Muslim Extremists Execute a Somali Christian

Dan Wooding | ASSIST News Service | Monday, May 3, 2010

Muslim Extremists Execute a Somali Christian


May 4, 2010

PLEIKU CITY, VIETNAM (ANS) -- International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on March 23, 2010, members of al-Shabaab (an Al-Qaeda linked Islamic extremist group) executed another Somali Christian in Afgoye, Somalia.

ICC, a Christian human rights group based in Washington, DC, told ANS that three gunmen from al-Shabaab killed Mu'awiye Hilowle Ali in front of his house. They executed him by firing from close range and hitting his head and chest. He died on the spot.

The Islamists had previously accused Ali and his family of spreading fitna (an Arabic word for religious discord). Trained in the former Soviet Union, Ali had served in the Somali armed forces. He converted to Christianity in 2006.

"His body has temporarily been buried in the compound of his residential house after members of Al Shabaab refused to allow his burial to be conducted in a public burial place, calling it Muslim territory," an ICC spokesperson told ANS.

Ali is survived by a wife and ten children.

ICC states that al-Shabaab is waging jihad in Somalia to establish an Islamic government based on Sharia law. The Somali church has been the most visible victim of the al-Shabaab "holy-war" in Somalia. Al-Shabaab and members of other Islamic extremists have killed more than a dozen Christians in Somalia over last year alone.

Speaking to ICC, a Somali church leader in Mogadishu said, "Ali's martyrdom will only strengthen the Somali church and that such violence will never succeed in stopping the church planting movement we see in Somalia today."

ICC's Regional Manager for Africa, Jonathan Racho, said, "The plight of Christians and other innocent Somalis is increasing by the day as Al-Shabaab intensifies its jihad attacks. The situation in Somalia will continue to deteriorate unless the international community steps up its effort to contain the influence of Al-Shabaab. We urge the international community not to turn a blind eye to the crisis in Somalia."

"Please pray for the Somali Church, which is arguably the most persecuted church in the world today. Pray also for Ali's widow and his children," said the ICC spokesperson.

Copyright 2010 ASSIST News Service. Used by permission.