ay u heli lahayeen marine aamin ah, bixitan badqaba.

-[This is symbolized by the US withdrawal of Afghanistan, and their preoccupation with a safe exit.]

27-Halka dhanka kaleyna mujaahidintu ee dhulki dib uu qabsanayan, iyaago inti horey ka xogbadan kana khibraad badan, midnimadooduna ee ka weyntahay

-[Whereas the mujahidin are reoccupying territories with much more strength, better expertise, and a more solid unity. ]

28-Sidoo kaley jihadka aya wuxu ka qarxay dhulal horle, sida sham iyu masar tas oo kordhinaysa dhigbaxa ku socda marenkaka iyu xulafadiisa iyoo si guud dunido uu ku baahey qalalase siyasaded, o wax badane mashqulinaya cadawga an ishayno, awodiisana kala dhantalaya.

-[Similarly, jihad have burst in many areas, such as in Sham and Egypt, and this increases the hemorrhagic affecting US and its allies. There is also political crisis in the world that make busy our enemy and which weaken its strength.]

29-Dhanka kaley hadan deeymoono mantiqada aan ku dhaqan nahay waxa muqda,dowladaha lafdhabarta u ah duulan ka lagu so qaday dalkeyna, oo eey ku furmeyn mushkilado siyasaded iyu colada.

-[In the other hand if we look at the region where we are living it is remarkable that the countries which were at the core of the aggression against our country, are facing internal political strives and conflicts.]

30- Tusale waxa uu ah Uganda ee so fod sareyn dhibatoyin waweyn oo xududaheyda, kuwa ee ugu horeyso dagaalka koonfurta sudan,dhibaato yinka ka jiraa Kongo DRC, iyo ladagalamka jabhada mucaradka ee LRA.

-[For example,Uganda is facing numerous crisis in its border, among the worst are the conflict in South Sudan, the crisis in DRC ( democratic republic of Congo), and the struggle against the LRA.]

31-Keenya oo iyadna wajaheysa culeysyoo dhinacyo badanleh,oo kaga imanaya mushkilada konfurta suudan,tas oo uuhdeertahay qacdoonada ka jirah gobolka xebta ee musliminta keenya

-[Kenya is also facing pressure coming from numerous directions, such as the crisis in South Sudan, and the upheaval in the Muslim coastal’s region.]

32-Itobiya ay isku biirsadeene dhibatoyine qomyaded, kuwo diimed iyo kuwo dhaqaled oo gaamuray,kuwas oo qarka uu saran in ay qarxan.

-[In Ethiopia, there are numerous issues based on ethnicity, religion, and economic, and which are at the edges of exploding into conflicts.]

33-Waxa inta dheer daraf ka sadeexad een an is ahno oo ah dowlada ridaded ee muqdishu, oo ey rigadiyen muskilado noc kastaba le waxana ku rumowbey hadal ki alle subhana wa tacal uu laha: Quran

-[In addition, the third sides that is confronting us, which is the apostate government in Mogadishu is weakened by innumerous issues of any kind, and this testifies to the truthfulness of Allah statement:(not transcribed).]

34-Wa nidam ki rido ee ugu xuma ee so mara dalka.

-[It is the worst apostate organization that the country had known].

35-Waxa ey ka cayrowbeyn din iyo dadnimo labadaba

-[They have lost their religion and their humanity as well.]

36-Waxa ee heersarey ka gaareen daba dhilifnimo, anshax xumo, musuqmasuq.

-[ They have reached unprecedented level of subservience, immorality, and corruption.]

37- Waxey qaybiyeen wadenki, waxey dhaxal wareyjiyeen khairadki dalka: Gabay

-[They have divided the country, they have out given the resource of the country:(Poem not transcribed).]

38-Arimahas oo dhan waxey tilmama u yihiin inu mustqbalku islamku leyahay,jiritankisuna u noqdey xaqiqo an la inkiri Karin, awod na lagu muquurin Karin

-[All these issues indicate that the future belong to Islam, its existence has becomes an undeniable reality, and it cannot be defeated by force.]

39-Umadu wa in garwaqsato in dunidu is badishey, gaaladina ey si jabeyso, muslimintuna ey guleysanayan

-[People have to realize that the world has changed, and the unbeliever are being defeated, and the muslim are becoming victorious.]

