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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Noman
Full Name: Noman Zafar
User since: 1/Jan/2007
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A Canadian among
Somalia's Islamists

Members of
 the Somalia Islamic Courts Union patrol the streets of central Mogadishu in this photograph taken in July. A Somali-Canadian businessman who once lived in Toronto is said to hold a senior position in the hardline group, which has been described by some observers as Africa's Taliban.

Members of the Somalia Islamic Courts Union patrol the streets of central Mogadishu in this photograph taken in July. A Somali-Canadian businessman who once lived in Toronto is said to hold a senior position in the hardline group, which has been described by some observers as Africa's Taliban. 
 
Toronto man 'key player' with group in Somalia 
 
By Stewart Bell,
 
TORONTO - A Somali-Canadian businessman is a "key player" in an emerging armed Islamic group that some describe as Africa's Taliban, sources have told the National Post.
 
Former Toronto resident Abdullahi Ali Afrah, who goes by the nickname Aspro, holds a senior position in the consultative council of Somalia's hardline Islamic Courts Union.
 
As second deputy chairman, he reports to Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who is on Canadian and United Nations lists of designated terrorists and was a founding member of the outlawed terror group Al-Ittihad Al-Islam (AIAI).
 
Mr. Ali Afrah is one of several members of the Toronto and Ottawa Somali-Canadian communities who have reportedly returned to their homeland and joined the Islamic Courts, either in leadership and support roles or as fighters in armed militias.
 
Backed by its militias, the Islamic Courts have captured Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, and much of the south from clan warlords since June, replacing lawlessness with strict Taliban-like rule.
 
The Department of Foreign Affairs is watching the development, but an official said Ottawa was unaware a Canadian had been appointed to a senior position in the Islamic Courts.
 
"We're monitoring the situation in Somalia closely," said Andre Lemay, press secretary to Peter MacKay, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
 
"We are aware that some Canadians with dual Somali citizenship are working and doing business in Somalia, including in affiliation with the transitional federal government, the courts and NGOs."
 
But he said "the Canadian government has no details of any Canadian being number two to the leader of the Islamic Courts Union."
 
A native of Mogadishu, Mr. Ali Afrah moved to Toronto in the 1980s and became a Canadian citizen.
 
According to community sources, he earned his nickname by selling aspirin, "aspro" in Italian, and later ran the Canadian branch of an international money-transfer company.
 
"He was one of the colleagues working here very hard for his family," said Aden Esse, a Somali-Canadian community leader.
 
"At that time there were not those names al-Qaeda and Taliban; they were not even in the picture at the time. He was just a typical Somali-Canadian at the time that I knew him."
 
Mr. Ali Afrah opened the Canadian branch of Al-Barakaat, which helped Somali-Canadians transfer money back to relatives in their homeland, Mr. Esse said.
 
Two months after the 9/11 attacks, Al-Barakaat offices were shut down worldwide at U.S. urging due to alleged ties to al-Qaeda, but the Americans have since backtracked and only the Barakaat offices in Somalia remain on the UN and Canadian lists of terrorist entities.
 
Mr. Ali Afrah moved back to Somalia sometime in the late 1990s, Mr. Esse said. Sources who knew him in Somalia said he managed the Al-Barakaat office in Mogadishu.
 
"I met him a number of times that he came back, a number of years back," said Mr. Esse. "I think he was more a business person than any other thing.
 
"I don't know when he went back to Somalia, but he was not an Islamic person even at the time I knew him.... Is he there [as] an administrative person or one of the religious leaders? I don't know."
 
In testimony before the House subcommittee on Africa in June, Ted Dagne of the Congressional Research Service, called Mr. Ali Afrah one of the "key players in the Islamic Courts Union" and said he held a "key position."
 
Somalia has had no central government since the fall of Siad Barre in 1991. Warlords have ruled ever since but in recent months militias loyal to courts that enforce shariah Islamic law have taken control of the south.
 
The Islamic Courts Union has won popular support for its efforts to restore order to Somalia, but international observers are concerned it has been imposing rigid social restrictions based on extremist interpretations of Islam.
 
Watching World Cup soccer has been banned, for example, while public executions have occurred as recently as last week. The UN has ordered its staff out of Mogadishu, citing threats from the Islamic Courts.
 
There are also allegations of ties to al-Qaeda. The youth militia of the Islamic Courts, the Shabbab, is headed by Aden Hashi Farah Ayro, who was allegedly trained by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Several Somali-Canadians are believe to be serving in the militia, the Post revealed on the weekend.
 
