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Five Somali Muslim Men Assault a Christian Man in Ethiopia

Washington, D.C. (July 22, 2010)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on July 16 five Somali Muslim men assaulted and seriously injured a Christian man in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for reading a book critical of the Prophet Muhammad.

Mike Abdul Falahow, a Christian convert from Islam, was reading The Great Deception: How Muhammad Tried to Win Christians for Islam, when two Somali Muslims demanded that he surrender the book, saying that it was offensive and attacked the honor of the Prophet Muhammad. The book is a critical study of Sura Al Imran 3:33-64 in the Qur’an.

Falahow refused to surrender the book and reminded them that they were living in Addis Ababa and not in Mogadishu , and therefore had religious freedom.

One of the Muslim men attempted to seize the book from Falahow’s grasp, but when he failed, he proceeded to punch and kick Falahow. Four other Muslim men joined in, ganging up on Falahow and beating him mercilessly.

Falahow suffered injuries that included a broken leg and cuts to his face. Currently, he is recovering in a safe house provided by the Somali Christian community in Addis Ababa. The incident has been reported to the police.

A Somali church leader in Addis Ababa spoke to ICC, describing the attacks as “a brutal attempt to subdue the growing Somali Christian community in Addis Ababa.”

This is not the first time that Somali Muslims have attacked Somalis who converted to Christianity in Addis Ababa. However, this is the first time that such an attack took place in a crowded public place.

Jonathan Racho, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, said “Several Somali Christians have been killed by Islamic radicals in Somalia and many have left their country due to the persecution they face. Sadly, they don’t escape from persecution even after they leave their country. We urge Ethiopian authorities to stop the attempt by Islamists to import their violent ideologies from Somalia. The mistreatment of Christian converts will get worse unless the authorities take action against the individuals responsible for attacking Falahow.”