Recently Islamic militias known as the “Islamic Courts Union” took control over Mogadishu.  But, as IWF director of international policy Yasmine Rassam points out in Human Events this morning, “grave questions remain if Somalia is on its way to establishing a new Taliban-like government which will subjugate women under strict interpretations of Islamic law.”

Yasmine writes, “The West has expressed fears that Somalia will become a harbor for terrorists or that it might inspire state-sponsored terrorism. Little, however, has been mentioned about the possible effect an Islamic government will have on Somali women, already burdened by years of hardship in the absence of a central authority.”

“Some of the new chiefs in Mogadishu are taking quick steps to enforce what they consider Islamic law. In some places, they prevented Somalis from watching the World Cup on the grounds that Islamic law bans Western films and television (and men wearing shorts!)-militia men even entered houses and brutally beat anyone watching the games. In addition to arresting men and shaving their heads, the militias have instituted a ban on coed beaches even when women wear full-length dresses on these beaches. These strict regulations are making some Somalis wonder if they are truly better off than they were with the warlords holding sway.”

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