Somali Muslim AP-E7

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Somali Sunni Muslim refugee

Alet Pretorius: Somali refugee – photojournalist.

Somali Sunni Muslim refugee – The official state religion of Somalia is Islam. Almost 100 percent of the Somali population is Sunni Muslim (branch of Islam). The Somali follow the practices associated with Islam. They pray five times a day and do not eat pork products or drink alcohol. Men may have up to four wives at one time. However, Somalis are not as traditionally religious as Muslims in many other cultures. For example, women do not practice purdah or seclusion. They do not wear veils or cover their entire bodies when outside the home.

Somalis incorporate a belief in a spirit world into their religious system. These spirits, or jinns,can be either good or evil. They are believed to cause illness, loss of property, marital problems, infertility and even death. There are specialists who “fight”jinns through special ceremonies resembling exorcisms.