Somali hardliners have accused the Horn of Africa country's separatist region of Somaliland for allowing Christian missionaries to open schools and commence Christian religious teaching in the predominantly Muslim country, Radio Garowe reports.
The spokesman for Somali insurgent group Al Shabaab, Ali Mohamud Rage (alias Ali Dheere), accused Somaliland's government for planning open what he referred to as, 'non-Muslim schools'.
"The government of Somaliland agreed a framework of establishing new Christian schools in many parts in their region. I am urging the leaders to shut down this process of teaching Christianity and democracy which supports gays," Ali Dheere was quoted as saying at a public gathering in Mogadishu.
The Al Shabaab insurgent spokesman said several pastors arrived in Somaliland region and their work is against Islamic religion, he added.
According to witnesses, Mr. Ali Dheere showed copies of Somali-language documents about Christianity that were supposedly handed out in Somaliland.
Ali Dheere also accused the top Islamic leaders of Somaliland for being silent about those issues, while he appealed to the residents to stand up and fight for their religion.
Since 2007, Al Shabaab has been notorious for labeling Muslim people as non-Muslims as a justification to kill them, to rob them and to destroy their reputations.
The population of Somaliland, in northwestern Somalia, is 100% Muslim like the rest of Somalia. It is not clear where Al Shabaab insurgents get this information from, but Somaliland officials have not responded publicly to these allegations.
Located in northwest Somalia, Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from the rest of the country in 1991 but has not been recognized internationally.