Persecution of Ex-Muslims (Kenya)
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Children of Christian converts abducted by Muslim relatives and taken to Somalia to be enrolled in 'rehabilitation' centers
Michael Ireland, Assist News Service, September 16, 2006
A is currently recovering from an assault in July that left him comatose, yet last night (27 September) A and his family were attacked again.More than 3,400 Somalis have sought refuge in Kenya in the last three weeks, bringing the tally to almost 25,000 since the beginning of the year. It appears that as the UIC gains further ground in Somalia, there is a corresponding increase in attacks on Somali Christians in Kenya by UIC supporters. According to local sources, there are 'many proxy representatives of the Islamic Shari'ah Courts in Nairobi'.
CSW, September 29, 2006
Muslims beat a suspected Christian convert from Islam unconscious with iron rods and wooden clubs. Stripping him naked and dragging his bleeding body to a church, they leave him for dead
Hassan, a 25-year-old refugee from Somalia whose surname is withheld for security reasons, had hardly been raised as a Muslim, having received Christ at age 7. But the Somali neighbors in Kenya who attacked him left him for dead on Oct. 27, bleeding and naked, on the assumption that as a Somali he was born into Islam and was therefore an apostate deserving of death, the young man told Compass.
He and his mother, a convert from Islam who fled war in Somalia 10 years ago after the death of her husband, are part of an underground house church.
In a town in Kenya undisclosed for security reasons, Hassan was returning home from running errands at 8:30 p.m. when the six young Muslim men stopped him. They hit him with a metal bar on his forehead and face, he said, and he lost two teeth on the spot. Others hit him on the back.
Some stomped on his stomach while he was on the ground as others hit him on his legs, he said through bandages on his nose and above his mouth. His hands were bandaged where they wounded him with a knife.
The attackers stripped him of his clothes as he bled and dragged him away, dumping him at the entrance of an area Presbyterian Church of East Africa. Some passersby found him and called his mother, whose name is withheld for security reasons.
“When I reached the scene of the attack, my son was lying in a pool of blood,” she told Compass. “I wailed and did not know what happened to me. I only gained consciousness after sometime, when so many people, including the police, had arrived at the scene. The attackers had covered my son all over with dirt.”
He was rushed to a hospital, where he received a blood transfusion. When Compass met with him and his mother on Oct. 31, he still had several bandages on his face, his head cloaked in a wrap of grey fabric.
“Since the time my son was attacked, we have been spending sleepless nights due to the pain that he has been going through,” his mother said. “He risks losing a third tooth, which is adding more pain for him. He also complains of abdominal pains; possibly he might have hurt some of his internal organs. But we are helpless; we have no money for specialized medication for him.”
Police have arrested two of the assailants. The other four Muslims are still on the run, and Hassan and his mother said they fear justice will not be done due to area hatred for converts from Islam.
“I know the community does not like us because of our Christian faith, but we have done nothing bad,” Hassan said.
His mother, who has six sons younger than Hassan and two daughters, noted that the area police commissioner is a Muslim in a Muslim-majority area. The arrest of two assailants is a hopeful sign that at the same time creates fear that area Muslims will make retaliatory strikes, she said.
“We need to relocate,” she said. “The other sons are traumatized, especially now that two of the attackers are in police custody.”
Neighborhood Muslims gradually surmised that the widow was a convert to Christianity; when Muslim women passed by her home every Friday inviting her to go to the mosque with them, she would always tell them she wasn’t feeling well, she said.
“What happened to my son is the climax of the threats that I have been receiving from my Muslim neighbors,” she said. “They have now discovered that we are Christians. They have heard my small children sing Christian songs. In fact, there are rumors going round that I am the pastor of the group, but my strength is from God and my seven sons.”
She and Hassan speculated that the Somali Muslim neighbors attacked him because “the oldest son is the strength of the mother.”
Her faith, she said, remains strong.
“Even though he has been beaten, I trust God to protect us,” she said. “I will not return to Islam; I will stand with Christ.”
For his part, Hassan said that even when they were beating him, he was praying.“In spite of what happened, I don’t feel I’m losing my Christian faith,” he said. “I still need to fight for the Christian faith, in spite of what I’m feeling now.”
Compass Direct, November 6, 2011
54 year old convert, who had his house burned to the ground by Muslims, is bound and beaten by them with sticks and metallic objects. They stomp on his stomach, damaging his urinary system
“It was midnight, and it was raining,” he said. “No moonlight; no light; I said, ‘We are moving.’ Amid the bullets and mortar shells, I had four kids on me, and my wife had three kids on her, with the older boy and girl walking – the smaller ones were on us.”
