Saturday, October 21, 2006

Another Canadian Achiever

The motto on Toronto's proposed new coat of arms is Diversity Our Strength.

Let's meet one of Toronto's strengths today, Mr. Abdullah Ali Afrah, who doubtless contributed greatly to the diversity of Toronto during his sojourn:

A former Toronto carpenter and shopkeeper who holds a key position in an armed Islamic group in Somalia defended the Taliban in an interview yesterday.

Abdullahi Ali Afrah, a Somali-Canadian now living in his homeland's devastated capital, Mogadishu, said the Taliban in Afghanistan was just trying to "enjoy Islam, the Islamic principles."

He also called his leader, the alleged founder of a Somali terrorist group that the Canadian government accuses of indiscriminate attacks on foreigners and opponents a "very nice person" and "a good Muslim."

The National Post revealed in an exclusive report this week that the Somali-Canadian had returned to his homeland and is now a senior advisor to the hardline Islamic Courts Union, which is sometimes called Africa's Taliban. With the backing of its armed militias, the Islamic Courts Union captured Mogadishu in June and now controls most of the country's south, but it has been accused of harbouring terrorists and imposing strict religious-based rule.

Asked what he thought of the label "African Taliban," Mr. Ali Afrah initially said it was "unjust and unfair," but then added that would depend on what was meant. "Even the name 'Taliban of Africa,' it depends on the way you see it because when people say 'Taliban of Africa,' if they mean they are good Muslims, want to have their Islamic faith and having their Islamic rule, on the other hand that is good."

And does he ever have the progressivist lingo down, to disarm those few brave liberal critics in advance:

In the interview, he recalled that gays and lesbians in Toronto hold an annual pride parade. "This means they have given [them] freedom right? Okay. So why not the Muslims in their own country, in their own way of life, in their own religion?"

If and when the Somalis force out the Islamic Courts--as in this lawless land, they just might--Mr. Ali Afrah will almost certainly return to Toronto, Canadian passport in hand, seeking all the protections that come with it.

But this time, experienced in the arts of totalitarian government and civil warfare, to pass along the benefits of his experience to others.

Source: National Post

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