Dinsor residents reject new al-Shabaab radio station

By Osman Mohamud in Mogadishu

December 18, 2013

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A new radio station broadcasting in the town of Dinsor in Somalia's Bay region is attempting to recruit supporters to al-Shabaab's ideology, but local residents say they are refusing to tune in.

  • Mohamed Idris listens to the radio as he sits in his makeshift shelter in August 2011, at a camp for internally displaced persons in southern Mogadishu. [Mustafa Abdi/AFP]

    Mohamed Idris listens to the radio as he sits in his makeshift shelter in August 2011, at a camp for internally displaced persons in southern Mogadishu. [Mustafa Abdi/AFP]

Al-Shabaab launched the FM radio station December 10th and immediately started broadcasting programmes that encourage citizens to partake in terrorist activities and promote the idea that al-Shabaab is following a righteous path, Dinsor residents told Sabahi.

Yasin Owdinle, a 50-year-old traditional elder, said al-Shabaab has started a media war in Dinsor.

"When I found out that al-Shabaab added a new FM station to the airwaves, I turned on the radio to listen to what it was broadcasting, only to discover that all of them were giving sermons calling on the people to take part in the jihad," he told Sabahi. "This is in contrast to the independent radio stations we used to listen to a year ago that brought us world news."

The group has resorted to using the radio, broadcasting programmes about jihad and suicide bombings, to propagate their terrorist ideology and recruit supporters because residents no longer attend their public sermons, according to Owdinle.

"When al-Shabaab saw a lot of people were not participating in the sermons through which it encouraged terrorism, it began to disseminate its mission as a noble cause that is sanctioned by the religion through the use of the FM station, since radio is still [a popular medium]," he said.

But residents have no desire to listen to a radio station that intends to incite violence, spread extremist ideology and celebrate terrorism while attempting to legitimise it, Owdinle said.

'No one is listening'

Maryam Borow, a 39-year-old mother of nine, said she has refused to let her children listen to the radio after she heard the programmes on al-Shabaab's new station.

"I hid the radio in my house from the children because I am afraid they will listen to the bad programmes that are broadcast by this new station," she told Sabahi. "I was afraid that they would believe what they hear from the radio or think [al-Shabaab's] acts of terrorism are correct if they listened to it a lot, because children do not have enough intellectual capacity to discern right from wrong."

Borow said parents in her neighbourhood have informed each other about the dangers of allowing their children to listen to the station.

"I do not think they will find anyone listening to it because every person who lives in Dinsor district has grown to hate al-Shabaab," she said. "We have declined to go and listen to the sermons they invite us to every day, so [why] would we listen to a radio station they have introduced to the airwaves?"

Mohamed Habib, a 35-year-old who owns a general store in Dinsor, told Sabahi he first found out about the new radio station from young members of al-Shabaab who were shopping at his store.

"They encouraged me to listen to it all the time and told me, 'You will learn a lot about Islam from what we broadcast,'" he said.

But Habib said he did not find anything useful when he tuned in to the station because most of what they broadcast is about al-Shabaab's view of jihad.

He said no one in Dinsor was listening to the radio station except those who fight for al-Shabaab and who view al-Shabaab's ideology as one that is rooted in religion.

"I listened to it one time and I heard sermons about fighting against infidels and that Muslims who do not support al-Shabaab's ideology were no longer Muslims," Habib said. "I really could not believe it and I decided to stop listening to this new station."

The launch of the radio station comes as al-Shabaab has implemented a number of new measures over the past few months to control news and information, such the ban on televisions and the campaign against the use of smartphones.

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Reader's Comments

  • Smithk624
    July 21, 2014 @ 11:30:54AM

    Hey, thanks for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged. edcabgbgadafebkd

  • Mahomed said abdi
    February 10, 2014 @ 06:38:16AM

    Al-shabaab are crazy people because they give explosives to the young children. Why don’t the adult do the suicide bombings if their Jihad is real.

  • Alliy
    February 5, 2014 @ 01:13:17AM

    oh really bad

  • Charles Sanga
    February 4, 2014 @ 05:41:09AM

    They are stupid and they deserve to be sent to Milembe because this in not a time for religion and terrorism but for building our life including equal rights without involving religions or war ideologies. Let's see how to straighten up things for everyone so that the peace lasts longer.

  • shaggylove
    February 4, 2014 @ 01:21:54AM

    YOU, WHO SUPPORT INFIDELS UNKNOWINGLY, CURSE ON YOU. CURSED ARE THE SOMALIS WHO ARE OPPOSING THE QUR'AN UNKNOWINGLY BY OPPOSING AL-SHABAAB. YOU DON'T KNOW THE TRUTH AND THAT IS WHY YOU CALL THEM TERRORISTS, for example why M23 were not called terrorists, WHY the USA which killed millions of Iraqi children were not called terrorists, and when Gaddafi started to kill people in Benghazi was not also called a terrorist. For your information, you haven't known the translation of AL-NASR and AL-QAAFIROUN (chapters in the Qur'an) and you should know that AMISOM say they are sending peace why have they gone to SOMALIA with weapons? Then, you should realize that they know the meaning of those two chapters, and you know their meaning but not their translations. But most of you, who are opposing AL-SHABAAB…. FEAR ALLAH AND INVESTIGATE INFORMATION THAT BROUGHT TO YOU AND THEN READ THE QUR'AN, and not just saying that fighting infidels, those who have left Islam and hypocrites is against the Qur'an. WOE UNTO YOU, WOE UNTO YOU.

