The Chilling Story Of A Somali Man Who Escaped Brutal Persecution While His Own Family Was Plotting To Kill Him For Being Homosexual

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The Chilling Story Of A Somali Man Who Escaped Brutal Persecution While His Own Family Was Plotting To Kill Him For Being Homosexual

Image credits: BBC


A gay Somali man has told the BBC his story of how he suffered in his homeland due to his sexuality and his escape to Malaysia to avoid persecution. His story highlights the true horrors that homosexual people face in certain parts of the world. Most terrifying of all is that he escaped the country due to plans by his own family to kill him.


Mohamed (not his real name) says that he knew he was different from a very young age, 4 or 5 years old, and that this made him feel out of place straight away. He also knew from a young age that these were unacceptable feelings. He spoke of how when he was young, he was repeatedly told by his brother, who suspected of him being gay by the time he was 10 years old that he was destined for hell in the afterlife, and that:


"God punishes men who make themselves look like women. And also women who make themselves look like men."


For obvious reasons this deeply affected Mohamed, he said:


"I was 10 years old, I couldn't take it. I used to wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat screaming: 'Oh help me! Help me from God, he's burning me in hell!'"


At age 12, his family sent him to a rehabilitation center for those who stray from Somali values. At the camp, he was drugged, sexually abused and forced to continually read Islamic texts. He says that those held at the camp, and who were aged between 10 and 30, were repeatedly raped by men, sometimes in groups.


Even though the camp claimed to run by Islamic doctrine, it was also influenced by Somali mysticism, and the belief that evil spirits called Jinn were infecting gay people. In order to drive these out, he was often given a drug called harmala which induces hallucinations. The specific drug can be deadly if too high a dose is administered. On receiving the drug Mohamed said:


"The only thing that I remember is that I was flying in some place that is full of stars… I don't know what happened during those days. I don't know if I got raped. I just don't know anything."


After being released back to his family, he hid his sexuality during his teenage years. However, when it was revealed that he was using the internet to speak to other gay people, his family allegedly made plans to kill him. Using forged documents, he made his escape.


He made his way to Malaysia as an asylum seeker, as Malaysia requires no visa fee for entry. However, homosexuality is still illegal in Malaysia, and it is no guarantee that he will be able to stay long-term. He hopes one day to make it to Europe or the United States, where he will be able to live as a free man.


His plight should make us aware that while progress has occurred in the West, persecution continues across the globe. We wish Mohamed all the best.

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Thinking Humanity: The Chilling Story Of A Somali Man Who Escaped Brutal Persecution While His Own Family Was Plotting To Kill Him For Being Homosexual
The Chilling Story Of A Somali Man Who Escaped Brutal Persecution While His Own Family Was Plotting To Kill Him For Being Homosexual
A gay Somali man has told the BBC his story of how he suffered in his homeland due to his sexuality and his escape to Malaysia to avoid persecution. His story highlights the true horrors that homosexual people face in certain parts of the world. Most terrifying of all is that he escaped the country due to plans by his own family to kill him. Mohamed (not his real name) says that he knew he was different from a very young age, 4 or 5 years old, and that this made him feel out of place straight away.
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