40-Xamlada hada ee cadowguna wa nafla carar an ku dhisneen hadaf dab: quran

-[The current strategy of the enemy is a retreat with no real objectives:( Quran not transcribed).]

41- Waxan halkan ugu diraya baaq umada soomaliyeed melkasto ey jogta ba:

-[I am sending a message to the Somali people where ever they are.]

42- Umadyahey waxa lagala dagalamey ku dhaqanka diintada.

-[You have been prevented to live by your religion]

43-Waxa la qaybiyey dhulkaadi

-[Your land has been divided]

44-Waxa la xasuqay oo la barakiciyey maantadadi

-[Your wifes and children have been slain and compelled to migrate]

45-Waxa la boobay khairaadkaaki

-[Your wealth have been plundered]

46-Waxa umadeyni lagu tijaabiyey nidamkasta; gumeysi toos ah, shuciyad, demokradiyad ku sheeg, qabyaalad intaba

-[This people have been subject to any kind of system: direct colonialism, communism, and a so called democracy]

47-Manta waxa lana gudboone in si dhab ah xaga Alle ugu labano

-[Today it is necessary that we shall return to Allah]

48-Badbaadadeynu waxey ku jirta ku dhaqanka sharciga Alle

-[Our salvation is in implementing Allah law]

49-Qabsashada xadhigiisa iyu jihaadka cadowgeyna

-[To cling on his rope and to jihad against our enemy.]

50-Jihadka aye nolosheenu ku jirtaa

-[In jihad is our lives]

51-Jihadka aye sharafteenu ku jirtaa

-[In jihad is our honor]

52-jihaadka aye gusheynu ku jirta

-[In jihad is our victory]

53-Jihadka aye ku jirta liibanteynu if iyu akhiro

-[In jihad is the success in this world and the next]

54-Manta jihadku wa fardul cayn ; qof walba aya xil kasaa ran yahay, iyu wajib laga sugayo

-[Today jihad is ‘fard cayn’ , it is the responsibily of everyone ( to wage jihad)]

55-Jihadka cadowka iyan loo kala haarin, dalin yar iyu wayeel, calim iyu ama, beel beel iyo qof qof intaba

-[In the jihad against our enemy no one should remain behind, young and elderly, scholars and ignorant, clans and individual.]

56-Mujahiidinta iyagana waxan leeyahay, islamka iyan xagiina loga so dicing, cadowgana la sabirtama

-[To the mujahidin I say do not gives opportunity to the enemy of Islam, and be patient.]

57-Askarii tigray ya oo kumanan kilometer ka imiday iyuun na niga adkeysii badnaanin

-[A tigray soldier who came from thousand kilometer must not be more resilient.]

58-Hubka ad cadowga ku la diriiraysin ha noqdo cabsida alle

-[Your weapon against the enemy must be fear of Allah.]

59-Isku duubni, dacad owmaradiina(?)…iyu inad nafitiina ka ibsatan Alle ka ibsatan shahadana ad dalabtan

-[Unity, honesty, and wishing for martyrdom]

60-Oogaada in raayada tawxidka iyu ogiida sharcika, iyu xijabka gabdhahaa muslimiinta, -ey ku taaganyihin jihadkiina iyo naf hurkiina

-[Know that the flag of twahid, the implementation of sharia, and the hijab of muslim women depend upon your jihad and your sacrifice]

61-Hogaanka jihadka ee khuransa oo ugu hooreyyo amirkeyna sheikh ayman azawahiri, waxa ey idiinka filayan wax fararxad galiya, ey ku dirsadan

-[The leadership of jihad in khorasan , with first our amir shaeikh ayman azawahiri are expecting thing that will make them rejoice]

62-Dulanka cadowgana fashiliya

-[Defeat the enemy offensive]

63-Gud ahan muslimintuna waxey iilahay ni weydinayan guul iyo suugnaan

-[In general, muslims are praying god for your victory and your presence]


96 of 96 pages


Global Jihadism in Somalia. Analyzing Al-Shabaab Legitimization Discourse
Cranfield University
Catalog Number
ISBN (Book)
Al-Shabab, Somalia, Jihad, Discourse
Quote paper
Mohamed Omar Assowe (Author), 2015, Global Jihadism in Somalia. Analyzing Al-Shabaab Legitimization Discourse, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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