  • Kipkoech peter
    February 4, 2014 @ 12:39:05AM

    The station ought to be bombarded immediately because it teaches and preaches jihad and radicalism.. Unisom forces please act.

  • David
    February 2, 2014 @ 03:49:33PM

    Alot can still be done 2exterminate this Jihad issue,all thts needed is a proper team,n in order 2have a credilble tactical team U need True Men of Honour who can make sacrifices 4the lives of many8-)

  • Paul owino
    February 2, 2014 @ 09:33:29AM

    Its a great infidelity among the community.

  • Maina Dennis
    February 1, 2014 @ 01:10:51PM

    Very good. I will support it.

  • aweys
    January 29, 2014 @ 04:18:14PM

    We heard and know that those people have no any idea, they have no idea the time of Al-shabaab is just ending and every one knows how they are bad, our religion does not except to kill people for no reason. We are Muslims and we never heard of what they are adopting.

  • Msema kweli
    January 29, 2014 @ 02:27:09AM

    You have written lies. Since when have al-Shabaab been terrorists? You want to deceive people.

  • Mahamud adde
    January 28, 2014 @ 02:29:49AM

    The terrorists are terrorists and their ideology is to fight and massacre the civilians. I believe a news that is known is not exciting, who will listen to one word all the time? This is why we will continue fighting that which is impossible, Puntland, Somalia.

  • SADRA
    January 23, 2014 @ 12:15:08AM

    NO ONE IS FEARED HERE

  • Wardheere
    January 12, 2014 @ 10:41:04PM

    My name is Wardhere.

  • Mujaheed
    January 12, 2014 @ 03:54:16PM

    You jus wrote a mare false...jus propaganda...Al shabaab wil defeat Americans and its allies...jihad is da only way to impose da law of Allah.

  • marshaale
    January 10, 2014 @ 02:51:07PM

    Why did you kill Marshaale Muday Mayonkale? what has he done with you? A good response.

  • [email protected]
    January 9, 2014 @ 05:38:10AM

    It is false.

  • abdul ih
    January 6, 2014 @ 03:35:00AM

    alshabaabs r xo creative.bt they r not goin to make t

  • somalia movement of islam
    January 3, 2014 @ 11:13:45AM

    This is good. Way of spread. Islamic way of live and we do not allow our country western colonist and inshallah we will continue our struggle of imposing Islamic sheria entire country insha Allah. We will defeat foreign troops. Amisom can not o

  • Steven Mashaka
    January 2, 2014 @ 10:29:01PM

    AL-Shaban should close down this radio service,as majority hate it.

  • mujaahid
    December 31, 2013 @ 08:46:32AM

    You are hypocrites who help the disbelievers, so stop talking ill of the holy warriors.

  • kanyatayor
    December 31, 2013 @ 03:00:39AM

    i thought somalia was pacified by the peacekeeping troops.so e still have areas in control of the alshabaab

  • Archimed
    December 28, 2013 @ 12:22:03PM

    good way

  • FAISO AHMED
    December 27, 2013 @ 03:29:16AM

    TELL AL-SHABAAB TO SCREW THEMSELVES.

  • Paul Mhina
    December 25, 2013 @ 01:41:46PM

    I don't think if the international community will continue to allow such stupidity to go on. It is not supposed to exist at all.

  • ggg
    December 25, 2013 @ 09:23:51AM

    Should be buried into deep grave

  • leila osman
    December 25, 2013 @ 04:51:20AM

    Pple like this group should never get support from any part of the enter world they r destroyers who have no mercy at all & use religion in the wrong way.

  • said mahamoud
    December 23, 2013 @ 05:41:39PM

    I would like to countinous babble in somalia

  • Paul maina
    December 23, 2013 @ 04:06:24PM

    How can i join the movement?? Do they pay in return?

  • willy
    December 22, 2013 @ 11:14:26PM

    The radio station should be closed.

  • xaviour tome
    December 22, 2013 @ 01:55:31PM

    very disappointing al-shaabab to open up a radio station for evil teachings!

  • Stephano coal
    December 22, 2013 @ 11:32:53AM

    It should be reject ed with full force,i dont see the reas on why they happ en to spread hatre d among brothers, they should be fig hting for a goal wh ich benefits all,not some few.

  • Emeka Charles
    December 21, 2013 @ 02:38:20AM

    Common I love Your way

  • ddd
    December 20, 2013 @ 07:11:01AM

    I am happy to join Sabahi news website.

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