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Somalis in Minnesota Fear Their Culture Will Be UNDERSTOOD, Rather Than Misunderstood
Over at the New York Times, sensitive scribblers are concerned that Somali immigrants may have been part of the jihad team that mass murdered over 60 shoppers at a Nairobi mall last week, and US-residers fear a backlash. The immigrants worry that Americans will utilize pattern recognition to surmise that Islam is a religion of murder (as instructed by their holy book), not peace, as the propaganda insists.
Below, Somali residents of Minnesota who left for jihad in their homeland learned traditional Islam from al-Shabaab, perhaps participating in capital punishment by stoning. The accused adulterer pictured was semi-buried and then executed by the group as local villagers were forced to watch.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that recruitment of Somalis in the US continues as before: Somalis still leaving Minn. to join terror group (9/26/13).
The Times story uses the really old estimate that “more than 20″ Somalis have left to engage in jihad in their native land. A better source is Rep. Peter King, who as Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, held a 2011 hearing titled Hearing on Al Shabaab: Recruitment and Radicalization within the Muslim American Community and the Threat to the Homeland. He recently put the number at 40 to 50 of returning Somalis.
The flagship newspaper of liberalism is once again defending the failed ideology of multiculturalism rather than telling the truth about the danger posed to this country by the immigration of foreigners with a hostile belief system. Why would any sane nation welcome potential enemies? Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt didn’t hold cultural celebrations with Germans and Japanese during WWII, but Obama (and his predecessor Bush) have held Ramadan dinners at the White House.
Furthermore, Somalis are culturally some of the most violent people on earth. I was struck with the abusive norms in society when reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s remembrance of her privileged childhood in Somalia, Nomad: From Islam to America. Here’s a paragraph from my 2010 book review in The Social Contract:
Moreover, the author characterizes violence as being a norm throughout Somali society. Physical force is used to enforce conformity in the family, at school, and in society generally. “Violence as you will have guessed by now, was an integral part of my upbringing,” she observed and said that was “typical.” There is a chapter titled “Violence and the Closing of the Muslim Mind,” which is an eye-opener even for those deeply critical of Somali culture. Near the end of that chapter she reflected, “Islam is not just a belief; it is a way of life, a violent way of life. Islam is imbued with violence, and it encourages violence.”
So is Somali diversity the sort Americans want to accept?
Somali Community in U.S. Fears New Wave of Stigma After Kenya Attack, New York Times, September 28, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS — As American law enforcement agents pored over evidence collected from the deadly siege at a Nairobi shopping mall to learn, in part, whether those responsible had any ties to the United States, people of Somali descent here braced for what they fear could result in a new wave of stigmatization and scrutiny.
“Everyone is scared,” said Ahmed Hirsi, who helps lead a youth group in the Twin Cities, the heart of the nation’s largest Somali-American population. “The community is holding its breath — all over again.”
In an investigation that has unfolded since 2007, federal authorities concluded that more than 20 young men from Minnesota left for Somalia to join the Shabab, a Somali Islamist group that has been deemed a terrorist organization and linked to suicide bombings.
Now the Shabab have claimed responsibility for the attack that killed more than 60 people in the Westgate mall in Nairobi. A Kenyan official suggested on Monday that some of the attackers may have been from Minnesota, though American officials say they have not determined whether there is any link.
“If this sort of recruitment has somehow happened again, it takes us way back,” Mr. Hirsi said, adding that most in the community were vehemently opposed to the Shabab, revolted by the attack in Nairobi and appalled at the suggestion of a Minnesota connection.
“This is not who we are,” he said. “And if this turns out to be someone from here, everyone is going to be scared to do anything — to call relatives, to send money back — for fear of being wrongly suspected.”
As residents waited anxiously for answers, with some repeatedly checking Kenyan news outlets for names of the attackers, the federal authorities in Minnesota said they were continuing to investigate the Shabab’s recruiting of young men, known as “the travelers,” but provided few new details. “We’ve had an ongoing investigation into the travelers since 2007, and it continues to this day,” said Kyle Loven, a spokesman for the F.B.I. office in Minnesota.
A senior American official in Washington said F.B.I. field offices in Minneapolis; San Diego; Columbus, Ohio; and other cities with large Somali populations were reviewing “high profile” cases involving young Somali men who had drawn attention for possible extremist views. Since the siege in Nairobi, officials from the Department of Homeland Security, who set up community outreach programs with Somali-American communities after 2007, have increased their activities.
“We’ve ramped up our efforts,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation. “We’re obviously interested in any information about young men in their community who are unaccounted for and might be caught up in this.”
In Minneapolis neighborhoods like Cedar-Riverside, with a large Somali population, residents expressed a mix of sometimes clashing emotions: worry at the prospect of more recruiting, but also anger over the uncertainty of the claims and a sense that an entire group was being tainted by the acts of a few troubled men.
Some dismissed the claims of any ties to the mall attack as absurd and overblown. “Where are the names?” Halima Yusuf, a Minneapolis resident, said on Friday. “Where are the photographs?”
But others seemed less certain, saying the earlier episodes of recruiting left them wondering and worrying.
“Everybody is praying and hoping that they will not be from here,” said Sadik Warfa, a community activist whose office is in a large mall of Somali shops that sell tea, haircuts, handmade gowns, phones, pastries and more. Three flags line his walls: those of the United States, Somalia and Minnesota.
“We don’t want our neighbors to think this about us,” Mr. Warfa said. “We want the people to know that we feel the same way all Americans do: that this is terrible and that Minnesota is not a hotbed for terrorism. How could a kid who grew up here with ice cream and hamburgers and football — how could this happen?”
More than 32,000 people of Somali ancestry live in Minnesota, census figures show, and local leaders say the true number is far higher. Some came in the 1990s after fleeing civil war, and others are their children, many of them born in this country.
The recruiting by the Shabab, which means “youth,” began in the area in 2007, the authorities have said, as young Somali-Americans were encouraged in secret gatherings to go train in Somali camps. At the time, the authorities said, they thought they would be fighting Ethiopian troops who had entered Somalia a year before and were seen by some in the Somali diaspora as unwanted interlopers.
Since then, residents said, views have hardened against the Shabab. Some of the recruits have died in violence. And as people tied to recruiting and raising money have been prosecuted, any such efforts, young Somalis said, seemed to have shifted largely to the Internet and videos.
“When it happens once, you are surprised,” said Abdi Ismail Samatar, a professor at the University of Minnesota. “When it happens a second time, you have to say, ‘What could we have done?’ And that’s what people are asking themselves.”
Still, even as religious leaders condemned the violence in Kenya, not all seemed sure of what vulnerable young adults — some who have lived with single mothers in impoverished conditions here — were thinking. “These kids are like any American young people,” Ahmed Burale, an imam, said through an interpreter after completing prayers. “If they want your advice, you can teach them.”
On Friday, a group of Somali-Americans gathered in a park. Some women held signs that read “Prosecute all Al Shabab recruits” and “We are good Americans.”
Ahmed Baraki rose to a microphone, calling for a moment of silence to stand in solidarity against the suffering at the mall in Kenya.
“We are loyal Minnesotans,” he said.