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Toronto (Canada)

Feb, 21. 2004


M. M. Afrah


It seems that many Somalis, particularly the Waryaa component of the population lost their tongues to openly denounce the heinous crimes committed against the Somali Bantus and other minorities in Somalia.

It is the Waryaa, not the Bantus, who produced warlords and Mooryaans. It is the not the Jareer who massacred innocent civilians and destroyed the country beyond recognition but the Waryaa from other provinces. They expropriated farms owned by the Bantus and forced them to work in their own farms as salves.

A Waryaa Mooryaan
The blame for violence, disease, man-made famine, poverty, corruption and nepotism since independence in 1960 can be dumped squarely on the back of the long parade of corrupt politicians, military despot and ruthless warlords.

They killed, maimed and terrorized the citizens, rigged or rejected free and fair elections and systematically looted the country's treasury and heritage. The National Museum, the Government Archives, monuments, the banks and other vital national institutions have gone up in smoke, and it would take centuries to replace them, or at least some of them.


The other day I pumped into a former neighbour from Sri Lanka, who is an outspoken critic of both the Sri Lanka government and the Tamil Tigers for mistreating minorities in his native country. He showed me the number of hate emails and death threats he receives daily from people who said they were disgusted about his crusade on behalf of three minority groups in Sri Lanka.

One email said he would be dragged behind a car (just like the Hollywood movie). Another one told him to watch his back when he left his apartment building. He told me one of these minority groups are peace loving Muslims and the other two are hunters and fishermen, who carefully avoided the conflict between government forces and the Tamil Tigers. He said the language and cultural gulf between the majority Sinhalese and these minority groups is simply too great. But they minded their own businesses and refused to join the political intrigue and mayhem in Sri Lanka.

These groups were not expected to survive the war between government forces and the Tamil Tigers. They're still there, but countless of them have died in a war they were not involved. Even more will die as long as the conflict continues in Sri Lanka, my former neighbour said.

Efforts to dismantle barriers to equity become "an overdose of political correctness." Groups involved in advocacy are called "special interest groups," and "bleeding heart liberals," he said.

In Somalia the real problem was never religion, since the ancestors of the Somali Bantus embraced Islam, just like everyone else in the country. They were discriminated against all because they were simple, unassuming, unwarlike, well-disciplined dedicated to bettering the lives of fellow countrymen by relentlessly working in the field to produce food for millions of arrogant urban dwellers, who took everything for granted.

Instead of recognizing their assiduousness and hard work, they have suffered right from the beginning. They have been suppressed and oppressed, robbed, raped and killed. They are called Addoon (slave) and have been deprived of their civil rights as Somali citizens by successive regimes since independence in 1960 and later by the merciless warlords who stole their arable farms in the Gosha and turned them into drug growing farms. And as if that's not enough, the militia and their godfathers forced the Jareer people to work in their own stolen farms as slaves under the barrel of the gun.

We must vow to remember the heroes of the Somali Bantus/Jareer. Men like Nasiib Bundo, who defended his people against the Italian fascists. We must vow to remember the Great Abdulqadir Sheikh Sakhawadiin who was a prominent member of the independent movement, the Somali Youth Club, later the Somali Youth League (SYL). We must remember Mohamed Ramadhan Arbow, a Somali Bantu politician who died of natural cause in 2001.

The Somali Bantus who are being resettled in the United States should build a museum against amnesia to let their children know that the memory of the Somali Bantus shames the Waryaa people. In fact, the name Somali Bantu will always mean human rights for all the races of the world.

We are aware that the whites, particularly those in the Deep South (the so-called Cotton Belt), with their track record of Jim Crow and Ku Klux Klan (KKK), still have mixed emotions about the Black people, or people of non-European origin, even in this 21st Century. Perhaps racists anywhere in the World need to be reminded that their own ancestors too came from Africa tens of thousands of years ago and that Africa is the cradle of mankind.

Also, the racists need to be reminded that every human being, Black or White, poor or rich, has the right to flee to safety, including seeking refugee status anywhere in the World if the individual feared for his or her life.

The Somali Bantus should have confidence in the basic American devotion of fair play and equal opportunity.

For the moment, they will be sleeping without hearing gunshots. Instead they will be hearing words like Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Super Bowl, and World Series, a misnomer, because only Americans compete in this game. They will also hear words like same sex marriage, lesbians, gay bishops, pedophiles, transvestite and child abuse.

By M. M. Afrah©2004

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