NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Muslim extremists in eastern Uganda last month cut off the hand of a 42-year-old father who left Islam to become a Christian, sources said.
Musa John Kasadah of Maumo village, Luuka District was ambushed on July 26 as he tried to flee to safety with his family, who had joined him in putting faith in Christ at an open-air event on June 17, said his wife, Asiya Naigaga. The couple have six children, including two adults.
Kasadah was attacked at about 11:45 a.m. at Nakabondo village, near Bukadde village, while fleeing for safety to Nawaningi village, Iganga District, she said.
After Kasadah and his family had attended church services for three weeks and missed mosque Friday prayers, sources said, their pastor received a message from one of Kasadah’s brothers that read, “It has come to our attention that Musa Kasadah and the family are attending your church. This should stop immediately, otherwise your church is at risk.”
The pastor, whose name is with withheld for security reasons, arranged for the Kasadah family to be housed with a local Maumo official, she said. Area Muslims discovered their location after two weeks, and one of them showed up there ostensibly to obtain work on a sugarcane plantation as the family was preparing to leave on July 26, sources said.
In the course of talking with the homeowner, the Muslim learned that the Kasadah family was on their way to Iganga District, Naigaga said. The family had gone about 15 kilometers (nine miles) when four Muslim extremists in the middle of a road between sugarcane plantations stopped them, she said.
“They began questioning my husband, saying, ‘You thought that we shall not get hold of you? We have been tracking you from the house of [the local official, unidentified for security reasons] to here, and today is your last day to be alive. Allah has given you into our hands,’” Naigaga said. “They started beating my husband and then got hold of me and tied me up. They forced me to sing Christian songs as they began chopping off my husband’s hand.”
Naigaga said one of the assailants, Ndiwo Huraira, hit her husband with a large stick on the back while the others began striking him, and that Kasimu Magulu took a long Somali sword and began cutting off his hand, intending to kill him. After chopping off his hand and part of his forearm, a truck arrived with sugarcane workers, and the assailants disappeared into the plantation, she said.
“The workers on the truck then bound the wound of my husband’s hand and untied me and took us to the nearby clinic for first aid,” she said, adding that she phoned the local official. “He came and found my husband in great pain and arranged an ambulance that took him to Mbale Referral Hospital for specialized treatment.”
Waiting for Kasadah to heal, the family has yet to file a police report.
The attack was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.
Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.