Donald Trump’s Latest Target: Somali-Americans

The Republican nominee for president suggests ISIS was founded by Obama and that Minnesota's Somali community is a “rich pool” for recruitment.

Somali-Americans are the latest to feel the noxious spray of Donald Trump’s xenophobic slander.

While on a campaign stop in Maine last week, the Republican nominee for U.S. President has taken aim at Minnesota’s sizable Somali community, an estimated 70,000 people.

It’s poor timing as he’s expected to make a stop in the state next week.

Citing an article in the Washington Timesa right-wing rag founded by a South Korean cult—Trump claims the Somali community of the North Star state is a “rich pool” for ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups to radicalize and recruit from.

“It’s happening,” Trump says. “It’s happening. You see it and you read about it. You see it. And you can be smart, and you can be cunning and tough, or you can be very, very dumb and not want to see what’s going on, folks.”

Trump is pointing to arrests of nine men since 2014 believed to have been plotting to join ISIS in Syria. Three men were found guilty by a federal jury in June.

His disparaging marks were met with clap-backs from the Somali community and local political officials.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges penned a Facebook post condemning the hotel tycoon:

Donald Trump, do *not* go after Minnesota and our Somali population. Just don’t. You don’t have a fraction of the drive, purpose, community-mindedness, strength, courage, and value of our Somali community. Minneapolis and Minnesota would be a lesser place without our Somali neighbors. Is there poverty? Do they face challenges? Yes — many communities do — but theirs are multiplied by the kind of Islamophobia and racism you have made the hallmark of your campaign. You invite the crowd to ‘take a look at what’s happening in Germany. Indeed, I would exhort the American people to do the same, but to take a look at what was happening in Germany in the 1930s. Given who you are and the bile you vomit day after day it is a much more apt and useful reference point for where you want to take America.

Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, fired off tweets, calling Trump’s comments “nonsense.”

And the only Muslim on the Minneapolis City Council, Abdi Warsame, tells the Star Tribune that Trump's call for a ban on all Muslims seeking to enter the United States has caused an increase in hate mail delivered to his office.

Trump also has blamed Maine’s Somali population of 12,000 for an increase in crime in the state, which elicited a response from Republican Senator Susan Collins.

“Mr. Trump’s statements disparaging immigrants who have come to this country legally are particularly unhelpful. Maine has benefited from people from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and, increasingly, Africa — including our friends from Somalia,” Collin says.

It’s obvious the reality star-turned-politician is having a meltdown—Wednesday while in Florida, Trump called President Obama the “founder of ISIS,” and he is refusing to back down.

If Trump becomes the next United States President, Allah help us all.

Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.

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