January 26, 2012
Somali Islamists arrested a Muslim father Jan. 14 after two of his teenage sons converted to Christianity late last year, International Christian Concern reports. Members of the radical Islamic group al Shabaab accused Mo'alim Mohamud Aw-Omar of "failing to raise his sons as good Muslims" because "good Muslims cannot convert to Christianity." Aw-Omar, who is still a Muslim, said he should not be accused of failing his duties because his sons -- who fled home after their conversion -- had memorized the Qur'an, fasted and prayed regularly. The Islamists have reportedly refused to release Aw-Omar until his sons return home, which is unlikely since leaving Islam is a crime punishable by death in Somalia. Islamic extremists have killed many Christian converts in Somalia, but this is the first confirmed case of a parent being arrested for the conversion of children.