Somalia

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Be part of the sunshine! Change the system!

The new faces of the Mpls NAACP: MSR’s recent story on the new officers of the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP (“Minneapolis NAACP swears in new members,” Feb. 27) revealed among other things that women now constitute a majority of the new leadership, including for the first time several African immigrant women who bring impressive skills and experience to the organization. In the interest of introducing MSR readers to these new leaders, this is the second of a series of stories profiling three women from our African immigrant communities who appear determined to bring the historic civil rights organization’s power and prestige to bear on the obstacles currently inhibiting progress in our communities of color. Space permitting, we will allow these women to present their views in their own words. 

This week, meet Farhio Khalif, NAACP Assistant Secretary

 

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer

 

Farhio Khalif speaks of her life in terms of a “journey,” and what a journey it has been. Khalif ‘s journey began in Somalia and made stops along the way to Minneapolis in Italy; Birmingham, Alabama; Florida; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Continue Reading →

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Finding ‘a proper place in our current history’ for the NAACP

The new faces of the Mpls NAACP

MSR’s recent story on the new officers of the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP (“Minneapolis NAACP swears in new members,” Feb. 27) revealed among other things that women now constitute a majority of the new leadership, including for the first time several African immigrant women who bring impressive skills and experience to the organization. In the interest of introducing MSR readers to these new leaders, we begin this week a series of stories profiling three women from our African immigrant communities who appear determined to bring the historic civil rights organization’s power and prestige to bear on the obstacles currently inhibiting progress in our communities of color. Space permitting, we will allow these women to present their views in their own words. This week, meet Ilhan Omar, NAACP third vice president. Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis NAACP swears in new members

New leaders say their mission includes no time for negativity
 
 

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer

 

The Minneapolis NAACP meeting, held on February 22, was the first membership meeting following the organization’s election of new officers in December. The sparsely attended meeting was a strange mix of business as usual, along with a bit of the unusual. Reverend Jerry McAfee, the NAACP’s newly elected president, started off the meeting by introducing new NAACP officers and committee heads to the membership. Of special note were Farhio Khalif, assistant secretary, who hails from Somalia, and Wintana Melekin, treasurer and chair of communications committee, also from Somalia. Each is the first from her country to hold a Minneapolis NAACP leadership position. Continue Reading →

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Life is cheap

It makes sense to me that the standards for a society are set by people in the highest positions of leadership and responsibility. So when the folks at the top operate in certain ways it can only be assumed it’s out of their perspective or an acceptable perception. I am always fascinated by the average citizens misunderstanding of what their government is about or up to. I am also always amazed at the naïveté of those who think that the armed bodies of men (and women) that we suppose are here to protect us are our protectors rather than protectors of the status quo. If I were to access the actions by those in charge and in power, I would assume that life is cheap. Continue Reading →

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Crocodile tears for Kenyans just that — crocodile tears

The mall bombing/attack in Kenya is not just frightening and alarming because of its apparent senselessness. It’s also alarming because it will give an opening to U.S. and European anti-Muslim — and to some extent anti-African — propaganda, which will in turn cause folks to turn a blind eye to U.S. and European meddling in African affairs. Don’t, if tempted to, write off the attack on the Nairobi, Kenya mall by Al Shabaab as just another fanatical instance of terrorism. While it is an insane and almost hapless effort to get revenge or make a political point, the attack on the mall was motivated by past events. Kenya did in fact invade Somalia in 2011 and kicked Al Shabaab out of southern Somalia with the help of the U.S. and France. Continue Reading →

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Somali parents struggle with trauma of childhood autism

New legislation promises more help for low-income families
 
By Michelle Lawrence

Contributing Writer

 

“It’s an awesome feeling to change policy so that equality is from the get-go and from the gate for all kids. This new law/policy will help children on fee for service Medical Assistance and Managed Care who are mostly low-income and disproportionately minorities. This is victory at its best!” says Idil Abdul, autism advocate (see “Mother of autistic child fights for equal care,” MSR, May 2). On May 16, the Minnesota State Legislature passed an autism therapy (ABA and Developmental Therapy) coverage law, which was subsequently signed into law by Governor Dayton. Unfortunately, many families struggling to cope with the illness are not confident the new law will address their needs. Continue Reading →

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Mother of autistic child fights for equal care

Proposed laws could disadvantage Black and  low-income people

 

By Michelle Lawrence

Contributing Writer

 

“State legislators want to create two different healthcare policies for kids with autism: one that generously covers the privately insured, and the other that gives minimal coverage to the poor and publicly insured, but both using state funds,” says Idil Abdull of Burnsville and mother of a 10-year-old son with autism. At age 11, when Abdull came to the United States from her native country of Somalia, she knew very little English and very little about American politics. “The only thing I knew about America was Superman and Rocky [the movie], she says.”

Some 20 years plus since arriving on North American shores, Abdull is now very fluent in both English and the parlance of American politics. “If nothing else, I know how to be loud,” she says. Like many other families, Abdull says she went through a period of denial about autism. Continue Reading →

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Hennepin County creates special team to improve community outreach

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office has announced a new Community Engagement Team they say will expand outreach efforts in diverse communities and directly address public safety concerns of the residents. The Community Engagement Team, according to the Sheriff’s Office, will enhance the community policing program that was launched several years ago. The team is comprised of three Sheriff’s Office personnel who will meet with community groups and provide public safety instruction. Team members also provide training to members of law enforcement about working with diverse communities. “I am extremely proud of what we have already accomplished at the Sheriff’s Office in an effort to build trust among diverse communities,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. Continue Reading →

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‘Rules of war’ expose FBI terror case as fraud

 

The FBI “terror case” that took place here in Minneapolis involving local young men who were recruited to fight in a “holy war” in Somalia in 2008 is finally over. It was said that it was one of the biggest cases ever by the federal government. This makes sense. It can be very time consuming making up evidence. The process used to show evidence of “terror” in this case was the same process used to show evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. When you are the most powerful entity on the planet, you get to send your agents to Somalia to dig up bodies looking for phantom evidence, while their drones buzz above them committing the real crimes. When the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press go along with this case of “terrorism” without questioning it, they are nothing more than state-run newspapers. The FBI has nothing. How could such a minor thing as these young men going to fight in a “civil war” in Somalia be such a big deal, be such a crime, especially when they are within the rights of international law? Continue Reading →

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U.S. meddling in Somalia is divisive

 

What took place during the trial of the Somali women Amina Farah Ali and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, who were convicted of aiding terrorists, was nothing short of U.S. cynicism and hypocrisy. While engaging in a campaign to intimidate the Somali community into silence about the goings-on in their home country, the U.S. has done everything in its power to undermine all efforts to stabilize the East African country.  

The trial at bottom undermines some of the foundation of a democratic society. An individual should have the ability to be charitable to whomever they choose to be charitable to. U.S. Attorney Jeff Paulsen said that the fact that the women had done nothing against the U.S. was beyond the point. Continue Reading →

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