somali muslims in australia under the spotlight

Originally uploaded by community brother


the melbourne somalian muslim community were featured on sbs’s insight program last night to get their responses on last month’s alleged suicide plot on an australian army base by a few of their boys, as well as how they see themselves within the australian society…

it really showcased, demonstrated (i hope) to the general australian public that islam is not just a monolithic religion, where everyone is a clone of each other, that there wasn’t just one interpretation of islam even within one specific ethnic community yet alone global therefore we all don’t back radical, extreme movements like al-shabab, the taliban, al-qaeda…that those who proclaim that they are representing the real islam are only using it for their own personal gain…

just listening to the discussions reminded me of how fragmented, disconnected we really are as an ummah into how we really should be…is the hajj an ideal utopia of what we should be but so so distant from? that just because one can understand/read arabic makes him think he can be another imam yet hardly understands what he’s reading/preaching that we lose the real meaning/message of it -especially the beautiful, spiritual part…

at the same time they highlighted the struggles of every other muslim living in a western country trying to juggle and be the multiple identities that they are and yet still be disowned by the very country they have actively contributed and abided by…

when it came to little ones, they did mention madrassa’s -apart from the assumed breeding ground for recruiting extremist activity by authorities -aws a way for parents to keep their kids out of trouble and on in the straight path especially if they were just newly migrants or else their kids away from drugs…it did make me be a little concerned in terms of how -what kind o environment, education i should bring baz up in…

the public schools look a little scary at the moment with all the bullying, even deaths and suicides of students…here it matters which suburb you belong to because it can determine whether you will drop out or round up your education by the time you reached year 10 or your high school rounds up being in the top 10 in the state, your classmates top of the state…

the only gangs i happen to know or even heard of were the sword boys and thats as underground as you will ever get from me…never did drugs because i saw the effects of those who did -turned blue, bubbly and buried…that was enough to keep me away

i did go to an islamic college for the most part of my primary and secondary education and i have to say, as much as i was able to do the islamic things like pray zuhr, read quraan, learn about islamic history, jurispudence i was nowhere near an angel…who is anyways when their hormones are going berzerk and your mum happened to also be going through menopause at the same time!

my parents expected the education system to mould us to be good-abiding, obedient citizens when really it was their job to do so…so for me, it wasn’t till i finished high school that what i learnt helped me decide that this was how i wanted to be, not the environment…so maybe thats it…that i have to teach baz well even before he steps foot inside a schoolground to at least have the basics to get by…

i hope its enough especially when he’ll be without a father…

here’s the transcript to this episode

here’s a taste of the type of forum this insight program features…

~ by nursheikha on September 9, 2009.

One Response to “somali muslims in australia under the spotlight”

  1. I am a Dutch Australian Immigrant and while watching this program I was struck by the fact that in many ways I faced similar issues when I was a child going to school in Australia. The difference is only that in those days (1950’s) Australians were wary of germans and most europeans, then called wogs, wops ieytais and many other derogetory names, followed by Russians (the reds under the beds) There were no unbiased discussions about this and as kids we were left to just “make a go of it” often bullied at school and made to feel different whilst our parents struggled just as hard to understand Australian values and were extremely undervalued for their skills. My father was an architect but for many years worked as a builders labourer.
    I was very impressed with the Somalian Community leader who at the end of the program thanked both the Australian producers of “Insight ” and the Somalian Community for the open forum and the intelligent discussion of a difficult topic.
    My appreciation of Muslims in general (and of course we can’t generalise about Muslims) has also been greatly enhanced through simple communication.
    International Communication and International Understanding is one of the most important things we can do for our futureand the future of our children. I would like Muslims struggling with racial and religious slurs to know that Australiands at heart are mostly extremely kind people but are fed with fear.

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