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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Facts About Laylat Al Qadr, The 'Night Of Power'

Facts About Laylat Al Qadr, The 'Night Of Power'

What Is Laylat Al Qadr?
Laylat Al Qadr is considered the holiest night of the year for Muslims, and is traditionally celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan. It is known as the "Night of Power," and commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, beginning with the exhortation, "Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists)," in Surat Al-Alaq.

When Is Laylat Al Qadr?
The Prophet Muhammad did not mention exactly when the Night of Power would be, although most scholars believe it falls on one of the odd-numbered nights of the final ten days of Ramadan, such as the 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, or 27th days of Ramadan. It is most widely believed to fall on the 27th day of Ramadan.

UNHCR welcomes court ruling on refugees

UNHCR welcomes court ruling on refugees

The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed Kenya’s High Court ruling which stopped the government’s plans to relocate urban refugees.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said the government directive issued last December to move the refugees to camps in Dadaab and Kakuma resulted in their harassment by police, detention and extortion mainly in Nairobi.

Somali militia release abducted Kenyans

Somali militia release abducted Kenyans

Two Kenyans abducted by Somali Al-Shaabab insurgents in January 2012 have been released, officials said.

A statement from the Kenya Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU) Tuesday evening said the release followed successful negotiations spearheaded by border communities in North Eastern Province.

Said the statement: The two, Mr Edward Yesse Mule, a District Officer in Burder Division, and Mr Fredrick Irungu Wainaina, a Registrar of Persons, Wajir South District, have now rejoined their families and in sound health.

The officers were abducted at Gerile AP border post in Wajir South District.

Jury set to consider sentence for Somali pirates

Jury set to consider sentence for Somali pirates

Closing arguments are set in the sentencing of three Somali pirates convicted in the 2011 shooting deaths of four Americans off the coast of Africa.
The men — Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar — could face the death penalty.
The sentencing phase began July 22. Closing arguments will begin Wednesday, then a jury will deliberate their fate.
The yacht's owners, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., and their friends, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were killed several days after they were taken hostage at sea.
A jury found the Somalis guilty of all 26 charges, including piracy, which carries a mandatory life sentence. In all, 22 counts that they were convicted of are eligible for the death penalty.

Kenya jails nine Somali pirates for attacking German ship | Top News | Reuters

Kenya jails nine Somali pirates for attacking German ship | Top News | Reuters

A Kenyan court in the coastal city of Mombasa sentenced nine Somalis on Tuesday to five years in prison each for attempting to hijack the German merchant vessel MV Courier in the Gulf of Aden in March 2009.
The men were arrested by international anti-piracy forces before being handed over to Kenya to be prosecuted, as Somalia was not considered able to try them properly.
Although the number of attacks has fallen markedly since 2011 thanks to tougher security aboard ships and increased Western naval patrols, piracy emanating from the Horn of Africa nation may still cost the world economy about $18 billion a year, the World Bank said in April.

Facebook rebuffs UN team request on Somali pirates - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Facebook rebuffs UN team request on Somali pirates - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

United Nations investigators hoped they would get some help from Facebook when they asked to see information on suspected pirates operating in Somalia.
But Facebook refused.
A report by the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea this month pointed out that while many private companies helped in the group's investigative work on matters such as piracy, al-Qaida-linked militants and government corruption, Facebook provided no such assistance.
"Despite repeated official correspondence addressed to Facebook Inc., it has never responded to Monitoring Group requests to discuss information on Facebook accounts belonging to individuals involved in hijackings and hostage-taking," the report said.
Facebook said in a statement Tuesday that the U.N. group had no legal authority to demand data from the company. "We therefore declined their request and referred them to law enforcement authorities," the company said in an e-mailed statement.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Israelis, Palestinians hold ‘productive’ talks at Ramadan dinner

Israelis, Palestinians hold ‘productive’ talks at Ramadan dinner

For the first time in three years on Monday, Israeli and Palestinian officials met for direct talks in Washington which were described as “productive” by the U.S. State Department.

Israeli chief negotiator Tzipi Livni and her Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erakat sat down side-by-side opposite U.S. top diplomat John Kerry to share a traditional Muslim itfar meal just after sunset.

The meal was seen as a symbolic message of peace and tolerance.

“It was a constructive and productive meeting between the parties. They engaged in good faith and with seriousness of purpose,” a senior State Department official said in a statement, after the dinner lasting about 90 minutes, according to AFP news agency.

