The Somali parliament voted April 18 to adopt Islamic sharia law. A parliamentary spokesperson said that more than 300 Somali MPs voted for the implementation of sharia as part of an attempt by Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to bring stability to the “failed state.” Last month, Ahmed announced that he would support the imposition of a moderate form of sharia as part of a cease-fire agreement with the country’s Hizb al-Islamiya and al-Shabaab rebels.
Ahmed said, however, that he would not agree to provisions that would prohibit girls from attending school, require women to wear headscarves, or ban music and television. According to Minister of Information Farhan Ali Mohamed, Islamic scholars and imams will be invited to review the country’s constitution to make changes to portions of the document they find to be un-Islamic. (Jurist, April 18)
Not all the insurgents are appeased, apparently. Assailants fired mortar shells at the Mogadishu airport as a plane carrying Rep. Don Payne (D-NJ) took off April 13. The plane departed safely, but 19 Somalis were reported wounded in surrounding residential areas. (AP, April 13)