Muslim policemen on Saturday (Jan. 19) beat and arrested a Christian man on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya in retaliation for refusing to recant Christianity, sources said.
Accompanied by two Muslims of Somali descent who had attacked him previously, the policemen arrived at the home where Hassan (surname withheld for security reasons) lives with his widowed mother, and the officers along with the two others punched, kicked, trampled and struck him with blunt objects, relatives said.
"The police arrived and carried Hassan away with blood flowing from his body," his mother told Morning Star News, adding that one of the officers was a Muslim relative of Somali descent who has habitually joined other Somali Muslims resident in Nairobi in attacking her son. In Saturday's attack, Hassan lost teeth and suffered leg, chest and back injuries, she said.
Initially, police took him to Ngong police station, where his mother's pleas compelled them to take him to a medical clinic for treatment. The next day they transferred him to a police jail in Nairobi's Industrial Area. His mother visited him there on Wednesday (Jan. 23) and said he was in bad condition.
"My son's leg is bruised, he has serious chest and back pain, he is unable to walk and some of his teeth were removed," she said. "My family is in danger, where are we going to hide ourselves? I cannot go back to Islam. I am better dying with my family than going back to Islam."
At this writing, Morning Star News was unable to reach a police representative about the brutal arrest or what charges Hassan might face. When his mother asked police why he was being held without charges on Thursday (Jan. 24), an officer directed her to the Muslim relative who was one of the policemen attacking Hassan. Suspecting the relative was going to demand a bribe, she said she would not talk with him.
The assailants planned the attack, which took place outside Hassan's home in the Bulbul area of Ngong, 26 kilometers (16 miles) southwest of Nairobi, after he and other relatives declined to renounce their faith in exchange for financial help, she said. The formerly Muslim family migrated from Somalia after Hassan's father died.
A Muslim neighbor had invited Hassan, his mother (name withheld for security reasons) and two siblings to Jamia Mosque in central Nairobi, one of Kenya's most prominent mosques, on Dec. 3, telling them that Muslim leaders there could help them with their financial needs, relatives said.
At the mosque, they were introduced to a wealthy Arab who told them they could receive support, and later they were taken to his house on Mombasa Road, they said. Their first indication of trouble came when a non-Muslim worker there from the ethnic Luhya, a Bantu group, advised them that things may not be go well for them if they were Christians.
Hassan's mother said they were surprised when the wealthy Arab and other Muslims told them that financial help was conditional on them renouncing Christianity.
"We were promised financial support for the school fees of the children and general upkeep of the family, but they were categorical that Muslims have no relation with 'infidels,'" Hassan's mother told Morning Star News. "To this, I refused to recant my faith in Christ."
The family had initially accepted the offer of financial support, but when it became conditional on renouncing their faith and they refused, their Muslims hosts became angry, and the Christians had to flee the house, they said.
Hassan's mother said that on Dec. 20 relatives suffered an attack in Jamu, in Somalia on the border with Kenya, where she maintains her ancestral home. Unknown assailants destroyed the roof and bashed gaping holes in the walls where one of her sons was living with his frail and ailing grandmother, she said.
Muslim relatives in Jamu on Dec. 15 had questioned her son about his absence from Friday mosque prayers, she said. The widow said she has recently received anonymous threats from Jamu threatening to do away with her family, and that she has received threatening text messages from the area since she sent him to live there two years ago.
The family has suffered at the hands of Somali Muslims in Nairobi for several years. On Feb. 7, 2016, Muslim relatives beat Hassan unconscious after discovering that the family was holding secret Christian meetings.
Muslim Somalis in Nairobi had seriously injured Hassan on Oct. 27, 2011, when a gang attacked him after they learned that family members had become Christian. The Somali neighbors hit him with a metal bar on his forehead and face, and he lost two teeth and sustained knife wounds to his hand. They left him for dead.
Somali Muslims in Nairobi have also attacked his mother.
"I have suffered several persecutions from the Muslims for converting to Christianity," she said. "My stomach is ailing from the attack I suffered few years ago. I cannot stand in an upright position. I and my family have chosen the cause of Christ. No turning back."