Since they began to capture large swathes of southern Somalia, radical Islamists have been undertaking a programme of destroying mosques and the graves of revered religious leaders from the Sufi branch of Islam. The destruction of non-approved religious sites started last year when they began to knock down an old colonial era church in the town of Kismayo.
Most Somalis are Sufi Muslims, who do not share the strict Saudi Arabian-inspired Wahhabi interpretation of Islam with the hardline al-Shabab group. They embrace music, dancing and meditation and are appalled at the desecration of the graves.
But al-Shabab sees things differently. The group's spokesman in the town of Kismayo, Sheikh Hassan Yaquub, told the BBC Somali Service that his movement considered that the memorials were being worshipped and that this was idolatry - banned by Islam.
Grave are being desecrated wherever al-Shabab is in control. But there is evidence that the anger generated by such actions is stirring the usually peaceful Sufis to take up arms and fight back against al-Shabab. The umbrella group Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama (Sufi Sects in Somalia) has condemned the actions of what they call the ideology of modern Wahhabism and the desecrations of graves. They see Wahhabism as foreign and ultimately un-Islamic.