In my recent post on rapper Chubb Rock, my blog brother Qwami Ade introduced me to a collaboration video between the Chubster himself and Somali-Canadian rapper K’Naan. Of course I was impressed! I decided that I would find out more about this young man’s music. So the time came for me to seek and search Brother K’Naan out and I found out that this young man is much deeper than his mad rapping skills would suggest. He’s a champion for his homeland of Somalia and for his people. He has become a spokesman and a statesman–a self appointed ambassador to Somalia’s struggles and desires for freedom, by virtue of his popularity. He’s a rapper’s rapper–can I say that? So many hip hop heads love him and he’s done innumerable collaboratings with everybody who’s anybody in the hip hop world. He’s very well versed in the politics of his country and his rapping artistry is a vehicle for him to get his point across to the world about the struggles of the Somali people.
He’s the answer to what hip hop should always be about– and not only he, but also so many other unheralded spoken word artists. Hip Hop should teach, it should inform, it should elevate, it should inspire and empower, and thank God hip hop continues to do just that in spite of those who prophesy of its impending demise. Hip hop continues just because of the negativity that tries to surround it on all sides and drown out its voice. Truth, though, cannot be silenced for long, and we should always be about the business of seeking truth. Too many of our young people, even our young intellectuals have allowed their ears to be clogged by the madness. It’s up to you, young ones, to clean out your ears to receive the truth, and bypass the lie.
But I digress.
When I found these video clips of Brother K’Naan, my heart sang! He’s articulate, passionate, dedicated, intelligent, focused and he’s using his gift to educate us about Somalia and the struggle of the Somali people in this time. K’Naan is learning about the malevalent power of the western media. He juxtaposes what he hears from his people back in Somalia about the issue of the Somali “pirates” and what he reads and hears about it here in the west. His home of Canada to be exact. Of course the two versions don’t mesh.
Now watch this Canadian interviewer as she twitches in anticipation to find out about the “bad” stuff that K’naan has done in his life. Her basic reasoning turned off, she’s deaf, dumb and blind to the man’s basic humanity. Her entire attention is turned to what exactly K’Naan is talking about when he admits that he had difficulties in his youth. When he explains that he’s been bad “in a textbook sense, but not inside”, the dumb lady can’t grasp what he’s saying. Interesting. White Canadians…so similar to their USAian siblings. (not all of them)
Anyway, I respect what K’Naan then says, quoting an unknown philosopher who said, “it’s better to light a candle than to curse the dark” K’Naan then says he’s not positive because he’s had positive experiences in life, but because he chose to be positive and to turn negative experiences into positive ones. It’s amazing how having a little bit of faith in yourself, and developing your gifts can be the catalyst to actualizing those very gifts!
Much respect to K’Naan for keeping it real!
The recent ban on bras and beard shaving in Somalia by Somali terrorist groups cannot go unquestioned. The reports that we have is that the warring Islamic gang of Hezb-ul Islam banned women from wearing bras. So too, men are not allowed to shave their beards except trimming their mustaches. Likewise, schools were banned from using bells. Instead, they are to clap hands to gather and alert students! What a backward move to this failed state? Why the ban? Using the said things is un-Islamic as per these terrorist groups.
With shock and dismay, I read news that men in Somali capital were given 30 days to mandatory grow beards and trim their mustaches. So too, I was shocked to learn that the same terrorist group Hezb-ul Islam ordered women not to wear bras. More so, these morose terrorists banned people from watching the just ended world cup matches in South Africa! The act they termed as madness! Whimsically, this current razzmatazz sort of fundamentalism puts Islam up a gum tree. The edict to this effect read as: “Men are ordered to grow their beards and trim their mustaches and anyone found violating this law will face consequence.”
Interestingly though, many people are querying, what’s the hidden agenda behind all this in the name of Islam that we have known for many centuries? Are those behind this brand truly educated in Islamic matters or they are just quacks seeking bread under the cover of Islam? And why other so-called Muslim nations have kept mum, while the gavel of the mad is descending down to their religion? We wonder, because for long we came to know the so-called Muslim countries for their noises whenever Islam is touched especially by the West. Are they silent simply because this time around who wrongly touched Islam is their colleague? Other hypocrisy and it‘s contrary to Islam tenets.
