Somali Militants Kill Two for Watching World Cup on TV

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Somalia Football Team

Watching the World Cup can be bad for your help, if you live in Somalia. On June 12, Islamic fundamentalists of the Hezbal Islam rebel group killed two Somalis who were watching the soccer match between Argentina and Nigeria in a home near Mogadishu and seized ten others. The next day, in the city of Afgoye, the same group arrested 31 sports fans for watching the Germany-Australia match.

Preferring young men to pursue holy jihad, militants are reportedly patrolling streets to spot anyone watching the World Cup on television. Offenders run the risk of being publicly flogged. The threats forced one broadcaster to move operations to the Mogadishu airport to better protect equipment.
Before the kickoff of the opening contest between South Africa and Mexico, Sheik Abu Yahya Al Iraq told Somalis, “Football descended from the old Christian cultures and our Islamic administration will never allow watching what they call the FIFA World Cup. We are sending our last warning to the people.”
Islamist militants also killed two people watching a match in a movie theater in Somalia during the last World Cup in 2006.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Armed Radicals Arrest 31 for Watching Australia Germany World Cup Match (by Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar, Somali Sports Press Association)
Militants Kill Two in Mogadishu for Watching FIFA World Cup, Ten Others Arrested (by Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar, Somali Sports Press Association)
Viewing Ban Sends Somali Soccer Fans Underground (by Abdinasir Mohamed, Wall Street Journal)


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