Al Shabaab is killing Muslims both in body and spirit even as they claim to fight in the name of Allah. The Al Qaeda allied militia is known for its pretentious slogans claiming to protect Islam and its culture yet they turn against innocent Muslims.
History of Al Shabaab attacks shows how the militia continues to kill Muslims indiscriminately in catastrophic attacks. Looking at the trend of these attacks, Al Shabaab has launched more attacks in Muslim inhibited regions than those inhabited by non-Muslims.
During a grenade attack in 2012, in Nairobi’s Eastleigh area, where scores died and others badly injured, several Muslims going about their business died and property destroyed in the busy residential that holds multiple businesses owned by Muslims.
The Mandera attack was a strong message sent to the ragtag militia that Muslims and Christians are united and are well aware that terrorism has no religion. Al Shabaab hijacked the Nairobi bound bus 50km from Mandera near Kenya’s border and separated Christians and Muslims. During the attack, Muslims came out to defend Christians and what was not in the headlines is that some Muslims who completely resisted orders to separate from Christians were killed as they shielded them using their bodies.
The Mogadishu attack that left the capital of Somalia in rambles saw over 300 Muslims killed as many others suffered critical injuries. Unfortunate attacks on West Gate and Garissa University also saw tens of Muslims brutally killed as the terrorists shot indiscriminately. Then it begs the question is are Al Shabaab militants Muslims like they claim?
Terrorism or hirabah is forbidden in Islamic law as any illicit use of fear and coercion in public spaces for money or power. The Quran goes ahead to forbid murder and in this case Terrorism being above murder, Qur’an 6:151 says, “and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully.”
Also, if the motive for terrorism is religious, it is impermissible in Sharia as it is forbidden to attempt to impose Islam on other people “There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error.”
Al Shabaab militants continue to manipulate such clear messages in the Quran, Hadiths and Sharia law to persons without in-depth knowledge of the religion hence pushing their agenda and falsely justifying violent Extremism.