The photo above, taken by a Reuters stringer, serves as a gruesome reminder of the nature of radical Islamist groups and the failure to oppose them. Here is the Reuters caption:
Militants from Hizbul Islam haul the bloodied body of Mohamed Ibrahim, 48, from a chest-deep pit after stoning him to death for illicit sexual intercourse with a woman in the Afgoye district, Somalia on December 13, 2009. Ibrahim was sentenced to death by a local Islamic court after he was found guilty of infidelity.
Keep this photo in mind when Martin Fletcher, Matthew Yglesias, the Los Angeles Times, and a host of pundits attempt to pin the blame for the rise of Islamic extremism and the al Qaeda-linked Shabaab in Somalia on the US. Hassan Dahir Aweys, the current leader of Hizbul Islam, co-led the Islamic Courts with Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, who is now the President of Somalia, before they were ousted by Ethiopian forces in December 2007. The Islamic Courts was by no means a moderate group when it assumed power in the spring and summer of 2006. The Islamic Courts conducted suicide attacks, had women stoned to death for adultery, murdered people in theaters for watching soccer, and committed a host of other outrageous crimes that mirrored what the Taliban have done and still continue to do.