The SICC had brought a semblance of stability to Mogadishu by imposing sharia, Islamic law, after chasing U.S. backed warlords from the city in June. Islamists and residents said order had collapsed with their departure.Meanwhile, leaders of the Somalia Islamic Courts Council (SICC) evoke memories of the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail ("'tis but a scratch! Come back here...I'll bite your leg off!"):
"We have withdrawn all the leaders and members who worked in the capital," Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Ahmed told Al Jazeera television. "Mogadishu is now in chaos."
[ ... ]
Ahmed said the Islamists were united and determined to push out Ethiopian forces, but retreated to avoid more bloodshed.
By fleeing, the Islamists appeared to have averted the risk of becoming embroiled in the fierce street fighting that forced the U.S. military from Mogadishu more than a decade ago in a humiliating episode captured in the film "Black Hawk Down."
The SICC chairman said his side's hasty withdrawal was a tactical move in a war that began last week against Ethiopian troops defending Somalia's weak, Western-backed government.Then again, the Black Knight didn't have the sense to withdraw, nor do the Islamists have the courage to fight, so maybe that's not the best comparison.