Just by the title, I can see the heads of the leftists and the interfaithers exploding. But I press on.
Many years ago I had the opportunity to spend several years working closely with a large population of Somali in America on a daily basis. It was a complete immersion experience where I was in their homes almost every day. I became familiar with the culture and customs. Many shared their stories of hardship and personal tragedy back home in Somalia, and/or during their arduous trip to a safer, freer environment. In addition to visiting with families and individuals (young and aged), I also spoke with imams, community leaders and their Qur’an scholar. In addition, I delved into personal research on Somalia, the culture and Islamic beliefs; studied the Qur’an and hadiths. Since I had never met a Somali or a Muslim in my life, I had no preconceived opinion or impression to guide or prejudice me. I grew up in a mixed race, ethnically diverse East Coast neighborhood, and as an adult, on at least two occasions, I chose to live in a neighborhood of color. I share all this only to set the stage for what was to follow.
Initially, our relationships were friendly and pleasant. I found most Somali to be genuinely likeable. However, I also discovered that their thinking and mindset was significantly different from my Westernized, Christian upbringing and lifestyle. As I studied the Qur’an I began to understand a little more on why that might be so. It also raised some inward concerns. I thought, if the Somali (or other Muslims) really believe in what the Qur’an says and Allah commands and what the imams teach, America is in big trouble and the Church in America has a big challenge on its hands.
There was definitely a “honeymoon” period in our relationship. In my desire to build relationships I made certain concessions in order for them to feel more welcome in our community. However, I sadly discovered, that as long as I kept meeting their needs, desires and eventually demands, we remained “friends.” Conversely, when one or more expected me to overlook an injustice or wrongdoing and I would not make an exception for them, the friendship quickly dissolved. Along the way, I was disheartened to discover that far too many of the friendly Somali were guilty of acts of fraud, deception and outright lying—sometimes about the most inconsequential of occurrences, where a simple admittance of guilt and apology would have sufficed to rectify the situation.
A side note. One day a young Somali boy came to me and asked if he could help me do something after school the next day. I was pleased at his offer and told him I would have a treat for him afterwards. The next day, after school, he came to see me and he had a sad face. I asked him what was wrong. He said his mother would not let him help me. “Why?” I asked. His reply: “My mom said we don’t work for white people, they work for us.” I was shocked and saddened and wondered what other things Somali children were being taught at home.
My relationship with the majority my Somali “friends” rapidly deteriorated over one incident with one individual. The person was guilty of a very serious wrongdoing and I had to confront him with the truth. Despite an overwhelming amount of evidence of his wrongdoing he wanted me to treat him differently and overlook his guilt. I could not. It would have been unfair, unjust, illegal and plain wrong. When I refused to back down, four or five Somali community leaders confronted me to get me to change my mind. I would not. Despite the obvious right vs. wrong, I also discovered, that what was important was for the Somali clan/family to stick together and defend one of their own, no matter how wrong or guilty he appeared to be. Understandable, but still not right under American culture.
Realizing their pressure for me to change would not work, they appealed to the city mayor. That did not work either because the mayor knew me well enough to know that I would not mistreat anyone or treat them unfairly. Then they reported me to local law enforcement. When that failed, members of their community proclaimed me a “racist” and a hater of black people and reported me to the local and regional Human Rights Commission. When a representative of the HRC visited me and heard my side and I produced the evidence to back my story, she closed the case. However, certain Somali were not done with me yet. They sicced a civil rights attorney on me, but that too failed.
To say the least, the wrongdoing of one person, who could not admit that wrongdoing, destroyed the relationship with the majority. Along the way, I discovered that among this group of Somali “friends” it was more important to lie and save face, then admit wrong and simply resolve the matter.
Years later I discovered the Islamic concept of taqiyya, the Islamic permission to lie and deceive another—especially a non-Muslim—when in a foreign land. Taqiyya can, and often does, affect much of the communication and understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in the West where Muslims are in the minority. It also makes it very difficult to trust the word or action of some Muslims in their relationships with non-Muslims.
