Garowe — Somali Islamic scholars held a conference in Garowe condemning Al Shabaab and the recent assassination of Sheikh Abdiqadir Nur Farah in Garowe, administrative capital of Puntland, Garowe Online reports.
The Islamic scholars who also took part in Sheikh Abdiqadir's funeral gave powerful speeches condemning Al Shabaab's heinous crimes in Somalia and their vow to spread terror.
"People who believe that killing a Sheikh in a Mosque is going to grant them paradise, is sadly mistaken. For those working with Al Shabaab; aiding these people [Al Shabaab] for worldly gain or for paradise has led to a curse from the people of Garowe, the people of Puntland and Somalia," said Sheikh Yusuf Adam, a long term friend of the departed Sheikh Abdiqadir.
Sheikh Abdinasir Haji Ahmed stated that Al Shabaab is on a mission to destroy the people of Puntland and Somalia.
"Al Shabaab wants the destruction of Somalia and its people. They want people who have no leaders, no intellectuals; they need ignorant empty minds that are easily manipulated to sustain their terror program. Well the people of Puntland and Somalia despite all the tragedies and tribulations, the Somali people are stronger and more aware than ever," said Sheikh Ahmed.
According to the Sheikhs, the Islamic conferences are set to go on for three more months and scholars from Somalia will discuss Al Shabaab and the need for people to act as a collective body to fight the terror organization.
Al Shabaab response
While the Sheikhs were holding Al Shabaab responsible for the killings of top leaders and Islamic scholars, Al Shabaab's top leaders were denying responsibility of the assassination of Sheikh Abdiqadir.
Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys Al Shabaab's spiritual leader denied on Somalia Channel a Somali television station, stating that "we [Al Shabaab} decided to deny any responsibility in Sheikh Abdiqadir's killing."
He also stated that he was saddened by the Sheikh's killing and sent condolences to the family of the departed.
When the presenter asked if other Al Shabaab cells could have carried out the assassination of the Sheikh? Sheikh Aweys responded that he couldn't answer that question.
Al Shabaab's top leader Ahmed Godane has not released a statement on the assassination of Sheikh Abdiqadir.
Sheikh Abdiqadir's killer was caught by civilians nearby the mosque in a courageous move that got wounded three people.