The lack of an effective government since 1991 has led Somalia into famine, war and relentless brutality against Christians and others. Al-Shabaab, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization which controls regional domains within Somalia, and the leader of anti-Christian hatred within the country, murdered at least six Christians in 2010.
While the number may seem low, keep in mind that there are few Christians in the country and the fear caused by Al-Shabaab’s brutality has pushed the church almost completely underground to the extent that Christianity would appear nonexistent to most nationals.
Not only does Al- Shabaab kill nearly every Christian they find, they also execute Christians in the most horrific ways, including stoning and beheadings in public squares. Church leader Osman Abdullah Fataho was among those murdered in 2010, executed in front of his wife and children just before they were abducted. Amina Muse Ali, a Christian woman, was also barbarically murdered for refusing to wear a veil in public on October 19.
All Somali Christians are considered apostates – converts from Islam – a grave ‘crime’ which warrants the death penalty under Islamic (Sharia) law. Al-Shabaab is not secretive about their view of Christians, but has publically declared their objective to completely eradicate Christianity from Somalia.
Muhammad Guul Hashim Idiris, a Christian convert from Islam, was traveling by land from Kalafo, an Ethiopian border town, to visit his mother in the Somalia capital of Mogadishu.
A fellow passenger recognized his Christian background and asked him if he thought the prophet Muhammad was a genuine messenger from God. Idiris responded by saying, “If I thought so, I would have believed in him instead of the Messiah.”
Once they reached the Hudur district, a stronghold of the Al-Shabaab terror network, the Muslim man reported Idiris to Al-Shabaab and had him detained. Idiris was accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad. In Islam, it is a serious sin to consider Muhammad not to be a genuine prophet and it warrants the death penalty.
The execution, which took place at a make-shift soccer stadium, was attended by hundreds of people, including school children who were forced to watch.
Sheik Adan Yare, the Al-Shabaab governor of the Bakol region, said to the press, “ Our holy warriors have today, on July 1st at 11: 45 am, executed in front of angry Muslim witnesses, a young man whose name was Muhammad Guul Hashim Idiris who insulted our beloved prophet.”
The martyr is survived by his then pregnant widow.