The Islamist leader of Hizbul- Islam rebel group Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys supports Al-Shabaab’s action of desecrating the graves of revered clerics in the capital Mogadishu, arguing that it is un- Islamic to worship or build tombs inside mosques.
“It is totally un-Islamic to visit or pray on a tomb but unfortunately this became norm for Somalis. They need to take advice from Islamic clerics, who know about the religion,” he said.
Talking about the deal between the transitional government and Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a signed in Addis Ababa, Sheik Aweys termed it as an enemy deception tactics planned against the people of Somalia.
“As you know the accord was brokered by Ethiopia, Somalia’s number one enemy, so we can’t call it a genuine deal. It is an enemy tactics,”
Asked about the relation between his group and Al-Shabaab, the 65-years old Islamist leader hinted possibilities of unifying the two groups to save the cause of the fighting.
“If a war erupts between Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, then the whole Jihad issue will tremble and we don’t want that to happen. We will reconcile with them instead of killing the cause. There are on-going efforts to unify the two groups,” he noted.
The two groups, which are jointly involved in the arm struggle against the western-backed government and foreign troops in Mogadishu, have their relation ruined by bloody conflict over the control of southern Somali towns over the past few months.