The ICU is a strong proponent of Sharia law, and an organization dubbed by some the Taliban of Africa for its radical interpretation of Islam and its support for some violent elements of the Islamic community (like Osama Bin Laden).
Abukar Arman, the Somali Unity government's envoy to the United States, is open about his advocacy of Sharia as long as it is "adapted to address contemporary political, social, economic, and spiritual challenges in a just way." He lays out a number conditions that would have to be satisfied for sharia to be effectively implemented in Somalia. These include respect for life, assembly, conscience, thought, rule of law, political freedom, and international peace. Considering the violent history of the Somali Unity government and he ICU, that is not likely.
Being a "progressive" Islamist in Somalia is all well and good, but considering the prior actions of the government for which Arman works, his claim that he only favors sharia law if it respects Somalis' life, liberty, and property is like saying he favors world peace. Yeah, it would be great. Will it happen? Doubtful.
As Rusty "Asadullah Alshishani" notes at Jawa Report,
This would be the same government that killed a 22 year old apostate for leaving Islam and embracing Christianity. That banned the watching of movies in theaters…So in addition to the litany of wild and crude accusations and epithets thrown around by scores of Huffington Post contributors already documented by NewsBusters, the blog also employs an advocate of Islamic sharia law. Huffington may want to pay more consideration to members of her own payroll before criticizing Ailes for individuals on his.
The problem here is not necessarily that Arman is now working for what will clearly be an oppressive regime. Neither is the problem that Arman advocates reconciliation with that regime. Realpolitik may mean we have to learn to live with the bad in order to avoid the worse.
The problem is that the Huffington Post has given him a bullhorn to spread what are essentially lies. Lies about the nature of sharia. Lies about the nature of Sharif Ahmed's vision of political Islam. The actions of the former ICU government led by Ahmed speak for themselves.
Perhaps reconciliation is a worthy goal in Somalia. Stability also may be a worthy goal. And so, too, a government willing to oppose the al Shabaab. The suffering of the Somali people may be less under an oppressive sharia regime than under the present chaos.
But Arman is clearly a propagandist who wishes to whitewash what has happened in Somalia and disconnect all of the many atrocities done there from the ideology which inspired those very same atrocities -- political Islam.