This past Saturday, religious terrorism and a complete lack of any secular rule of law took yet another life in Somalia as 18 year old Mohamed Ali Baashi, a homosexual, was captured by the al Qaeda linked group al Shabaab in the town of Barawe and stoned to death while villagers could do nothing but watch.
This is my favorite part of the story: according to reports of the incident, another person – this one accused of murder – was caught by the same group. He was given the more “merciful” sentence of just being shot to death because, as the judge put it, “homosexuality is more punishable than Islam“.
Unfortunately, that’s it for the article. There’s not a whole lot more information to go on, but I did happen to find the Somali Gay Community Facebook page. Not sure if they’re accurate. I also saw this article, which suggests that Baashi was accused of forcing a 13 year old boy to have sex with him. I can’t verify whether this is true, since the information cane from one of the militants, and the statement from the judge who handed down the sentence was about homosexuality, not about sexually assaulting a minor. Reports say he confessed … which, given their doubtless strict adherence to due process and attention to civil liberties, I’m sure was freely offered.
Given the way homosexuality is treated by the militant Islamic groups that appear to be in control of some parts of Somalia, I am inclined to think that even if there were a non-consensual element to this story, the punishment he received was almost solely given on the basis of his sexual orientation.