Somali cultural Islam meets the formal requirements of Sharia. “Somali women say Islamists becoming more draconian,” by Sahra Abdi for Reuters, January 15 (thanks to David):
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Women living in areas controlled by Somalia’s Islamists say they are increasingly the target of more draconian rules meted out by the rebels bent on enforcing their ideologies.
In the latest decree by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group that governs most of southern Somalia, women in the seaside town of Kismayu have been banned from carrying out barter trade with the male crews of ships calling at the port.
The women have also been told they cannot shake any male’s hands in public, travel on their own, sell anything or work in an office.
“A woman cannot be seen with a man from another country at the port. The punishment for any woman caught near the port or foreign vessels will be arrest,” a senior al Shabaab commander said in a statement this week.
The al Shabaab group — which means “the youth” in Arabic — have in the past banned movies, musical ringtones, dancing at wedding ceremonies and watching soccer….
Al Shabaab has also prescribed that the women must buy and wear uniform robes that only it supplies….
“During the war we used to have a life and a little peace. Now Islamists control much of the south and mete out punishments for the slightest thing. They say women should do nothing,” one khat seller told Reuters.
“Some women have no husbands, they are single or divorced or their men died fighting. It is totally destroying life.”
Women cannot sit next to a man in a bus and have to be accompanied by a male relative when travelling.
“We have been born and raised as Muslims and we don’t know where Islam says women can’t work. They have taken these ideologies from outside Somalia, from the Taliban and other militants,” said Abdiwahab Abdi Samad, professor of history at the University of Nairobi in neighbouring Kenya.