A Muslim man in eastern Uganda strangled his wife to death for leaving Islam, Christian media outlet Morningstar News reported.
Awali Kakaire, 34, reportedly became suspicious about his wife after his local imam told him that his wife had stopped attending prayers at the mosque and his children had stopped attending classes at the local madrassa.
"Our father questioned us why we have stopped attending the madrassa, but we told him that we were busy with school work as our mother had instructed us,” one of the man's sons told Morning Star News. “Our mother told our father that she has been busy instructing us on school homework. This made my father to cool down his tempers."
However, the wife and children were secretly attending Church while Awali was in nearby Malaba on business.
On May 8 he reportedly asked his wife to join him in morning prayers at 6am. When she refused, he began strangling her and killed her.
He fled after killing his wife, but returned two hours later and forced his five children, aged 3-12, into a hole he had dug in the garden.
Relatives and neighbors arrived soon afterwards, followed by police. He reportedly told his brother "my family has no respect for Islam."
His children are now staying with relatives but are heavily traumatized.
Uganda is 85% Christian and 11% Muslim. The right to practice either faith and to change faith is protected by the constitution.
According to strict interpretations of sharia, apostasy (leaving Islam) is punishable by death. This notion is spread by extremist preachers, such as the Salafi website Islamqa.info.
"If a Muslim apostatizes and meets the conditions of apostasy – i.e., he is of sound mind, an adult and does that of his own free will – then his blood may be shed with impunity" Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid writes. "He is to be executed by the Muslim ruler or by his deputy – such as the qaadi or judge, and he is not to not be washed (after death, in preparation for burial), the funeral prayer is not to be offered for him and he is not to be buried with the Muslims."
As long as extremist ideas like this about apostasy are spread, vicious murders of alleged apostates will continue.