“There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.” (Quran, 2:256) .
Strictly speaking, religion must comply with time and be always up to date. Consenting to backward-looking type of Islam is not doing Islam good. Doing this, apart from making Islamic draconic, it makes it archaic and barbaric. It hugely undermines Islam and all those that are being this megalomania should know that in the first place.
Many still wonder, what is the logic of all this violation of human rights? What rises eyebrows is the fact that the same so-called ‘Islamic guardians’ are turning a blind eye to piracy that is becoming an anathema in the region. Who knows? Like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda that have always survived thanks to dealing in drugs, maybe even the same benefits from piracy. That’s why it has comfortably coexisted with piracy. This if anything, is but hypocrisy and cowardice. Why use religion for political gains in lieu of standing on political rostra with a solid political agenda?
Many mad so-called Islamists are making much noises that some countries must be ruled by Islamic law. But they fall short of any precedent to this effect. How many countries did prophet Mohammad leave behind that were ruled by the Quran as they want to rule us now? The answer is convincingly simple and clear. None!
We have heard a lot of noises of people condemning some European countries for banning the burka. But we have nary heard any condemning this neo-nihilism hidden behind Islam. Many so-called Muslim countries are not happy with the move to ban burka. But the same are comfortable with their resistance for churches to be built in their countries! If they can force western women to wear veils when they visit their countries simply because their culture wants that, what is wrong for the West to force them to wear as per western culture when they visit, or live in western countries?
Somali terrorists are lucky. Thanks to being wanted, they don’t travel abroad. Had they, it’d make more sense for one to order them to shave their beards and see how it feels to be forced to do something you don’t like.
The other day I heard somebody saying that the cross is the symbol of curse. Therefore whatever resembles it is un-Islamic. But when I told him to urge his Islamic academicans to burn the use of aeroplanes, he saw how stupid his contention was and thus retracted. It time to engage all those that think they can bring a new brand of Islam today. Western countries should treat the same whoever treats them with contempt.
Hither comes the leeway of negotiating human rights with all so-called Muslim countries that are abusing them. No culture is better than another save in the eyes of the beholders. Arabic culture is good for Arabs and the likes just like the western one is to the westerners and the likes. Human rights are as paramount equal like a human himself. No human is better than another. We all are equal before God and law. Quran says: “O mankind! We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know and honor each other (not that you should despise one another). Indeed the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most righteous.” (Quran, 49:13)
Today Arab countries, which in essence call themselves Islamic countries, wonder how western countries can allow prostitution, the same way western country view polygamy that’s legal in Islam.
Going back to the ban in Somalia, is this brand of nugatory-Islam, Islamic or barbaric and type of sheer maniac? Isn’t it a cult? Is this Islam or barbarism?
Piracy is an early wake-up call to the world!
This April witnessed the hijacking, and later, the release of American Cargo ship Maeserk Alabama ’s Captain Robert Philips. When the pirates, in the horn of Africa, stormed the ship, the crew members fought back. But, in the end, Philips was offered to save other members.
There ensued a four-day standoff as efforts to rescue Philips were under way after he jumped overboard to no avail. Nonetheless, the second time he did, things happened as the American snipers took on the pirates. Three were killed and one apprehended. This was taken as victory against pirates. But is it really?
No secret. Apart from being a lucrative business now, piracy is there to stay if Somalia remains a failed state. But who made Somalia a failed state? We need to answer this question before jumping into simple solutions and condemnations. If Afghans can grow hashish for a living, what’s wrong with Somalis using their waters to make a living? Though all these are crimes by nature, necessity and double standard are the only things to blame alongside these vices.
Under Jaalle Mohamed Siad Barre, Somalia inclined to China . Barre wanted to build Somalia based on scientific socialism. Though for Barre this was a good thing to do, just like other countries that did not bend before the west’s vested interests, he had to face the consequences politically and economically. This couple with corruption, dictatorship and western machinations weakened his regime so as to ultimately being toppled in 1991 by Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s army.
Control of Somalia was of great interest for both US and Soviet Union by then. This created tension within Somalia, especially on Barre himself. Because it’s difficult, even next to impossible to serve two masters at a time. Thus, later on, Barre rived his relationship with an already weakening Soviet Union as he switched gears to the west. The story is very long anyway.