This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2474
October 17, 2006
MIM: According to the Society for Internet Research more then 500 Christians were killed in Somali over the past decade. The killing of an Italian nun in front of a children's hospital had several precedents which garnered scant media attention.
"....there were several attacks against non-Muslim international relief workers in October–December 2003. On October 5, 2003, the Italian nun Annalena Tonneli—known as Mother Theresa of Africa and who had served in Somalia for thirty years "founding a hospital, orphanages and schools"—was killed by two armed men in front of the hospital. Soon after, on October 20, 2003, a British couple Richard and Enid Eyeington—working for SOS Children's villages in Somaliland—were shot dead by several gunmen in their home inside the school compound. In November 2003 a Kenyan Christian working for the Seventh Day Adventist mission in Gedo, South West Somalia, was reportedly murdered by Islamist radicals..."
The zero tolerance for Christians was epitomised by the words of a Sheik who pronounced a death sentence on them in a 2003 interview:
"... Sheikh Nur Barud, vice chairman of the influential Somali Islamist group Kulanka Culimada...stressed that "all Somali Christians must be killed according to the Islamic law. A Muslim can never become a Christian but he can become an apostate. Such people do not have a place in Somalia and we will never recognize their existence and we will slaughter them". The Sheikh concluded his interview by saying "Somalis are 100 percent Muslim and they will always remain so".
MIM: How ironic that Somali taxi drivers at the Minnesota airport attempting to implement shari'a law by not picking up non Muslim passengers carrying alchohol complained that their "religious rights have to be respected". jOver the years groups of Somali workers have been filing lawsuits against employers for discrimination after they were not granted permission to pray 5 times a day on company time.
More egregious still - Somali Muslims who were resettled in the United States to escape the strife in their home country are sending millions back to the warlords to perpetuate the violence. The government is also comprised of Islamists who believe in equal opportunity murder, and recently executed a citizen for a cell phone dispute to make it clear that shari'a law was to be enforced.
"...The man killed Friday, was sentenced to death for murdering a man in a cell phone dispute. A spokesman for the Islamic courts said the execution will send a message that Islamic sharia law will be enforced..." http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-09-22-voa14.cfm
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with Somali priorities – the restoration of peace, legitimate. and broad-based government, ... of Muslim Youth (WAMY, based in Saudi Arabia); the ...
Muslims Persecution of Christians: The Unknown Side of Radical Islam in Somalia
Somalia is considered to be a country that does not recognize religious freedom, because there is no constitution and no legal provision for its protection. About 99.5 percent of the Somalia population is Muslim. The very small Christian minority comprises of ethnic Bantus, as well as humanitarian workers and expatriates. According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a Christian human rights organization, Somalia is the worst persecutor of Christians among all the nations in Africa. Thus, it can mean death to be openly Christian in Somalia. Christians are now the only group having no place to flee in Somalia, and cannot register as refugees to resettle in other countries. Since Muslims control refugee camps, most Christians have fled to the remote areas of Ethiopia and Kenya along the border.
Since U.S. and U.N. peacekeeping forces left in 1995, Islamic mobs have murdered more than 500 Christians in Somalia. The Transitional Federal Government (TFG), created in 2004, has enacted a constitution, which recognizes only Islam as the national religion. It tried to establish a central government but the two other parts of the country, the Republic of Somaliland and the Republic of Puntland, have declared independence, proclaiming themselves to be Islamic states, and established Shari'ah law. However, regional authorities do not espouse rhetoric against non-Muslims. The Judiciary in most regions relies on some combination of Shari'ah, traditional and customary law, and the Penal Code of the pre-1991 Siad Barre government.
The hatred of the Muslims toward Christians may be caused by the attitude of many toward Christianity, which is regarded as a foreign religion of their historic enemies in Ethiopia and their former colonial masters, Italy and Great Britain. In 1886 the Roman Catholic Mission setup a mission base and established a school at the port town of Berbera in the then British protectorate of Somaliland. About the same time the Franciscan mission of the Roman Catholic Church and the Swedish Overseas Lutheran Mission each setup a mission base in Mogadishu and Kismayu towns respectively. Soon, the church was expanding rapidly to Margarita (Jamame), Mugambo and Alexandra (Jilib). Their missionary brought about a tiny Christian community of up to one thousand people, mainly in the south.
During the 1950s three Christian missions, namely the Swedish Lutheran Mission, the Mennonite Mission and Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) arrived in Somalia and Somali inhabited territories of Ethiopia and Kenya. Small group house churches sprung up in several towns throughout the Somali territory. As the church started to grow, so was the persecution, murdering and forced exile. Church property and institutions were nationalized in 1972 and all mission work was stopped in 1974. Furthermore, during Said Barre's rule, in the 1970s and 1980s, the government banned the printing, importing, distributing or selling of Christian literature in the country. The government and its National Security Services secret police threatened, arrested, tortured, and murdered Somali Christians. Literally, freedom of religion was stated in the national constitution, but practically no one applied it. Many Somali Christians lost their jobs and businesses; others to survive abandoned their faith or immigrated to the western world. Those lucky enough got jobs with western embassies and international organizations in Mogadishu.
