No, the reporters didn’t offend the “Prophet” or make a clumsy YouTube video. They just reported on soccer matches. Apparently athletic competition greatly offends the delicate sensibilities of cold-blooded psychopaths.
Abdirahman Mohamed Ali was abducted as he left his mother’s house in Mogadishu two weeks ago. His body, dumped next to a restaurant, was discovered the next morning, arms tied behind his back, decapitated head placed on his chest. Evidence indicated he’d been tortured first.
On the same day that Ali disappeared, Hassan Yusuf Absuge was killed by three masked gunmen. Absuge was heading home from the radio station where he’d just finished working the night shift.
In August, Mahmoud Ali Buneyste was shot to death while filming on the sidelines of a soccer match outside the Somali capital. Just hours earlier, he’d attended the funeral of Yusuf Ali Osman, slain by teenage assailants dressed in high school uniforms.
All four men were sports reporters.
In war-ravaged Somalia, 14 journalists have been assassinated in 2012. Sports reporters have been specifically targeted for serial murder as a subgroup within the broader scope of media “enemies.” Al-Shabaab, the Islamist militant group that controlled Mogadishu until a year ago, when it was pushed out by African Union troops, has claimed responsibility for most of the murders, though suspicion has also fallen on rogue freelance militias and even government forces.
Somalia is hell on earth, still and again, following a short period of comparative peace, at least around Mogadishu. There are no such things as innocent fun and games. Sport is considered an un-Islamic evil by Al-Shabaab, as is so much else that gives pleasure to the masses.
America’s greatest sports calamity of late was replacement officials in the NFL. Elsewhere people are losing their heads just for enjoying and reporting on a game.