To tell him to get out of Iraq. Of course.

He’s been on the U.S. terror watchlist since 9/01 for having links to Al Qaeda. Naturally, the Beeb was keen to talk to him. And just as naturally, the guy can’t get two sentences out without proselytizing for Islam.

I met him in 2004 in his large, well-maintained family house set down a labyrinth of dirt tracks in a middle class Mogadishu suburb, over the road from the mosque where he preaches.

Sitting cross-legged on the floor, talking softly and calmly and often smiling through his red, henna-stained beard, the small, elderly man did not give the impression of being a terrorist mastermind…

Afterwards, he tried to convert me to Islam but I managed to avoid this by asking him to pray for me.

Since Aweys came to power a few weeks ago, his forces have broken a truce, ordered rapists stoned to death, and held true to classic Islamist irredentist form by accusing Ethiopia of occupying Somali land.

So there’s your next African bloodbath, in case you’re mapping this stuff.

And then there’s this:

henna.jpg

Some of the Hamas guys have it too:

henna2.jpg

I know someone knows the answer, so I’m just going to ask straight out: Why? What’s the significance? Is there something in the Koran about Mohammed having spilled carrot juice on himself?

Put me some knowledge here, people.

Update: Wikipedia says Muslims venerate a “red beard-hair” of Mohammed, so there you go.