Friday, May 28, 2010

Somali militants order journalists to begin news reports with Quranic verse

Thursday, May 27, 2010

APA-Mogadishu-(Somalia) The second most powerful militant group fighting in Somalia Hezbal Islam on Thursday ordered Somali radio reporters in the Lower Shabelle region to start with Quranic verses whenever they are reading news in their radio stations.

The group’s administration in the region said in a communiqué that all radio reporters in the town of Afgoye are ordered to commence their news reports with In the name of Allah, most merciful, most compassionate or otherwise they will face punishments.

“Muslims must announce the name of Alah before starting anything even when eating, so the reporters are told to comply with the Islamic law and if they don’t, they will be dealt with in accordance with Islam,” the militant group said in its communiqué Thursday.

The group’s governor in the town of Afgoye Sheikh Abdul Karim Muse Omar also said in his communiqué that all journalists in the region must come to the Islamic information office for censorship before sending any news tips.

Earlier this week, the militant group arrested three prominent radio reporters in the region and were then released 24 hours after their arrest. Last month, the same Islamist group banned Mogadishu-based radio stations from airing music and songs saying that listening to music is illegal in Islam.

For the past three years, the militants have been fighting Somalia’s internally-backed government in a bid to topple it and establish an Islamic state in the Horn of African country which lacks a functioning central government for the past two decades.

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