Somali politician Abdirahman Ahmed executed by militants for cooperating with non-Muslims

A Somali politician, Abdirahman was accused of apostasy for working with non-Muslims and executed by a Somali Islamist militia.

Abdirahman Ahmed
Jan 15, 2009
Organized Jihadists
Accused of:
Known For:

being a prominent politician in Kismayo, Somalia

Abdirahman Ahmed was a Somali politician who was accused by Islamists in 2009 of working with Ethiopian forces. At the time, Ethiopia had been militarily involved in Somalia in an attempt to expunge Islamist elements from political power, and, particular to Abdirahman’s case, to take back the city of Kismayo of which he was a resident. This meant that if Abdirahman was indeed working for them, he was not only undermining the goals of the Islamists, he was working with non-Muslims, the representatives of a majority-Christian nation.

"After the shooting, his brother pleaded to be able to bury his body, however, he was told the burial had already been done." - BBC report on Abdirahman's death

These transgressions sparked the Islamist forces who controlled Kismayo to stage a trial for Abdirahman under Islamic law. For mingling and working with non-Muslims, they determined he was legally an apostate and executed him by gunshot. As his family was denied the request for Abdirahman to be exiled rather than executed, so too was his brother denied the opportunity to bury him; his executioners claimed they had done it themselves.

Further Reading

Somalia’s recent history has been riddled with violent conflict, and much of its territory remains under the control of the militant Islamist organization al-Shabaab. Additionally, the northwestern part of the nation, Somaliland, is controlled by a separate government which is generally not internationally recognized, and it is governed by the same penal code and a similar constitution as Somalia. In Somalia proper, Islam is the state religion, and blasphemy is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment and fines. There is no separate punishment for apostasy, but the constitution notes that no laws may be enacted which contradict Islamic religious law. Publicized prosecutions for blasphemy are rare, probably owing to the fragile political situation and consequent difficulty of international access to information about local and regional goings-on, but at least one has taken place in Somaliland, and al-Shabaab authorities may impose capital punishment for blasphemy and apostasy.

Cases in Somalia
Somali politician Abdirahman Ahmed executed by militants for cooperating with non-Muslims
Professor Mahmoud Jama Ahmed-Hamdi imprisoned, hounded with death threats for blasphemy
Mohamud Mursal Muse executed by al-Shabaab authorities for blaspheming Muhammad