Mother Beaten Unconscious for Leaving Islam, Marrying Christian
According to accounts, a woman of four children in eastern Uganda is still in pain after her Muslim father beat her and forced her to use insect repellant after learning that she had divorced her Muslim husband and married a Christian.
Hajira Namusobya, 34, was unaware that her family had learned that she had divorced the Muslim who had mistreated her so badly that she tried suicide when she visited them in Pallisa on July 31. Her ex-husband in Kawangasi village, Butebo District, had tortured her and beaten her on a weekly basis, she claimed.
“I attempted suicide by hanging myself with a rope, but I was unsuccessful because my enraged spouse was watching and monitoring my every move,” Namusobya explained.
She had asked her father to reimburse her Muslim husband for the bride money, but he refused, she said. As the assault became more severe, Namusobya met a Christian woman in Nakaloke village, Mbale District, last year who encouraged her to pray to Christ for assistance.
On Feb. 2, 2020, the woman, an evangelist who preaches at her church but who wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons, encouraged Namusobya to accept Christ as her Savior. She kept her faith hidden and divorced her husband the following month, despite his insistence on custody of their children, now ages 13, 11, 9, and 6, which she said hurt her terribly.
Namusobya went on to work as a waiter in an Iganga hotel, where she met and married a Christian whose name has been suppressed for security reasons.
“When I arrived in Pallisa, I was greeted by my parents, unaware that they were furious with me for leaving a Muslim man and marrying a Christian,” she explained.
She stated her father, Al-haji Shafiki Pande, a Haji or Muslim who had flown to Mecca for the Hajj, held a family gathering after supper and inquired about her new husband.
“I told him everything, how I got married to a Christian man who is nice and treated me like a wife after leaving a furious spouse who almost stole my life,” Namusobya told Morning Star News. “That is unthinkable and blasphemous to leave a Muslim for a Christian guy,’ my father said, adding, ‘More so, you are the daughter of a Haji.’
He told her to go back to her ex-husband and reject Christianity the next morning, but she refused, according to Namusobya.
“He smacked me and pulled out his secret stick and Doom mosquito repellent and thrashed me, forcing me to take mosquito Doom,” she added. “It was just too bad.”
Her calls for help drew a neighbor to her aid, a former area chairman who is a moderate Muslim, who transported her to a local hospital, she added. She was unconscious for three days before learning that her father’s neighbor had threatened to file murder charges against him.
He threatened to sue my father for attempted murder, according to Namusobya. “When my father found out, he vanished and has not been seen since.”
Namusobya contacted her Christian husband and an evangelical friend after regaining consciousness on Aug. 3. They have prepared a safe home for her and he is paying her medical bills, she said, because living with her Christian husband is too risky.
They are not making a police report about the attack because they are afraid of revenge from family members, she claimed.
The attack was just the latest in a long line of Christian persecution in Uganda that Morning Star News has recorded.
Religious freedom is protected under Uganda’s constitution and other laws, which include the ability to promote one’s beliefs and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up less than 12% of Uganda’s population, with considerable numbers in the country’s eastern regions.