"Muslims must take the matter into their own hands, stand united against the Kuffar [non-Muslims] and take all necessary measures to protect their religion, their honour, their property and their lives from the enemies of Islam," ...........Al-Shabaab statement
There was a time in this life that I was pretty naïve. These days I am little less foolish in the ways of the world. Over the years experience and especially the perils of running this political blog have taught me plenty.
The truth of the matter is that the world is not a simple black and white affair like so many seem to think. Most issues are pretty complex and some of the decisions that the chief executive of any nation has to take can be agonizing and very difficult. That is why things get worse when you have a man or woman who hates to make a decision leading a nation. A bad decision is quite often better than a good one that takes too long to make.
A terrible thing for a child to see (her father getting killed). 5 year old daughter of Aboud Rogo is consoled by her grand father Rogo's father in-law moments after the shooting.
This photo of controversial cleric Aboud Rogo was taken minutes after the shooting. His killing sparked off riots in Mombasa's Majengo and Kingorani areas and beyond. Even this morning the situation is still tense in Kenya's coastal city.
Yesterday a controversial Muslim cleric linked to Somalia's Al-Qaeda-allied Al-Shebab militants was assassinated. Aboud Rogo died in a most horrible way as his wife, child and father in law watched. A car overtook them on the Mombasa/Malindi Road near the famous Pirates night club and the gunman using what must have been an automatic weapon sprayed enough bullets to kill 10 men all directed at the driver’s seat. It is obvious that the job was executed by a trained marksman because there were no other fatalities in the car, only small easily treatable injuries amongst the other occupants of the car.
How many people in the country can execute that kind of shooting? Not many I can assure you and only those who have handled a firearm will understand what I am talking about. Don’t forget that the car was speeding past and slowed only momentarily for the shooting. So you have two moving vehicles and a target.
To cut a long story short the whole thing has extra-judicial assassination executed by the government written all over it.
It would be wrong for us to pass judgment over the Aboud Rogo case without all the facts before us, and especially the kind of details which are never made public for security reasons. And so let us leave Mombasa for now and imagine another typical scenario for a minute shall we.
Our local intelligence services gets wind of a terrorist who has crossed our usually porous borders from Somalia and is headed for Nairobi. It quickly becomes clear that this man is not visiting relatives in Eastliegh but is on a bombing mission to harm Kenyans. What should be done in such a case? If the man is arrested there will be no evidence to convict him successfully and revealing some of the information our security agents have in a court of law would compromise our intelligence gathering and monitoring methods and enable terrorists to evade detection much more easily in future. And so the kind of solution that would save Kenyan lives in such a case would be to execute the terror suspect before he gets to Nairobi. The press and Kumekucha informants witnessing police dragging the man out of a bus and pumping bullets into him on the side of the road would be aghast. But they would not have all the facts would they.
The terrible truth is that extra-judicial killings happen all over the world all the time and not just in Kenya. The nation of Israel for instant is a small nation with a few million Jews surrounded by hundreds of millions of hostile Arab enemies. In such a situation there is very little room for errors and numerous extra-judicial killings over the years have kept Israel safe.
Indeed these kind of killings have been recorded from as early as Biblical times.
But even more interesting is the current plan by the Obama administration to use technology in the form of Drones to execute “lawful” extra-judicial killings internationally and at home. Read about that controversial plan and the legal implications HERE.
All that brings us back to the big question. Are there times when extra-judicial killings can be justified?