Everywhere I turn, I see hatred. Layers upon layers of hatred is eroding humanity and we think it’s ‘them’ but in reality, hatred, all hatred, emanates from the same source within one; fear and insecurity.
People project hatred on me because I’m a Muslim. Because I’m a woman. Because I’m a mental illness sufferer. Because I’m Somali. Because I’m Majeerteen . Because I’m a black, Muslim woman in Sweden where I supposedly do not belong.
Because. Do I need a reason to hate? Do we need a reason to hate? Hate is not triggered by someone else, it’s a visceral reaction to a deeply imbedded pain within oneself and we just assign targets and excuses to masquerade this.
I have to deal with tribalism in my Somali community. Tribalism reduced my country to a wasteland. It turned playgrounds into graves and people into empty shells where only pain resides. Tribalism was the assigned target for what happened, but in truth there was something deeper that brewed for decades leading up to the civil war. There are always a catalyst. And we often do not see the catalyst because it is within each and every one of us and that is too painful to deal with. So we project. I hear the hawiye tribe is responsible for the demise of our country! They hate daarood!
I hear; the isaaq tribe is responsible for dividing us because they separated themselves from us and declared autonomy.
I hear; the daarood tribe is the devil in disguise. They are arrogant and conniving pieces of garbage. Kill ’em !
I spent years trying to understand this. I was born in Sweden so I had to learn the history and culture on my own. I researched for years by making up my own hypothesis and asking countless people. I had to learn to dig deeper than the knee-jerk response of ‘ it was THEM’ .
And when I tell the older generation, my parents’ generation that tribalism isn’t the answer, I’m dismissed as being naïve and gullible. Something terrible happened, people’s families were slaughtered and their homes plundered. To make sense of it all, we pinned the killers as the raison d’etre for this madness, when in reality they were there due to the circumstances. But no, I’ll never understand it, they say. That’s true, I’ll never understand hatred because it’s not logical to begin with.
I witness xenophobia amongst Somalis. I hear how Somali girls shouldn’t marry ajnabi which basically means non-Somali, because they don’t have the same culture as us, and will run away with our children if we divorce, and we’ll never see them again. They’ll beat us and disrespect our parents. They are drunkards and stink. I’ve actually seen people speaking with those words. And believing it with such fervour. And when I ask them about Somali men who do the same, they reply; it’s different. At least you know how to approach that Somali man. He can’t run away with your kids because you can track him down.
And it makes perfect sense to them.
Everyday I hear about a suicide bomber in some Muslim country killing innocent civilians, targeting people whilst they are praying in the mosque. There was a time some years ago when people in Somalia were scared of going to the mosque or sending their kids to school because that’s where these lunatics targeted people.
In Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, SYRIA, Syria. Muslims are the #1 victims of these extremists, so if it’s because of Islaam then how do you explain that? You can’t because it’s not true.
All I hear amongst my elders and peers is condemnation of these acts. Every Muslim probably knows someone who fell victim to these acts of violence. Every one is hurting. I’m yet to hear about someone speaking favourably about these acts. In fact, whoever does it is abandoned and ostracized for supporting bloodshed.
On the other side, however, Muslims are vilified and accused of the same thing that they are victims of.
Everyone is looking for someone to place blame on.
Human lives are not equal. White, secular lives are much more precious than non-whites. It’s the sordid truth. We hear about Ebola killing thousands of West Africans and we don’t bat an eyelid. But when one of our own in the West comes down with it, we panic and cry it’s the end of the world even though we have excellent healthcare and the best doctors in the world.
We hear about the oppression of Palestinians and the ruthless Zionists who will stop at nothing and no one, and we don’t talk about it because Fox News doesn’t talk about it. Instead our focus is turned to celebrity gossip and the latest iPhone.
We hear about the disparity between the filthy rich and the 99%, and we feel helpless and turn to Instagram to follow the rich and famous, fantasizing about acquiring such wealth one day.
We hear about police brutality and racism and sexism, and we accept it as the status quo. We feel it’s the guys on the top who should clean up this mess so we write scathing comments online blaming Obama or Cameron or whoever is in power at the time, and we go off our trolling asses after a long twitter feud and feel good that we did humanity some service. Now it’s none of our problems – it is theirs.
I think the day we accepted animal cruelty because their lives don’t matter as much, and destroying the planet to create more space for our egos, is the day that our voice of reason and humanity died.
We hear about all of this and we hate it but do we speak about it? It might seem trivial to voice your displeasure with the state of the world today because you think what is it going to change? Just go about your business and sigh every time something terrible happens.
I’m not writing this to change the world, or even one person. I’m writing this because if I keep silent in the face of all this chaos, something within me will die. And once that dies, once that humane, supportive side of me dies, then life won’t be worth living. I’m writing this because keeping silent is tacit approval and silence is a gesture. I don’t want to live in this kind of world, so I’ll resist it with all my might, if only to create a different reality for myself only.