About 150 people died that night in military fighting, but Mose said it was no accident that his house was targeted. Earlier that month the Muslim extremists, who had suspected he was a convert to Christianity as he had worked for Christian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), confirmed that he had come to faith in Christ and was therefore worthy of death. They tied his hands behind him and began hitting him with sticks and metallic objects, he said.
He sustained a deep cut on his heel. They stomped on his stomach, damaging his urinary system, he said. Neighbors who heard his cries came out in large numbers, forcing the attackers to flee. Mose said he knew then it was time to relocate.
After spending a month with neighbors recovering from his injuries, he and his family fled to Lower Juba in March, then to Kismayo. Kismayo is al Shabaab’s economic lifeline, where the extremists receive goods by ship, as well as ransom money from piracy. The Kenyan military has besieged the port town in an effort to flush out the militants after they were blamed for a spate of kidnappings of foreigners inside Kenyan territory.
Closely monitored by al Shabaab in Kismayo, the family headed toward Kenya in April, renting a donkey to carry their luggage and youngest child, 4 (their oldest, a daughter, is 19). Mose said it took them 18 days to traverse the 370 kilometers (230 miles) to Liboi, the border town on the Kenyan side, where the donkey died of exhaustion. They still had 100 kilometers (62 miles) to go to reach refugee camps in Dadaab.
For the next six months, the family lived in the Ifo refugee camp in Dadaab, where people flow freely in and out of the camp, including al Shabaab members in civilian garb. In September, Mose said, some al Shabaab members in the camp threatened to kill him. Somali Christian contacts in Kenya helped Mose move his family away from the border last month.
Having worked for NGOs while in Somalia, Mose became a target as al Shabaab sees the organizations as either Christian or spies for the West, he said. That reputation has followed him, subjecting his family to discrimination not only from the militants but also from other Somali Muslims; the threat continues in his undisclosed location in Kenya, which is more than 82 percent Christian with a Muslim population of 8.32 percent, according to Operation World.
Mose’s wife bakes and sells bread to try to feed the family. She is due to give birth in January – to twins – and the family fears she may be unable to continue her micro-enterprise. Mose, meantime, said he is still in pain.“At the moment, I cannot do heavy work,” he said. “I have a lot of pain in my lower abdomen which needs medical attention. My back is also not good. Indeed our situation is not promising, especially taking care of a family of nine as a refugee. If we get asylum, then it will save my family.”
Simba Tian, Compass Direct News, November 18, 2011
60 year old convert, whose family was shunned by friends and relatives for his absence from mosque prayers, seeks to flee with his family after Muslims post his photo in a mosque, accusing him of being a threat to Islam
The Muslims of Nairobi’s Somali enclave in Eastleigh found out that Adam Musse Othman, 60, had translated biblical portions into Maay, one of the Somali dialects, and they also got hold of a copy of the Jesus Film that Othman had translated into Maay; they were able to identify the voice-over in the film as his, he said.
Othman said he was not safe from Islamic extremists in Nairobi who told him by phone that they were aware of his involvement in the production of the Christian film and the translation of biblical passages into Maay.
“I cannot take such threats lightly, hence my request for resettlement on security grounds where we can live peacefully, decently and freely – also, to save ourselves from death and violence,” he said.
Othman, who walks with the aid of a cane and said he is suffering from various ailments, said he has made several applications to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for resettlement and is awaiting a reply.
“I feel that our case needs urgent attention, given the current situation surrounding our well-being,” he said. “With the increasing radicalization of Islam in Somalia, and the potential spillover effects into Kenya, I feel unsafe living in Kenya with my family.”
Othman said his absence from mosque prayers had led his Muslim friends and relatives to shun him and his family.
“There are no cordial relations between us, and I have received several threatening phone calls and short text messages in my phone by people who claim to know that I am a Christian,” he said. “I have reported this matter to Pangani police station. The threats to me and my family from Islamic radicals are still haunting me here in Nairobi. There are people who know me and my family and are suspicious of my faith. When my wife visits Eastleigh, she has to cover her face to avoid being identified.”
Othman left Somalia fearing either the civil war or those hostile to his Christian faith would kill him, he said.
“The current situation in Somalia, the emergence of al Shabaab and the introduction of sharia [Islamic law], makes it unthinkable that I can ever return to Somalia,” he said.
He worked as medical liaison officer with a Christian NGO based in Mogadishu between 1992 and 1995; later his family moved to Baidoa when the war intensified.
