Here is Mohamed Siad Barre defending Marxism and that famous execution of ten religious men in 1975.
http://www.biyokulule.com/Xeerka_Qoyska.htmEGYPTIAN MAGAZINE INTERVIEWS PRESIDENT BARRE
Cairo ROSE AL-YUTSUF: in Arabic, Feb 02, 1976, pp 35, 36, 37, 38, 94
[ROSE AL-YUSUF Editor Muhammad Awdah's interview with Somali President, Mohammed Siad Barre--no date or place given]
Question: NO One can deny Somalia’s importance for Egypt in particular, whether from the military or the strategic standpoints. Therefore, the Egyptian public has the right to ask: What exactly is your stand toward Islam?
Answer: The Egyptian public should not have found any difficulty in answering this question. The Somali people are 100 percent Muslim. The Somali revolution is a legitimate, loyal and benevolent offspring of the 23 July revolution. The Somali revolution has studied all the lessons of the mother revolution, but it wanted to move one step ahead on the same road.
Question: A step toward Marxism. Is that not so'? The question is, why this choice'?
Answer: Because the Somalis are a simple and frank people. They call things by their names. We did not have any other choice. Since we have chosen socialism, this socialism should be a genuine one. And if this socialism is to be genuine, it must be scientific.
Socialism in essence is the science of interpreting and changing society. There is no other definition. If genuine socialism is Marxism, why then are we afraid of it or beat around the bush? Why not go to it directly? The schools and the great socialist experiments, which proved correct, are Marxist. Why not learn from them and copy them?
We are a society unique in our backwardness. The United Nations classifies us on top of the list of the 25 most underdeveloped states in the world. Seventy percent of our people are still living in a state of pre-feudal nomadism. They cannot remain as they are for another decade. We must transform our people from nomadism and famine to life and dignity.
Therefore, we have no other alternative but to seize control of all our natural resources and to mobilize all our resources and capabilities. We must also plan all our production needs and calculate all our steps. This is what we mean by Scientific Socialism. Our choice of Scientific Socialism was not casual or accidental. We had important parties, bodies and personalities calling for socialism. However, they were calling for all kinds of socialism--Somali, Islamic, African or Arab brands of socialism.
There was only one brand of socialism which they averted and were very hostile to, namely Scientific Socialism. All of them achieved nothing. On the contrary, socialism for them was a mere facade to cover up tribal, party or personal interests or ambitions. It had nothing to do with the people's needs.
We looked around at states and regimes in the African continent declaring socialism and calling for it. However, in application it was nothing more than slogans concealing the capitalist and exploitative nature of the ruling cliques in these states.
Through our choice of Scientific Marxist Socialism, we wanted to affirm the seriousness, and decisiveness of the choice, to rehabilitate socialism and to restore the masses ‘confidence masses’ enthusiasm and support for the choice have increased. We did not want to deceive ourselves and the people by hollow slogans which mean nothing. We declared our choice of a Scientific, revolutionary course capable of coping with our reality and problems.
Perhaps we do not have classes in the Marxist sense of the word. However, the majority is persecuted and exploited. This majority constitutes shepherds, peasants, fishermen, small employees and soldiers. On the other extreme, we have the minority which constitutes the exploiters and parasites. They follow the same line and are affiliated with foreigners.
Question: But our spiritual, cultural and national heritage is an Islamic heritage. Does that not conflict with the choice of Marxism?
Answer: The Somalis are Muslim Arabs. They fully understand the meaning of Arabism as a nationality, and Islam as a religion which came to establish justice and equality among the people. Our history is a history of struggle for the sake of our personality, nationalism and religion. The Somali people are a Muslim people fully believing in Islam. On several occasions, the entire Somali people rose to defend Islam and to repulse all the threats and invasions directed against the religion and the homeland.
Socialism, of course, is not a divine mission like Islam. It is purely a system to regulate relations between people, and to use the means of Production for the good of everyone. Therefore, there can be no contradiction between our effort to regulate our resources and national production on the one hand and Islam on the other.
God created man and gave him the blessing of the mind to distinguish between good and evil, virtue and vice. We have chosen Scientific Socialism because it is the best means to liberate the Somali Muslim, and to provide him with the ingredients of a dignified, honorable life so that he can eat, work, become educated, know the regulations of his religion and perform his religious rites. Nevertheless, a group of reactionaries attempted. to create a gap between Socialism and Islam, because Socialism is not in harmony with their ambitions and interests. Therefore, they wanted to ban it and disguise their greed and exploitation in a robe of holiness. They went out of their way to twist God 's words and to distort the essence of religion.
Question: Was this the point when the campaign in the name of religion began?
Answer: Yes. The exploitation of religion has now become Imperialism's first, last and most important weapon. Reactionaries and imperialists have now become the protectors and guards of religion against its enemies. Imagine who are these “enemies?” They are those who seek to rid the peoples of injustice – banned by God – and to eliminate people’s persecution and repression, which religion came to alleviate.
At the beginning, we thought that it was a reactionary outburst which would eventually end. However, we were surprised by a coordinated, loud, noisy and very violent orchestra playing uninterruptedly against us. I, one, who has lived as a faithful Muslim and will die so, became an atheist according to them. They threatened to murder me. Somalia, which has been, throughout its entire history, Islam’s fortress and shield in East Africa, from where Islam was introduced and spread in Africa, became according to them, a communist and debased state.
Question: Can I ask, then, why the clash took place with the men of religion regarding the civil status law? And what led to executing 10 of them?
President Barre became excited and said immediately:
Answer: These were not ulemas or men of religion. They were not executed because they were so or because of the civil status law. During the trial, we found out that eight of them could not read or write. We asked one of them to recite one verse of the Qur'an, but he could not. We asked one of them to perform ablutions, and he began by washing his left foot. One of them was not a Somali, etc.
There were two sheikhs among them and the rest were ordinary agents and subversives. We discovered that it was a wide-scale plan perpetrated abroad in accordance with specific moves and steps to take place after contacts with other bodies and organizations. There were attempts to infiltrate the armed forces and arouse its members. It was a general movement intended to topple the entire regime under the disguise of religion. It began from the mosques and moved to the streets. Its aim was to attract all forces in order to achieve its final goal.
Therefore, we struck mercilessly so that no one would dare to tamper with religion, and in order to prevent the rise of counterrevolutionary forces. The civil status law was a mere pretext. Any provision in the law could have been deleted or changed if demands were made to this effect.
But it could not be a reason for declaring the Revolution and the State atheist, and calling for the execution of its leader as well as calling on the people to take to the streets to cut our throats as a religious duty.
It was a counterrevolution disguising itself under the name of religion. The aim of this counterrevolution was to distort our image among the Arabs and Muslims. Those who made this clamor were part of the conspiracy from the beginning. We could have exposed them, we kept silent for stronger reasons and preferred to act patiently, because facts were to be revealed soon and our brethren and sincere friends would know that the issue was not one of religion or men of religion.
What has happened since the beginning is that on the occasion of the International woman’s Day, we wanted to honor the Somali woman and restore to her all her rights and consideration, because the Somali woman was a major pillar in our old and contemporary struggle. Without her, it was impossible for Somalia to become free. Among the highest statues in Mogadishu is the statue of a woman who was martyred in the demonstrations and battles against the Italians. It is a symbol of the Somali woman. Since our society has chosen Scientific Socialism, it must provide the woman with her full rights and equality with men.