Thursday, October 2, 2008

PIRACY UPDATE - 2 October 2008

When a religion doesn’t have a defined center, it can become a problem. Islam doesn’t have an equivalent to the Catholic Pope. Instead Islam has a multitude of holy men called imams.

From Wikipedia:
An imam is an Islamic leader, often the leader of a mosque and/or community. Similarly to spiritual leaders, the imam is the man—an imam is always a man since female imams never have been recognized in Islam—who leads the prayer during Islamic gatherings. More often the community turns to the mosque's imam if they have an Islamic question. In smaller communities an imam could be the community leader based on the community setting.
There are conservative imams and there are radical ones. An extremist would have little difficulty finding an imam to support his cause. Need to justify the violence that will kill innocent Muslims during a suicide bombing? Well, try that imam. He doesn't agree? Try that imam instead. You can just keep on going until you find one to justify it.


In the ongoing piracy, the Christian Science Monitor reported that the French news agency...
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that those militants have urged the pirates to destroy the ship and its cargo if they do not get the $20 million ransom they are demanding for the release of the cargo and crew.

A spokesman for the militants told AFP they had no links to the pirates, but would gladly use the tanks in their “holy war” against the Somali government if given the chance.

“It is a crime to take commercial ships but hijacking vessels that carry arms for the enemy of Allah is a different matter,” added Robow [spokesman for Shabaab], whose movement nearly stamped out piracy when it controlled southern Somalia last year....

“The Ukrainian ship is loaded with military hardware that is very important for our holy war against the enemy of Allah and it would have changed the war in Somalia if that military shipment falls in our hands,” he said.
What a convenient excuse, isn’t it?


Let’s not forget that these thugs are also human beings. Today's New York Times quoted the pirates’ spokesman as saying...
NAIROBI, Kenya — The Somali pirates who hijacked a Ukrainian freighter loaded with tanks, artillery, grenade launchers and ammunition said in an interview on Tuesday that they had no idea the ship was carrying arms when they seized it on the high seas.

“We just saw a big ship,” the pirates’ spokesman, Sugule Ali, said in a telephone interview. “So we stopped it.”

The pirates quickly learned, though, that their booty was an estimated $30 million worth of heavy weaponry, heading for Kenya or Sudan, depending on whom you ask.

In a 45-minute interview, Mr. Sugule spoke on everything from what the pirates wanted (“just money”) to why they were doing this (“to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters”) to what they had to eat on board (rice, meat, bread, spaghetti, “you know, normal human-being food”).

He said that so far, in the eyes of the world, the pirates had been misunderstood. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” he said. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.”
Imagine that! The pirates are the volunteer Coast Guard of Somalia! They just saw a big ship and decided to stop it.

They must think we’re as stupid as they are.

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