19 May 2007 04:27


  • [SW Column] ( Burhan Alas) Advocacy for Cynical Clan Hegemony Vs the Actual History :Posted on 14 Nov 2002

Opinions expressed in this column are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of SW.


Advocacy for Cynical Clan Hegemony Vs the Actual History - Defamed Intellectual Discourses

 Adirahman alas <bnalas@yahoo.com>

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The adamant refusal in the truth of Professor I M
Lewis's recent lecture "The Scrap Merchandise of
Mogadishu" by advocates of injustice is one among
innumerable accounts of such rouge nature against the
actual history.  Muslim scholars who euphemistically
discoursed on the issue were equally defamed and
accused of being bias with parochial observations.

This discursive tradition of casting defamatory
remarks against every intellectual discourse that
rationally expounds the Somalia tragedy and its
concomitant social and political ramifications is
inconformity with the "cynical clan hegemony" which is
responsible for the veritable catastrophe that
Mogadishu sets the best example.  

What is heart-rending is the fact that the parlance of
such callous intransigence is not the common rhetoric
of the villain warlords, but fervent voices among the
educated classes and across the political spectrum
with substantial uniformity.  This shameful departure
from rational thinking and moral obligation is the
fundamental problem that hinders consolidation of
thoughts in pursuing genuine peace in Somalia.  

The allegation that depicted the Professor's lecture
as deceitful tactics to exacerbate the tribal
hostility, was just distortion of the facts to veer
the subject away from its course.  The "cynical clan
hegemony" preached by General Aideed (May God forgive
his mistakes) was responsible for the war (in the name
of clan) of extermination against defenseless
civilians.  The devastation and the injustice
inherited are so prevalent to this present day,
causing perpetual displacement and deprivation of
basic human rights in many parts of the country -
Mogadishu, Middle Shabele, Bay, and Lower Jubba being
the disaster areas.

The clan issue is the vortex of the crisis in Somali.
The worst crime against humanity is perpetrated in the
name of clan and by clan militias.  Therefore,
presenting of the crime and the criminals as abstract
entities is more than blissful ignorance? The biased
foreign involvement in the Somalia's peace process was
indisputable fact, but the application of such notion
as a functional weapon to obstruct justice is
unjustifiable.   In reality the Professor's remarks
did sully the reputation of all Somali clans albeit he
mentioned only some, because the remarks were
veritable in nature, and the clans are still Somali
clans.  Had we understood it that way, these ongoing
reeking comments would have been history by now.

Professor Lewis's lecture was rebutted as unfair
literature enmeshed with Prejudice, generalization,
and lack of proper quantitative approach.  What can be
more chauvinistic and narrow-minded than being an
advocate of oppressive clan ideology, as in the case
of the intellectual discourses that advocate for the
anarchism in Mogadishu?  Isn't the argument that
portrays the devastation that took place in Somalia
and particularly in the south, and still taking place,
as a common crime equally perpetrated by all Somali
clans, a shameful and unfair generalization?  No clan
is totally innocent, but defying the historical
records and the indubitable statistics is reminiscent
of solidarity with the obstruction of justice
spearheaded by Abdikassim and his intellectual

It's true that Mogadishu did not acquire its
ex-metropolitan status or aesthetic standards by
individual clan resources.  But what is Mogadishu
today? "Inhabitable, filthy cesspool, that reeks of
corpses", as described by a TNG Minister (Dr. Ali

Professor Lewis was accused of failing to mention that
"Mogadishu accommodates more than the combined
populations of Somaliland and Puntalnd"; does that
obediently parrot the late General's (Aideed) lunatic
war slogans (the 97% Vs 7% theory), or it does
represent reliable and valid statistics?  I wish
history is not immutable so we could rewind the tape
back and expunge all unfavorable elements out.

Another conundrum is the question of the relatively
peaceful regions (Puntland & Somaliland) that the
"advocates of injustice" dub them "Qabiil-Land or
Balaayo-Land".  They claim that these are clan states
established at behest of the enemies (Ethiopia, etc.)
in order to hinder prospects that envision for a
united Somalia.  This claim would have been true only
if Mogadishu is similarly a peaceful region free of
the harsh grip of the immoral gangsters.

The 10-year-old Somali kid would not confuse that the
autonomous regions came to be out of necessity and not
as acclaimed by the advocates of injustice.  Puntland
had a history of playing the cohesive role that
reinforced the historical amalgamation of the two
independent Somalis (North & South); that legacy is
still alive in the hearts of its generations.
Somaliland, despite its stance as a seceded state, had
many times reiterated that it would not rule out the
possibility of revoking its position, if the rest of
the country shows sincere motives towards that goal.  

It is true that we need leaders that can see the world
in its true colors, but these leaders would not come
out of no-where.  If that was a sincere message, then
the reverse formula we are expecting from Professor I
M Lewis or his likewise must come from us.  You can
expect people to forgive, but you cannot force people
to forget.   



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