When president Siad Barre's government was ousted from power in 1991 and the national government of Somalia fell apart, radical Muslim organizations became stronger and more powerful to do whatever they wish. They set up a committee of several sheikhs to search and identify all Somali Christians, whether they were in or out of Somalia. They also appointed a group of armed young men to execute all Somali Christians. Between January 1991 and December 1995 over two hundred Somali Christian adults were killed in Somalia and the neighboring countries of Yemen, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti. Many more were wounded and either became refugee to other countries or denied their faith to save their lives. Thousands of Somali Christians left Somalia and became refugees and still many more Christians remain underground in Somalia. They followed those who took refuge to Kenya and the neighboring countries. Many are persecuted, beaten or charged with false accusations in Nairobi by the Somali radical Muslims. In May 2001, for instance, Somali Christian man by the name of Bashir was tranquillized by his relatives by force and abducted to Somalia through Wilson airport without the government's knowledge of his being abducted. Later, he was murdered in Burao, Somalia.
Thus, many Christian Somalis have fled abroad as a result of the wars, chaos, civil strife and instability which followed the collapse of Somalia in 1991, a situation which apparently continued following the withdrawal of American forces in 1994. Christian churches have been driven underground because of persecution and a number of Christians have been imprisoned and martyred over the years. Evangelism is prohibited, and Christians pray on Friday to avoid association with foreign Christianity.
The peace conference nearly collapsed in February 2003, when three Somali Christians went to Eldoret town and requested to participate on the Somali peace conference and represent the Somali Christian community. The Christians had demanded their right to freedom of religion and assembly, political representation, and free movement. Christian representatives were reportedly "shouted down by Muslim delegates who insisted Somalia had no Christians and who declared Islam to be the official religion of Somalia." Peter Ahmed Abdi, leader of the Mogadishu Pentecostal Church, who is also chairman of the tiny Christian Somali community, said then "we live in constant fear. We have very little rights, since people believe that there are no Christians in Somalia".
On February 9, 2003, the umbrella of the Somali Muslim religious groups, a powerful religious organ, met in Mogadishu and issued a memorandum. They stated in their memorandum and press release which was broadcasted or published by several local and international radio stations, newspapers and websites several articles concerning the Somali Christians. They also asked the participants of the peace conference not to accept any Somali who is claiming that he or she is Christian to participate in the conference and sit with them. According to the articles, Somali Christians abandoned Islam and must be killed; Somali Christians can neither inherit nor be inherited; their marriage to their spouses must be dissolved; Somali Christians forfeited their Somalihood; and once they die, Somali Christians cannot be buried in Somali soil. Fourteen sheikhs representing different major Somali clans signed this memorandum. Some of them are those who authorized and organized the campaign to eliminate Somali Christians from the Horn of Africa region.
Sheikh Nur Barud, vice chairman of the influential Somali Islamist group Kulanka Culimada, claimed on April 22, 2004, that "some Somalis who claimed to be Christians went to attend the Somali reconciliation conference in Nairobi. These Somalis are apostates and they will be killed upon their return to Somalia". The Kulanka Culimada was founded in February 1991. Most of its key leaders are graduates of Islamic seminaries in Saudi Arabia. In an interview to Himilo online held in November 2003, the Sheikh stressed that "all Somali Christians must be killed according to the Islamic law. A Muslim can never become a Christian but he can become an apostate. Such people do not have a place in Somalia and we will never recognize their existence and we will slaughter them". The Sheikh concluded his interview by saying "Somalis are 100 percent Muslim and they will always remain so".
According to the U.S. State Department's 2005 report on international religious freedom, the Christian minority in Somalia is "small" and "extremely law profile". Proselytizing for any religion except Islam is prohibited in Puntland and Somaliland and effectively blocked by informal social consensus elsewhere in the country. Although Christian-based international relief organizations generally operate without interference, provided that they refrain from proselytizing, there were several attacks against non-Muslim international relief workers in October–December 2003. On October 5, 2003, the Italian nun Annalena Tonneli—known as Mother Theresa of Africa and who had served in Somalia for thirty years "founding a hospital, orphanages and schools"—was killed by two armed men in front of the hospital. Soon after, on October 20, 2003, a British couple Richard and Enid Eyeington—working for SOS Children's villages in Somaliland—were shot dead by several gunmen in their home inside the school compound. In November 2003 a Kenyan Christian working for the Seventh Day Adventist mission in Gedo, South West Somalia, was reportedly murdered by Islamist radicals.
In addition, in April 2004. thousands of Somalian Muslims marched through the streets of Mogadishu and in the southern coastal town of Merca, protesting at what they said was an attempt by aid agencies to spread Christianity. Muslim scholars organized the protest following reports that school children were given gifts with Christian emblems alongside charitable aid. The protesters set ablaze hundreds of cartoons containing goods, some marked only as gifts from the "Swiss Church". The protesters warned the aid agencies against using relief items to evangelize in the country.
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This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2474