Kenya: What crimes against the innocent are perpetrated in your name?

As Somalophobia is allowed to take hold and in certain quarters is actively encouraged it is regrettable that nations that are the usual cheer leaders of human rights have manifestly failed to condemn the human wrongs taking place in Nairobi and elsewhere. Political expediency and a multiplicity of base motives have ensured a silence that is near deafening. Incarcerations, beatings and the carting off of innocent citizens including women and children to Kasarani stadium have nothing to do with a so-called war on terror. The shameful treatment of Somalis & Somali Kenyans continues at Shauri Molo and Pangani Police Stations, Nairobi where large numbers of women and children are being held in degrading and insanitary conditions for the sole purpose of extorting money.

Al-Shabaab in the mafrishes?

A former Khat addict claimed that the effects of khat are so severe that it makes users become easy prey for Al-Shabaab recruiters. Abukar Awale appears to describe a process of slow deterioration of self-worth that eventually delivers vulnerable addicts into the hands of ready and waiting recruiters lurking around mafrishes (Khat cafes)…This view was further sensationalized and advanced by a Bristol based Somali NGO leader who on BBC Radio Bristol claimed that he had evidence, proving that Al- Shabaab was actively recruiting similar lost young souls in Bristol. The existence of evidence for both of these claims has not being made public – if they actually exist – by police and, in any case, both men ought to have gone to the authorities first to disclose it before approaching the media. Because going to the media first could have easily driven dangerous terrorist to underground and endangered civilian lives.

Prevention strategy: local success but a national disaster

Bristol City, like every other major city in the UK with a Muslim population, has received funding as part of the Prevent strategy to tackle and deter extremism. However, despite all the criticism that has been levelled at Prevent, the way in which it has been implemented and continues to be managed in Bristol is a good example of how it ought to have been done everywhere else in Britain. The Bristol approach has been successful primarily because the local Muslim communities were engaged from the start and the Prevent strategy was renamed Building the Bridge which most Muslims felt was more appropriate. This sensible, sensitive and human approach coupled with key employees, partners and Board members of Building the Bridge been Muslims themselves and Bristol community members, ensured that the strategy worked better than in most other UK cities.