Islamic group Ansar Dine and Tuareg rebels (MNLA) merged to take over north Mali to establish a new Islamic state. Ansar Dine will establish an Islamic state where shariah will be implemented. The Tuareg rebels were former private soldiers of Libyan strongman Ghaddafi. The size of the yet to be established Islamic state is the size of France. Change in Mali is in effect a return to its state before the dark days of colonialism.
The fear of Islamic shariah is centering around Ansar Dine, which was until now pretty much unknown. Western media portrays shariah law as backward and barbaric, which puts fear instead of praise for the respect of law and order. That may be an outburst of prejudice, for which media can be forgiven. But for the rebel fighters they feel the world must know that shariah state and extremism are not exactly the same.
To a western reader, laws are not a problem as much as the state which carries those laws. Shariah law exists in Saudi Arabia without much western condemnation. Ansar Dine worries that the west might use the implementation of shariah in a new Islamic state as an excuse to attack and colonize it, on the pretense that islamic law in an islamic state is a threat to other nations. Somalia was united by the Islamist group Al Shebab only to be forced out by US backed Ethiopean forces. It acts as a reminder to other dreamers of Islaic states.
MNLA rescued the brand image stating that “the international community has to know that this will not be an extremist state. It is an Islamic state and the MNLA stated clearly at the beginning of the negotiations that Sharia law will not be imposed in the way that Ansar Dine was pushing for in the beginning.”
The new islamic state could bring back law and order in a country which could end up being the new model for other countries.