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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A tentative assessment of the Somali 'Harakat Al-Shabaab'
Author:Marchal, RolandISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies
Geographic term:Somalia
Subjects:Islamic movements
civil wars
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17531050903273701
Abstract:'Al-Shabaab' appears today as an offspring of 'al-Qaidah': a Jihadist organization that is articulating a project beyond Somalia to fight Western interests and set up Islamic States in the region. Its growth has pushed Somalia again into the headlines to the extent that Western States and their allies in the region have been developing security policies to contain and eradicate it. Those policies for the last three years seem to have been dysfunctional and have fostered rather than hindered the influence of this organization within Somali society, contributing to its fame among the global Jihadist trend. A study of political Islam in the civil war period offers a different view; 'Al-Shabaab' is made up of Islamists who had fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s and others who always gave priority to military struggle. Its exclusivist neo-Salafi ideology is both a way to become global and connect with other groups such as 'al-Qaidah', and to keep at bay Somali customs that, if accepted, would eventually provoke their collapse. To a large extent, they express a new trend in the civil war where political Islam has become the main instrument of recentralizing Somali politics. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]