Going forward, what can non-Somali Americans expect from the immigrants from the Horn of Africa? Are they here to assimilate, adapt, embrace the American culture, our laws and experience the relative freedom and safety not available to them in their native land? Undoubtedly, some desire that and may be able to achieve it, and are certainly welcome to do so. However, I do know from personal experience and further study and observation, that the “clan” culture and Islamic teaching is so oppressive and imprisoning, that it takes an exceptional Somali/Muslim to break away from the norm and seek their own reality and truth.
So, where can we look to perhaps get a peek into America’s future with an ever-growing Somali population? In addition to a thorough understanding of Islamic thought and law (shari’a), with the Somali, one might look at the Constitution of The Federal Republic of Somalia adopted August 1, 2012. The 56-page document has 143 articles.
One does not have to read very far into the constitution to understand the mindset behind it.
- Somalia is a federal, sovereign, and democratic republic founded on inclusive representation of the people, a multiparty system and social justice.
- After Allah the Almighty, all power is vested in the people and can only be exercised in accordance with the Constitution and the law . . .
- Islam is the religion of the State.
- No religion other than Islam can be propagated in the country.
- No law can be enacted that is not compliant with the general principles and objectives of Shari’ah.
- The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia is based on the foundations of the Holy Quran and the Sunna of our prophet Mohamed (PBUH) and protects the higher objectives of Shari’ah and social justice.
- The Federal Republic of Somalia is a Muslim country . . .
- The Federal Republic of Somalia is founded upon the fundamental principles of power sharing . . .
- The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia promotes human rights . . .
- Women must be included . . .
- After the Shari’ah, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia is the supreme law of the country. . . .
The concept of a fair and just law under shari’ah is ludicrous, of course. Islamic law does not permit freedom of choice, freedom of religion; nor does it promote human rights nor equality for women.
So, how committed are the Somali to a constitutionally free government of a democratic republic? According to Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List, seven years after the validation of their new constitution, Somalia ranked #3 among the top ten countries where Christians were persecuted the most. Only North Korea and Afghanistan preceded Somalia. For 2018, FreedomHouse.org published their list of Freedom in the World list of countries with the greatest degree of freedom. Of 195 countries, Somalia ranked among the top eight worst countries for personal, religious and other freedoms.
In 2013, another survey organization, Transparency International (www.transparency.org) tallied the data on 177 countries on the level of corporate and political corruption. This time Somalia was ranked #1 ahead of such well known corrupt countries as Afghanistan, North Korea and Venezuela. Five years later, for 2018, Transparency International published another Corruption Perceptions Index. Of 180 countries surveyed, Somalia was still firmly in the number one spot, with Syria, South Sudan, Yemen and North Korea nipping at its heels.
Darkest red countries are the most corrupt.
So, with so little positive going for it, it is no wonder hundreds of thousands of Somali have fled their homeland over the last two-plus decades. The question is: How much of the country’s ills and terroristic baggage that is represented in their life-long indoctrination to Islam and Shari’a (which is the inherent source of their problems) do Somali refugees leave behind?
Referring back to the Somalia constitution, remember, it is Islam that is the state ideology and it is the barbaric law of shari’a that is the primary law of the land.
In Article 8 of the Somalia constitution it states: A person who is a Somali citizen cannot be deprived of Somali citizenship, even if they become a citizen of another country. How many Somali living outside Somalia have given up their Somalia citizenship in favor of allegiance to their new country of residence? I do not know. Does anyone? Is it a fair question? Maybe, maybe not, but I bet very few if any have renounced their allegiance to their homeland.
In June, 2012, Voice of America (VOA) published a survey of over 3000 Somali living in Somalia, but also those living in Kenyan refugee camps. Perhaps, surprisingly, despite the horrors of life in their homeland, an overwhelming 93 percent (87 strongly agreed; 6 agreed) supported shari’a as being the law of the land. Only 5 percent of Somalis surveyed were against shari’a.
On June 23, 2015, The Center for Security Policy released the results of a poll of 600 American Muslims taken two weeks prior. A slim majority (51%) believed that, “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.” In a different survey, when American citizens were asked the same question, only 2 percent agreed that shari’a should be an option to the U.S. Constitution.
It, of course, does not help America’s perception of Somali when the first elected person to the U.S. Congress to represent their community/district, Ilhan Omar, has clearly positioned herself as anti-American, anti-Jew and anti-Christian. But that’s a story for another post (maybe).
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