No shaking hands in Somalia....
The Islamists know what is important...
Al-Qaeda-linked militants in war-torn southern Somalia have banned unrelated men and women from shaking hands, speaking or walking together in public, residents said Saturday. People who break the rules could be imprisoned, whipped or even executed.
The insurgents already have banned women from working in public, leaving many mothers with a terrible choice: risk execution by going to sell some tea or vegetables in the marketplace, or stay safely at home and watch the children slowly starve.
"It's an awful rule. I feel like I'm under arrest. I've started to ignore the greetings of the women I know to avoid punishment," Hussein Ali said by phone form the southern Somali town of Jowhar. The edict is also being enforced in the town of Elasha.
Gunmen are searching buses for improperly dressed women or women traveling alone, said student Hamdi Osman in Elasha. She said she was once beaten for wearing Somali traditional dress instead of the long, shapeless black robes favored by the fighters.
The Islamists' insistence that women wear the long, heavy robes also forces many women to stay at home because they can't afford the new clothing.