"Somali-Americans in Minnesota will protest a rash of suicide bombings in their homeland at a rally Friday in Minneapolis.Shirwa Ahmed is the Minnesotan who dropped out of sight in his home state, and showed up in Somalia: there were pieces of him large enough to identify by DNA analysis, which may have been some comfort to his family. What could be found of him was shipped back to Minnesota and given a decent funeral.
"Somalia has been at civil war for the past two decades, but suicide attacks began to surface only recently. Last month, the radical Islamic group Al-Shabaab struck again, killing a number of Somali government officials and tribal leaders...."
"...Shaair said [Shirwa] Ahmed's alleged role in the October attack is all the more reason why Somalis in Minnesota must condemn the violence. Shaair said many Somali-Americans were angered when they heard the news.
" 'They're wondering why would a Somali who's here and who came here to find peace and a safe haven would go back to commit these acts of terror? It doesn't represent us,' Shaair said. 'The community is against suicide bombings.'
"Some Somalis in Minnesota have been personally affected by the violence of their homeland. One Twin Cities woman lost some of her close relatives in a bombing last month in western Somalia...." (MPR)
As for the "alleged role" - there was forensic evidence that Shirwa Ahmed had been the star in a suicide bombing. (March 10, 2009)
I discussed editorial preferences, unpleasant realities, and traditional journalism in another post. (July 1, 2009)
At least Minnesota Public Radio is giving some pre-event publicity to the protest: albeit with the old-school 'minority misunderstood and suspected by the FBI' angle.
Somali-Americans in Minnesota Apparently Don't Know Their PlaceI suspect one reason why Somalis in Minnesota aren't getting as much press coverage of the rally is that many of them don't know their place.
"...Last week, Jamal participated in a protest accusing Minnesota’s only Muslim civil rights organization, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) of impeding an investigation into the missing Somali youth. The protest was organized by Abdirizak Bihi, Jamal’s colleague and an uncle of Burhan Hassan, one of the missing Somali young men.I could be wrong, but I think that black people - even if they're foreigners - who have the audacity to speak against an established civil rights group like CAIR, and have ideas which are distinctly not politically correct is something that traditional American journalists would rather not deal with.
"I, unfortunately, know Bihi all too well. When I ran for Mayor of Minneapolis, I caught Bihi, who was working for McLaughlin’s campaign, running around the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood telling Somalis not to vote for me because “she is a lesbian.”..." (Star-Tribune)
And, judging from that Star-Tribune article, some of that uppity sort are making their voices heard.
For some people with long-standing traditional views, it's troubling times.
- "Somalia, Minnesota, Traditional Journalism, and Unpleasant Realities
(July 1, 2009)
- "Kenya and Somalia: Getting Along with Crazy Neighbors"
(June 25, 2009)
- "Another Minnesotan Dies in Somalia: Not Your Stereotype African"
(June 7, 2009)
- "Somalia, Minnesota, and Common Sense"
(March 22, 2009)
- "Minnesotans Recruited for Terror?"
(March 10, 2009)
- "Local Somalis holding rally to condemn violence in homeland"
Minnesota Public Radio (July 2, 2009)
- "Farheen Hakeem: Who are the Gatekeepers of the Somali Community?"
Minneapolis Star-Tribune (June 19, 2009)