By BosNewsLife Africa Service
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (BosNewsLife)– Islamic militants have shot and killed a Somali Christian woman because she declined to wear a veil as prescribed by Muslim custom, Christians said in comments monitored by BosNewsLife Wednesday, October 28.
Members of the Suna Waljameca group killed Amina Muse Ali, 45, on October 19 in her home in Galkayo, in Somalia’s autonomous Puntland region, said Compass Direct News, a well-informed Christian news agency.
Ali had told Christian leaders that she had received several threats from members of Suna Waljameca for not wearing a veil, symbolic of adherence to Islam, Christians said. She had said members of the group had long monitored her movements because they suspected she was a Christian.
Ali, an orphan and unmarried, in 1997 joined the Somali Christian Brothers’ Organization, a movement also known as the Somali Community-Based Organization. She had been an active member of the underground church in the Lower Juba region, Compass Direct News reported.
She earlier worked with the Belgian contingent of United Nations Operations in Somalia as a translator and played a key role as a translator during a peace conference aimed at bringing together warring clans in the lower Juba region.
Christians said Ali had warned in early October that her life was in danger. “My life is in danger. I am warned of dire consequences if I continue to live without putting on the veil. I need prayers from the fellowship,” she reportedly said.
Christians said they have lost “a long serving-Christian.”
Ali’s death follows several other killings by Islamic militants, who aim to impose a strict form of Sharia, or Islamic law, in the country and to topple the government.
On September 15 militants of the more radical al-Shabaab group shot and killed 69-year-old Omar Khalafe at a checkpoint they controlled 10 kilometers (six miles) from Merca, after finding Bibles in his possession, Christians said. Al-Shabab controls much of southern Somalia, as well as other areas of the nation.
In August al-Shabab militants seeking evidence that a Somali man had converted from Islam to Christianity shot him dead near the Somali border with Kenya, Christians said. The rebels killed 41-year-old Ahmed Matan in Bulahawa, Somalia on August 18.
In Mahadday Weyne, 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of the Somali capital of Mogadishu, al-Shabab fighters on July 20 shot to death another convert from Islam, Mohammed Sheikh Abdiraman, eyewitnesses said. The militants also reportedly beheaded seven Christians on July 10. News reports said they were killed in Baidoa for being Christians and “spies.”
On February 21 al-Shabab militants beheaded two young boys in Somalia because their Christian father refused to divulge information about a church leader, said Musa Mohammed Yusuf, the 55-year-old father who was living in a Kenya refugee camp at the time.
It comes amid international concerns over the situation in Somalia which has been without an effective central government since President Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.
Years of fighting between rival warlords and an apparent inability to deal with famine and disease have led to the deaths of up to one million people, according to international estimates. (With reporting by Simba Tian in Nairobi, Kenya).