The Canadian presence in the "African Taliban" has raised alarms in Ottawa, which fears a repeat of the Afghanistan experience. After participating in the 1980s Afghanistan war, Canadian extremists such as Ahmed Khadr escalated to terrorism and returned to Canada and helped radicalize a new generation.
 
 
AL-ITTIHAD AL-ISLAM (AIAI)
 
"The AIAI is an internationally established Islamist organization that engages in terrorism in Somalia and Ethiopia. Guided by the goal of creating an Islamist theocracy based on Islamic law, the AIAI's objective is the unification of all Muslims in the region under the banner of creating a 'greater Somalia'. To achieve this goal, the AIAI is committed to using indiscriminate terror tactics, including the targeting of foreigners and political leaders of foreign states. The AIAI has ties with states that are known to support terrorism and is believed to have operational links with Al Qaida."
 Reply:   Is it alright for Christian mi
Replied by(Ghost) Replied on (22/Oct/2006)
Is it alright for Christian missionaries and NGOs, financed with Canadian dollar, to operate in the Muslim countries? (bintwaleed@yahoo.com)
Is it alright for Christian missionaries and NGOs, financed with Canadian dollar, to operate in the Muslim countries?  
 
Do we need to tell how many NGOs and Christian groups are in Muslim lands with western agenda! What a revolting double standard!
 
These people have no objectivity but malice and prejudice against Muslims and Islam.
 
Bint Waleed


Tarek Fatah <tarekfatah@rogers. com> wrote:
Friends,
 
Many of you will remember the Globe and Mail report last year on how a Canadian Muslim organization was trying to hide the funding it receives from Saudi Arabia.
 
Earlier, the Ottawa Citizen too had a simialr report on such funding, but could not loacte the recipent of the $5 million dollar grant. 
 
Today, the Toronto Star carries a report on Saudi funding of private Islamic schools, mosques and Muslim organizations. It gives you a peep into how officials of these mosques try to cover up the Saudi funding by at times, out-rightly denying such funding, until confronted with evidence.
 
One such organization initially denied, but later admitted getting the money, calling it pittance. The Toronto Star report says:
 
"When asked about foreign funding, Hafejee first said there had been none since about 1998, when the Scarborough Muslim Association, which runs the mosque, accepted $100,000 from a wealthy Saudi individual. But the mosque's president, Yakub Hatia, later confirmed what the Star found on a website for the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank: that it had accepted a $270,000 grant to the association this past January to build an Islamic school. He noted that for a $6 million project, those funds were a drop in the bucket."
 
The Muslim Canadian Congress has asked Ottawa to ban all foreign funding of religious organizations. Until such a ban is implemented, Iran and Saudi Arabia will continue to undermine Canada's social fabric of a democratic, secular democracy.
 
The MCC's Secretray General Munir Pervaiz is featured prominently in the report as he gives an eye-witness account of such a transaction.
 
Tony Blair's experiment with private faith-based segregated schools should be a lesson to all of us in this Canada. We are playing with fire when we cater to religious extremists who have no faith in the public non-denominational school system,
 
Read and reflect.
 
Tarek

 
 Reply:   Its a breathtaking read and sh
Replied by(Noman) Replied on (20/Oct/2006)
A similar story appeared in the National Post yesterday, reproduced below. This Canadian connection to Somalia's Islamists raises a whole set of questions. Just like El-Maati (tarekfatah@rog
Friends,
 
Today's Toronto Star has a front page story by Michelle Shepard about the Canadian Connection to Somalia's indigenous Taliban-type government.
 
Its a breathtaking read and should alarm all of us.
 
A similar story appeared in the National Post yesterday, reproduced below. This Canadian connection to Somalia's Islamists raises a whole set of questions. Just like El-Maati, Malki and others from Quebec who went to Afghanistan to participate in the 'Jihad', these Somali Canadians too are now going, and at some stage when they need medical attention or subsidized university education for their children, will return to Canada.
 
What will we do then? What will we do with them?
 
These Jehadis are not the Mac-Paps of our parents generation who went overseas to fight for freedom; these are fighters who fight for a stringent theocracy and a cult like supremacist ideology.
 
Its time we did away with dual citizenship. Those who wish to cling on to their British or Pakistani passports, better be asked to make a choice. Countries, cities and societies should not become corporations whose stockholders are faceless and whose loyalties are never secure to anyone.
 
Read and reflect.
 
Tarek Fatah

 
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