Die Hard World Cup Fans in Somalia
This week we saw the launch of the World Cup. The World Cup is basically the Olympics for soccer and it is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world. Fans around the world have been waiting four years to witness this monumental sporting event. Cheering on teams from countries around the world, the World Cup provides nations with the opportunity to express nationalism and patriotism while engaging in healthy competition.
Recently in Somalia, radical Islamists have gained control and imposed extremely strict rule that is unparalleled in the West. This week, two soccer fans were shot dead solely because they were watching a game, by the hands of Islamist militants from the rebel group, Hezbal Islam. Their house was stormed and fire was opened, two were immediately executed and 10 others arrested. Another local militia group al Shabaab, which has been recruiting Americans recently has banned the viewing of the World Cup, as they deem it "un-Islamic."
But what does the World Cup represent? Peace, perhaps? Doesn't it include friendly competition that extends beyond conflicts between borders and religions? Apparently people in Somalia should be raising arms against the government to support al Shabaab instead of wasting time watching a game. But is this reason to murder?
This is as clear of an example as any that radical Muslims will not be reasoned with. The group routinely bans music and dancing, and now with sports, basically all fun is prohibited.
It is said that the two victims had broken a law. What happens when the world ceases to live by a set of laws that are universally acceptable? With the increasing popularity of Shariah law in different enclaves in places like France or even regions of the United States, how can we uphold universal rights? The right to watch a sports game without fear of death is something that everybody should agree to. But clearly they don't.
Is it not the responsibility of bodies like the United Nations to implement human rights laws that stress across the globe? Is there no organization that can say as soon as Shariah law impinges on the health and safety of human beings it is unacceptable? As long as we continue to witness sports fans murdered, honor killings and child brides we have a problem. And so far it looks like that problem is Shariah law.