SOMALIA TOWN THREATENS TO BEHEAD PEOPLE WHO DON’T PRAY 5 TIMES DAILY
December 06, 2006
— Residents of a southern Somalia
town who do not pray five times a day will be beheaded, an official said Wednesday, adding the edict will be implemented in
Shops, tea houses and other
public places in Bulo Burto, about 124 miles northeast of the capital, Mogadishu, should be closed during prayer time and no one should be
on the streets, said Sheik Hussein Barre Rage, the chairman of the town's Islamic court. His court is part of a network backed
by armed militiamen that has taken control of much of southern Somalia
in recent months, bringing a strict interpretation of Islam that is alien to many Somalis.
Those who do not follow the
prayer edict after three days have elapsed, "will definitely be beheaded according to Islamic law," Rage told The Associated
Press by phone. "As Muslims we should practice Islam fully, not in part, and that is what our religion enjoins us to do."
He said the edict, which
covered only Bulo Burto, was being announced over loudspeakers throughout the town.
Somalia's Islamic courts have made
varying interpretations of Koranic law, some applying a more strict and radical version of Islam than others. Some of the courts have introduced
public executions, floggings of convicts, bans on women swimming in Mogadishu's
public beaches and on the sale and chewing of khat, a leafy stimulant consumed across the Horn of Africa.
After complaints about the
lack of consistency from residents in the capital, Mogadishu,
the umbrella Council of Islamic Courts set up an appeals court with better educated judges in October.