Paul Marshall and Nina Shea

in Silenced

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199812264
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919383 | DOI:

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Chapter Eight covers three countries: Nigeria, the largest in Africa by population, Sudan, the largest by area, and Somalia, which is, in 2010, probably the most religiously repressive area in the Muslim world. In Nigeria, the growth of more militant forms of Islam, together with accusations of apostasy and blasphemy have led to riots and murders, with thousands dead. There are also violent militias, such as Boko Haram, which appear to regard everyone else as blasphemers or apostates who must be attacked. Somalia is torn between rival jurisdictions and rival militias, none of which is open to political or religious difference. Among them is the Al-Shabab – the Union of Islamic Courts – movement. It enforces its radically repressive version of sharia, which includes banning music and bells, destroys graves and anything else that it believes smacks of Sufism, and is embarked on a policy of exterminating every Christian in the country, including by beheading children. Apart from its repression of journalists and politicians, Sudan executed its leading Muslim scholar on charges of apostasy, implicitly charged a UN Special Rapporteur with blasphemy, and its agents declared hundreds of thousands of Nuba Muslims apostates who deserved death.

Keywords: Nigeria; Somalia; Sudan; militias; Boko Haram; Al-Shabab; Mohamed Mahmoud Taha; Nuba

Chapter.  7722 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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