“That kind of work proved dangerous to me since I started getting threatening phone calls from Islamic extremists,” he said. “I also felt that some members of my sub-clan who knew about me were not happy, judging from the way they constantly challenged me to state my spiritual standing since I was working with a Christian NGO, and this made me feel highly insecure.”
At first he did not take the threats seriously, he said. But then Islamic extremists shot dead his cousin, Abdi Washed, a Christian, in Mogadishu in 1994, and shortly thereafter three friends were killed at Bakaro Market in Mogadishu.
“The killings were carefully planned assassinations,” he said. “I was then warned by my close friends and relatives that I was next in the list of Christians targeted for assassination.”
Heavy fighting in Baidoa made it difficult for Othman to cross into Kenya. He was able to leave Somalia by air in 2001, and the following year his family joined him after traveling on foot and by bus.
Previously he had worked in Yemen with a Christian group, he said, arriving there in 1986 after completing theological studies abroad. It would prove to be one of his first experiences with people hostile to Christianity.“Some people unknown to me reported to the Yemeni authorities that I was a Christian,” he said. “I was arrested and imprisoned for nine months that year at Sana’a Central Prison.”
Simba Tian, Compass Direct News, November 18, 2011
"We did not succeed in killing your brother, but today we are going to kill you." 7 Somali Muslims beat another suspected Christian convert from Islam unconscious
Ibrahim, 23, whose surname is withheld for security reasons, was beaten by seven Somalis born in Kenya who stopped him near his home in an undisclosed town at about 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 5, he told Compass. His family was presumably Muslim when he was born, so the gang beat him as an “apostate” even though he later had been raised as a Christian, his family said.
He had gone out to buy food for the family, but heavy rains delayed his return. When Ibrahim refused to heed their orders to stop, they began to rough him up, and he heard one of the assailants say, “This is one of the guys we have been looking for, and today we have found him – we did not succeed in killing your brother, but today we are going to kill you.”
The young men began hitting him from every side, he said.
“A blunt object hit my knee, and immediately I fell down,” he said. “There were several blows that injured my left eye. While on the ground the gang continued hitting me on my head as well as my leg. From that time on I did not know what happened next. I only remember shouting and crying for help. Later I found myself at our house with the rest of the family members.”
Area residents were able to stop the beating and took him home, he later learned.
When Compass met with him two days after the attack, a knee injury on one leg and bruises and swelling on the other kept him from walking. His left eye looked red, and he said he could not see well.
“I feel dizzy, and my memory has been affected,” he said. “I cannot turn my head; the pain all over my body is numbing.”
On Oct. 27 a related gang attacked Ibrahim’s brother, 25-year-old Hassan, as they had learned that the entire family had become Christian (See www.compassdirect.org, “Somali Muslims Cut, Beat Christian Unconscious in Kenya,” Nov. 4). Police arrested two of the attackers, but they were released without charges after allegedly accepting a bribe of 10,000 Kenyan shillings (US$110), according to the young men’s mother.
The Christian woman, whose name is withheld for security reasons, said police reported that the two suspects escaped from custody.
“We have information that the two who are alleged to have escaped from prison are in Nyeri,” a town in central Kenya near Mt. Kenya about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Nairobi, she said.
The Somali neighbors in Kenya who had attacked Hassan left him for dead, bleeding and naked, Like his younger brother, Hassan had been returning home from running errands when six young Muslim men hit him with a metal bar on his forehead and face, he said; he lost two teeth. They also wounded his hands with a knife. The attackers stripped him of his clothes as he bled and dragged him away, dumping him at the entrance of an area Presbyterian Church of East Africa.
The young men’s mother, saddened and shaken, said she was reluctant to report the latest assault after the release of the two men arrested in connection with the attack on her oldest son.
“I feel it will be a waste of time, because those who attacked Hassan were released without being charged in court,” she said.
The latest incident comes in the wake of similar attacks on Somalis who have embraced Christ and have fled radical Islamists who do not hesitate to execute those who abandon the Islamic religion.
Ibrahim said he was able to identify two of the Muslims who beat him, Kenya-born Somali neighbors known as Abdi Kodana and Mohammed Kodana. The leader of the gang, he said, was Omar Kadi, also a Kenya-born Somali.
The young men’s mother said she is seeking a safer place to move the family. The sole breadwinner for the family, she fled Somalia 10 years ago after the death of her husband. She has five other sons and two daughters.The widow and her family are part of a church that meets secretly in a home, but neighborhood Muslims have gradually surmised that they are Christians as they do not attend a mosque.
Simba Tian, Compass Direct, December 13, 2011