WorldNet Daily (Link) - Bob Unruh (August 11, 2009)
Four Christians working in Somalia to provide services to orphans have been executed by beheading by al-Qaida-linked interests who told their families that is the penalty for apostasy.
The report on the outrage comes from International Christian Concern, which said the executions took place sometime after the kidnapping of the Christians July 27, but it only discovered the tragedy recently.
The organization identified the Christian orphanage workers as Fatima Sultan, Ali Ma'ow, Sheik Mohammed Abdi and Maaddey Diil. They had been kidnapped in the coastal Somalian town of Merca, about 50 miles from Mogadishu.
According to ICC, al-Shabaab, an Islamic extremist organization, claimed responsibility and said the Christians were killed when they refused to renounce their faith in Jesus.
The ICC report said a junior al-Shabaab militant notified the families Aug. 4 the four were beheaded for apostasy. ICC said the militant described the Christians as promoters of "fitna," a Muslim term for religious discord.
The militant said the families would not even be given the bodies, "as Somalia does not have cemeteries for infidels."
The ICC quoted one eyewitness, who said, "All the four apostates were given an opportunity to return to Islam to be released but they all declined the generous offer."
The report confirmed the four Christians had been working for a local non-governmental organization that helps orphans in southern Somalia.
A Somali church leader who monitors the persecution against the Somali church described the latest beheadings as a desperate attempt to "purify" Somalia by eliminating all Christians from what the al-Qaida-linked terror group considers an Islamic republic.
But the church leader, whose identity was withheld, said such murders will only serve to launch more house churches.
ICC described al-Shabaab as "a radical Islamic organization fighting to establish an Islamic state in Somalia and enforce Wahhabi/Salafi Islam, an ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam practiced by the Taliban and al-Qaida."
The extremists already control large parts of Somalia and are trying to overthrow the internationally recognized transitional federal government of Somalia.
The Islamists last year killed half a dozen Somali Christians and just last month beheaded seven people in the town of Baidoa after accusing them of converting to Christianity, ICC said.
"Al-Shabaab has once against demonstrated its utter disregard for the dignity of human life," said Jonathan Racho, ICC's regional manager for Africa and the Middle East.
"The majority of Muslims in Somalia, who are also the victims of al-Shabaab's cruelty, do not support their ideology or practices. It is high time for the international community to take robust measures to end the heinous crimes that al-Shabaab and other extremist groups are committing against the people of Somalia," he said.
WND reported several weeks ago on the Compass Direct News story about al-Shabaab militants who kidnapped and beheaded two boys because their father refused to provide information about a church leader.
"I watched my three boys dragged away helplessly as my youngest boy was crying," said the mother, Batula Ali Arbow. "I knew they were going to be slaughtered."
A short time later, 7-year-old Abdulahi Musa Yusuf came running back to his mother, wailing and crying. Dead were his brothers 12-year-old Hussein Musa Yusuf and 11-year-old Abdi Rahaman Musa Yusuf, according to the report.
The killers were seeking the father, Musa Mohammed Yusuf, who was gone at the time, the report said. He was the leader of an underground church in Yonday village in Somalia before April, when the family fled to a Kenyan camp.
Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin earlier reported when al-Shabaab was linked to the stoning execution of a 13-year-old girl.