Even as drought and hunger grew to disastrous levels in Somalia this year, Islamist militants told destitute farmers to “depend on God” instead of the “infidels” at foreign relief agencies.
A new report, which will be released Monday, documents how the religious radicals of al-Shabab blocked humanitarian aid, imposed a reign of repression and brutality in their territory, and arrested those who tried to flee to refugee camps.
The investigation by Human Rights Watch describes Somali refugees suffering a litany of abuse and war crimes from all sides of the conflict, resulting in a humanitarian catastrophe as famine deepens in the Horn of Africa.
More than 29,000 children have died in the famine so far, according to the United Nations. Of the estimated 2.8 million Somalis who are at risk of dying from starvation if they don’t get food assistance soon, about 2.2 million are in territory controlled by the Islamic insurgents...I'm informed that outside certain Toronto subway stations, behijabed Somali chicks are collecting money for famine relief. The question is: Where is this money going? To feed the starving (rather hard to believe, given that so little aid is actually getting through)? Into the pockets of those collecting the funds? Or--and here's what's most worrisome--into the coffers of the al-Shishkababs?
Update: Oh, wait--it's an actual campaign: Feed Somalia subway drive raises funds for famine relief
Update: Before your fork over your shekels, you might want to know about HCI, the charity collecting them:
HCI is a non-profit organisation dedicated to help alleviate human suffering through sustainable development projects and emergency relief assistance programs that foster self-reliance and preserves human dignity.
To provide dynamic leadership for implementing what we see as universal values founded on fundamental Islamic values by contributing to the alleviation of poverty and securing better socio-economic life for the disadvantaged groups through empowering them to depend on themselves and participate in the decisions concerning their own problems. These values are echoed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other United Nations human rights instruments. The freedoms and responsibilities inherent in them lead directly to tolerance, pluralism, gender equality, public dialogue and non-violence to settle disputes, respect for all people regardless of differing characteristics – all part of what we call “Canadian values”.
Our focus is on eliminating poverty, improving livelihoods and social conditions, supporting gender equality, and encouraging participative practices. Important to all of this is strengthening civil society in other countries and building the capacity of individuals, organizations, institutions, community groups, associations and networks to bring change from within.
Founded on Islamic principles of charity and goodwill to humanity, HCI has always believed in helping the needy regardless of their race, nationality or religion. From the beginning, HCI has invested in developing a strong ethical and moral culture, based on core values that reflect its approach to charity...Oh, it's one of those Islamist charities. Begging the question: Why has the government allowed it to retain its charitable status?
Update: But wait, it gets better. Once upon a time, HCI's Canadian Regional Director in Pakistan was none other than Ahmed Said Khadr. He's the paterfamilias of Canada's first family of terrorism who was sprung from a Pakistan hoosegow due to the efforts of Canada's then-P.M. Jean Chretien. Upon his release, papa, mama and the whole clan hightailed it to an al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan to get jiggy with their homey, Osama. Papa later died in an exchange of fire with American kafirs, an incident which landed the li'lest Khadr, Omar, in Gitmo for killing an American serviceman.
Update: To be clear, the rules of Islam state that one is permitted to earmark charity "for Allaah’s Cause (Mujaahidoon — those fighting in a holy battle)." Whether that means al-Shabab is on the receiving end of HCI's shekels-for-starving-Somalis campaign is anybody's guess.