Somalia: Death Sentence For Those Not Praying

Sunday, July 9, 2006

By BosNewsLife News Center

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (BosNewsLife) -- Christians involved in peacekeeping in Somalia urged the international community to intervene, as rival militias reportedly prepared for battled Saturday, July 8, in the troubled African nation’s capital Mogadishu.

Last month, Mogadishu was taken over by the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), which has pledged to implement tough Sharia, or Muslim, law. Among other measures, Muslims who do not pray five times a day will be put to death, the new supreme leader of the UIC said.

"He who does not perform prayer will be considered as infidel and our Sharia law orders that person to be killed," said Sheikh Abdalla Ali, who runs a Sharia court in the Somali capital which the Islamists took last month.

It was not immediately clear who would enforce the regulation or how, but the courts have well-armed militias that routed a United States-backed alliance of warlords in June after four months of bloody battles for control of Mogadishu.


In addition forces loyal to the UIC reportedly shot and killed two people at the screening of a banned World Cup soccer broadcast this week, while dispersing the crowd of teenagers watching it, several news reports said.

The Islamic fighters banned such entertainment and claimed they opened fire after the teenagers defied their orders to leave the cinema that was screening the Germany-Italy match. The dead were identified as a girl and the cinema owner. The UIC later claimed to have detained the fighters responsible for the killings.

After kicking out the US-backed warlords from Mogadishu on June 5, the UIC fighters reportedly took a large swathe of southern Somalia from the coastal capital to near the border with Ethiopia.


The recently-formed ecumenical body in the area, the Fellowship of Christian Councils and churches in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa, said the Western world should help establish peace there, and an effective government.

"The international community should strengthen the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to play a mediation role, give support to the Transitional Federal Government to form a state," said Rev Fred Nyabera in a statement distributed by UK-based think tank Ekklesia.

Nyabera, who has been in dialogue with Muslim leaders, politicians and diplomats, added that it was important to "desist from starting a parallel peace process, ignoring what has been done so far." While Somalia is mainly Sunni Muslim, there are believed to be some Christians in the country. (With reports from Somalia).

Copyright 2006 BosNewsLife. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without our prior written consent.