Watching the World Cup REALLY Sucks…
Somali militants have threatened football fans they will be publicly flogged – or worse – if they are caught watching the World Cup on TV.
Gangs of Islamists are reported to be patrolling the areas they control looking for people watching games.
Dedicated fans are watching matches in secret, or in the few areas controlled by government forces.
On Saturday militants killed two people as they attacked a house where people were watching a game.
Militant group Hizbul-Islam also arrested 10 others at the house north-east of the capital Mogadishu where fans were watching the game between Argentina and Nigeria
A spokesman for the group, Sheikh Mohamed Abdi Aros said the rest of Somalia should respect their ban on the World Cup.
"We are warning all the youth of Somalia not to dare watch these World Cup matches. It is a waste of money and time and they will not benefit anything or get any experience by watching mad men jumping up and down," he said.
From an opinion piece in asharq alawsat
Can you believe that watching a World Cup match could cost you your life? This is not a joke, and as appalling as it might seem there are some people who impose the penalty of death upon those who dare to watch a World Cup match at this time in the twenty first century. Before we look at those who impose this penalty, let us first imagine that anybody who dares to seek the lawful pleasure of sitting in front of a television set to watch a football match received this punishment, how many people would die? In my opinion this would be in the millions, or to be more precise, in the hundreds of millions. A large number of people would die if the enemies of joy managed to control the world for it is these enemies of joy who kill the innocent, and make life gloomy and monotonous. These enemies of joy aim to place themselves above everybody else, appointing themselves judge, jury, and executioner in the name of religion, when in fact religion condemns what they do.
Despite this, we have not heard any of the voices that preach Islam 24-hours a day on satellite television channels come out and condemn the act of these criminals who claim to be acting in the name of Islam, when in reality Islam condemns their actions. The strange media silence surrounding this terrible crime only strengthens the climate of insanity.
True Islamic scholars who care about the image of Islam are required, at this critical stage more than any time in the past, to firmly stand up against those who distort the image of Islam in the eyes of the world and who propagate a wrong message about our great religion and noble Prophet (pbuh) rather than dedicating themselves to peripheral issues. Our preachers must rearrange their priorities surrounding religious discourse, and I think that there is nothing more important than improving the image of our great faith which has been tarnished by the actions of criminals and extremists. Hizb al-Islam in Somalia is only one small link in a long chain of actions that aim to impose backward ideology upon us, whether this is in Somalia, the Pakistani tribal region, Afghanistan, or Iraq.