Somali Comedian Shot Dead After Making Islamist Jokes

Somali comedian Abdi Jeylani Malaq Marshale was shot dead late on Wednesday while leaving a local radio station in the capital of Mogadishu, AFP reports. He was well-known for producing comedic commentary on Islamic militants in a country torn by multiple factions. He also did a lot of work aimed at encouraging youth not to join extremist groups in a country that has lacked a stable government since 1991.

This particular murder has been linked to threats aimed at the comedian from the extremist group Al-Shabaab last year. The comedian went into hiding after those threats for several days but continued to work until this most recent attack. Marshale was killed by two men who shot him several times in the head and chest, the Guardian reports.

The AFP also points out that media workers are particularly vulnerable in Somalia in recent months. One media worker has been killed each month since the beginning of this year in the country, and investigations are slow to take place, if ever. Laugh Spin quotes Amnesty International, who has commented on this most recent murder and the state of the justice system in Somalia:

Amnesty International is shocked not only by the continuing pattern of targeted attacks against media workers, but also at the inaction of the Somali authorities to protect them and to investigate these attacks seriously.

Marshale worked for London-based Universal TV, along with Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle, who was shot at in early July but was able to survive that attack just barely. Both men worked in media and commented on Islamist groups. The Committee to Protect Journalists has this to say about the state of media workers in Somalia:

Journalists working in Mogadishu continue to pay a terrible price for doing their jobs…Authorities can demonstrate that conditions are truly improving in the capital by apprehending the assailants who shot Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle.

Marshale was well-respected in the business and his funeral brought hundreds of fellow journalists, family members and dignitaries together during a time of particular strife, the Guardian reports. On Wednesday, two suicide bombers attempted to disrupt a national conference. One of the men was shot dead and the other detonated his bomb. The national meeting was still able vote in favor of a drafted constitution supported by the UN that same day. The decision heralds the most recent move in the direction of building a stable government.

Reporters throughout the world have been facing increasingly deadly odds. Newspapers in Mexico have been attacked multiple times this summer, and journalists in Honduras and Russia have been found murdered or been attacked outside of their homes multiple times. Somalia joins the ranks of one of the more threatening places for journalists and critics to speak out.


Related Stories:

Honduras Remains a Hostile Environment for Journalists

Mexican Newspapers Attacked Again

Another Journalist Found Murdered in Veracruz


Photo: African Renewal/flickr


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Abdulaziz: The difference between the killings in Europe, America and Asia, as you speak off, is that those aren't done by people of a certain (unnamed) religion that believes that their faith is the only true one and that it also gives them the right to kill those that have the guts to not join in. Just see what happened the last week in Libya, Egypt, Jemen, etc. Some lousy movie maker releases a pic about your prophet and you don't like the message. So off to kill and mame. Attack what you don't like and call it self defence. That is truly a religion of haters! And, please, don't call me islamophobe. I've worked with muslims a long time and know for a fact that those that originate from arabic countries are the worst of the worst. They use their religion as a sword against those they don't like or want to dominate. Those muslims that come from countries like Turkey and some from Pakistan are not like that. Fundamentalists exists in all religions and I dislike them all. So, now you can call me a christianity-phobe, hindu-phobe, buddism-phobe, judaism-phobe and your favorite epithet, islamo-phobe!

Billie C.
Billie C5 years ago

muslims have never left the 6th century and until they can drag the rest of us back there with them they will be a danger to us all. they all need to be walled off and not allowed out. the women that want to better themselves and are willing to drop the men driven dress to prove it can get out but never go back. pretty soon all those fools with either kill each other or with no women they can't breed and the idiots will all be gone.

Lynda J.
Lynda J5 years ago

It's got nothing to do with insecurity. Somalia has no government to speak of. The country is divided up by various warlords, and after generations of war and everything that warlords fighting represents there is very little left to take or destroy.

You would call it anarchy. People, stop making inane comments, LEARN something about the countries you pass comments on, their people, their pain, before you mouth off.

Let's rather talk about large scale starvation, rape, torture, murder. Corpses left in piles in the sun to rot. Children without hands. Women raped with the butts of machineguns and then shot from the vagina upwards.

Islamist warlords, Christian warlords- all have blood on their hands

Mary Salas
Mary Salas5 years ago

Darla, when you say that people who don't believe the same thing you do "Get what they deserve" you sink down to the level of those "sickos" only you don't use guns. People who kill and murder and rape are wrong because of what they DO, not of what they BELIEVE. Get that into your head and stop spreading hate- there is enough going around as it is.

Charli S.
Charlotte S5 years ago

It's a shame that religion creates so much violence. If people truly believed in their religion they wouldn't need to kill or hurt others in defense of it. Your religion would spread because people would want to be a part of it.

Dan B.
Dan Brook5 years ago

why are people so insecure about their beliefs? do they think their god, religion, ideology can't withstand some mocking? so sad and so ridiculous...

Stephen Brian
Stephen Brian5 years ago

Hi Mabolisa :)

No worries about anything coming across as an attack. I enjoy these discussions.

The dominant peoples of Egypt at the time of conquest, I think, were neither Jewish nor Christian. They were not given an immediate "convert or die" choice, as can be seen by the survival of their cultures for centuries.

Regarding the expansion of the Caliphate, I actually think what happened was ethically even worse than classical conquest and plunder. Slaughter, rape, and the rest are not humane by anyone's standards today. However, at the time, they were pretty much the norm, not really considered worthy of condemnation. from what I understand, Muslims may have actually engaged in less of those things than did some other conquerors of the time. Life as a dhimmi was certainly less pleasant than life as a Muslim under the Caliphate, but it was mostly not worse than life as a member of a minority, separated from the majority in a manner considered central by the society, anywhere else. How was life as a Jew in Europe at the time? Now compare Jewish assimilation under Christian Europe to that under the far more accepting ancient Greeks: Jews retained their culture in Europe, and "Alexander" is still not rare as a Jewish name.

Spain is an interesting case. I've been looking for information on the treatment of minorities there under Islamic rule for quite some time. The best that I could find was the idea that the Spanish Expulsion and Inquisition included Jews because Jew

AbdulAziz A.
AbdulAziz A5 years ago

@Mabolsa is not the only Islamophobe there are a few more (quite a few more). Their half truths and statements out of context are the true hallmark of some folk and it is difficult to reason with them.

This type of constant attacks on Islam force the right minded people to research for them selves and arrive at the truth - that a religion which teaches (killing of one innocent human is like killing of the whole of the mankind and saving of one life is like saving the whole of the humanity)

Indeed the Islamophobes will find any reason to keep blaming everything on a belief rather than the wrong doers. There are plenty of killings taking place in Americas, Asia and Europe but not reported much, instead everything is magnified many times over to blame Islam.

Ernie Miller
william Miller5 years ago

Any religion that requires it's members to convert non believers is neither loving or compasionate.

Arild Warud

Fanatics have no sense of humor.