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Amanda Lindhout

al shabaab somalia women human rights amanda lindhout africa politics islamistCanadians were captivated by the plight of Amanda Lindhout in 2008 and 2009. She was an Albertan freelance journalist taken captive in Somalia. Speaking in Edmonton this week, Lindhout recounted her experiences in Somalia, and spoke about the plight of women there. However, she did not omit any silver lining to the misogynistic cloud hanging over Somalia; hope remains.

Al-Shabaab translates as “The Youth”. This militia group has been credited as having taken control of vast portions of Somalia, and has begun imposing a Taliban-esque interpretation of Sharia law wherever they can.

Al-Shabaab would later claim that Lindhout had given birth to a child while in captivity, allegedly fathered by one of their members. They claimed to have named the baby “Osama”. (Apparently, nothing in Al-Shabaab’s favoured version of the Koran forbids rape.) So one thing quickly becomes crystal-clear about Al-Shabaab. They’re a very classy bunch.

(Note that they made the claim after Lindhout had been released. There is no evidence to suggest that Lindhout ever gave birth to such a child, and...More >>

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