MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia’s Parliament voted unanimously on Saturday to institute Islamic law, a measure lawmakers say they hope will strengthen popular support for the government and siphon it away from the Islamist militias fighting an insurgency here.
The vote ratified a decision by the cabinet last month to adopt the legal code of Islam based on the Koran, known as Shariah.
“God is great, God is great, the Parliament voted for the implementation of the Shariah law,” the deputy speaker of Parliament, Osman Elmi Boqore, said after the vote. “We are grateful that we implemented it today.”
The minister of justice, Sheik Abdirahman Mohamoud Farah, speaking to the lawmakers, said that the opposition hard-liners would no longer be able to use Islam as a justification for attacking the government.
Most Somalis generally welcome the introduction of Shariah, suggesting that it was the only solution that Somalis could agree on.
“I am happy with the Shariah,” said Ismahan Haghi Aweis, 24, a student in Mogadishu, the capital. “I hope that the fighting is all over.”
The Shabab, a hard-line Islamist insurgent movement that controls large swaths of southern Somalia, has imposed its own version of Islamic law and vowed to rebel against the government.
Last week, two members of the Islamic Courts Union, a moderate Islamist group that is part of the government, were assassinated in Mogadishu. The group accused the Shabab of the killings. The Shabab denied the allegations.