Somalia's al-Shabab bans mixed-sex handshakes

Map

Men and women have been banned from shaking hands in a district of Somalia controlled by the Islamist group al-Shabab.

Under the ban imposed in the southern town of Jowhar, men and women who are not related are also barred from walking together or chatting in public.

It is the first time such social restrictions have been introduced.

The al-Shabab administration said those who disobeyed the new rules would be punished according to Sharia law.

The BBC's Mohamed Moalimuu in Mogadishu says the penalty would probably be a public flogging.

The militant group has already banned music in areas that it controls, which include most of central and southern Somalia.

Somalia has not had a stable government since 1991.

The UN-backed government only controls parts of Mogadishu and a few other areas.

More on This Story

Somalia: Failed State

Related Stories

From other news sites

* May require registration or subscription

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Africa stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.