Somali militants in south ban English, boost Arabic, urge parents to teach jihad

September 8, 2011

(Gunmen from Hizbul Islam head for Somalia's southern port of Kismayu October 1, 2009/Feisal Omar)

Somalia’s al Shabaab rebels have banned English from schools in the southern port city of Kismayu they control and demanded teachers switch the curriculum to include Arabic and Islamic studies. The latest edict shows the disconnect between the al Qaeda-allied rebels intent on stamping harsh laws on areas they control, and Somali leaders who have agreed to hold an election next year even though the internationally backed government barely controls any territory beyond the capital.

The new school ruling also comes just days after the rebels ordered businesses on the outskirts of Mogadishu to rip down posters in English and Somali and replace them with Arabic ones.

“We used to teach the students Kenyan, Sudanese or Malaysian curricula which are written in English so that students can understand the material when they reach university,” Mahmud Ali, headmaster of Mohamed Jamac secondary and primary school in Kismayu, told Reuters by phone. “But now we can’t teach because we have to change everything, including our teachers who are mostly Kenyan and don’t speak Arabic. We also used to teach students Somali literature, we don’t know what to do now,” he said.

In a statement posted on al Shabaab’s website, the militants said they took this step because they felt students were learning values in Christian and Hindu curriculums.

“The reason we want to impose this is to eradicate every curriculum against the Islamic sharia and we want to promote Islamic studies. We will take steps to control the educational system of our children,” the group said in a statement. “Parents have to make sure they teach their children the principles of Islamic jihad,” said the group.

Via Somali militants order schools to teach Arabic and Somalia’s al Shabaab ban non-Arabic signs on shops.

by Mohamed Ahmed and Abdi Sheikh


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One comment

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Jihad is a command as old as Islam itself. The Qur’an and Shari’a requires perpetual jihad. All true believers, Muslims, must strive to bring the whole world to Islam. That is what jihad means. NO IFS, ANDS OR BUTS.

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