Thursday, July 2, 2009

Somali-Americans Rally Against Extremism Tomorrow: But Who Cares?

That's unfair - but quite honestly, the Michael Jackson funeral and falling stocks seem to be crowding an upcoming protest off the front page, and often right out of the news. The Somali-American protest/rally planned tomorrow afternoon in Minneapolis isn't being completely ignored, though.
"Somali-Americans in Minnesota will protest a rash of suicide bombings in their homeland at a rally Friday in Minneapolis.

"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)
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.

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 Place

I 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, 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)
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.

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.

Related posts: News and views: Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.