“We are looking forward to continuing the talks tomorrow morning.”

Meanwhile Kerry hailed the moment as “very, very special.” And seeking to break the ice at the landmark meeting, he joked: “There’s not very much to talk about at all!”

Man sentenced to 15 months for refusal to testify

Man sentenced to 15 months for refusal to testify

A federal judge has sentenced a witness who refused to testify in a sex trafficking case to 15 months in prison.

Abdullahi Farah, a Somali refugee and former gang member, repeatedly refused to testify, saying he is afraid for himself and for his family. He was convicted in April of two counts of contempt of court and obstruction of a child sex trafficking case.

Farah had originally faced as much as 20 years in prison for the obstruction conviction, but his attorney, James Mackler, argued that that the lower sentence was more in keeping with other cases in which witnesses have refused to testify.

Soldier arrested for questioning Museveni's son

Soldier arrested for questioning Museveni's son

A Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) officer in Somalia has been arrested after he asked the head of the Special Forces Command, Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to explain why some soldiers stayed on the same rank for long while others were “fast tracked”, military sources said.


Capt Moses Asiimwe, serving under Uganda Battle Group 11 in South of Somali capital, Mogadishu, was arrested last week and is currently under detention in Makindye military cells, army authorities confirmed Monday.


The military spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, confirmed that Capt Asiimwe had been arrested and his conduct was being investigated.


“We are carrying out investigations into the utterances of the officer.


For now, we cannot judge him until we have finished the investigations,” Lt Col Ankunda said.


Military sources in Mogadishu told the Daily Monitor that Brig Kainerugaba, who was in Somalia for two weeks inspecting Ugandan troops, had told army officers to ask any questions on the issues affecting them.


Capt Asiimwe reportedly asked Brig Kainerugaba, who is also the First Son, to explain why some soldiers, despite doing all the military courses needed for one to be promoted, had remained at the same rank for a long a time.

A new, dangerous job in Mogadishu: tax collector - Monday, July 29, 2013 | 7:12 a.m. - Las Vegas Sun

A new, dangerous job in Mogadishu: tax collector - Monday, July 29, 2013 | 7:12 a.m. - Las Vegas Sun

The Somali traders in Mogadishu's markets say they have long faced down Islamist rebels and warlords demanding money. Now they say there is a new predator: the government tax man.

Militias have extorted cash from civilians during the last two decades of chaos. Now Mogadishu has a government in place, but shopkeepers view the taxman as the latest in a long line of troublemakers.

That makes tax collection one of the riskier jobs in Mogadishu. Abdullahi Artan, the director of Mogadishu's municipal council, says five tax collectors have been killed this year, following the deaths of 10 last year.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Somalia’s Oil and Gas Potential

Somalia’s Oil and Gas Potential

Somalia has high hopes in gaining revenue from oil and gas, currently hidden in the underground of Somalia (onshore) and below the Indian Ocean-floor (the offshore).

More than two decades ago (in the eighties), there was an “oil and gas exploration rush” to Somalia, driven by the country’s huge oil and gas potential. The rush was led by Conoco-Phillips, Shell (Pectin), Amoco, Eni, Total and Texaco, who left the country in “force majeure” waiting to come back at the right time, security wise. In a recent meeting, the Minister of Resources said, “Given that the security condition of the country is improving at a rapid speed and the presence of legitimate transparent government, companies of the past and the new ones are all welcome.

Somalia will be open for business sometime in 2013 and we honour the agreements of the companies who filed “force majeure” and left the country due to the civil war. We are now working to review the Petroleum Law and make it more competitive and attractive to oil companies and investors”.  Somalia is aware of the recent discoveries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique and it is determined to join the race for oil and gas production. In addition to the “giant” oil companies, currently there are small companies who are aggressive risk-takers who want to start and get hold of their share before the giants come to play. The “giant oil companies” seem to be reluctant and shuffling their feet at the moment.

In getting ready for business, Somalia needs to carry out institution building: establish the Somali Petroleum Authority (SPA) in accordance to Article 8 of the Petroleum Law of Somalia. SPA is the competent authority that regulates petroleum operations in Somalia by ensuring that all activities from exploration, production and marketing adhere to the requirements of the Petroleum Law. Somali Petroleum Corporation (SPC) exists already but it may need re-structuring so that it meets the high expectations of the current government.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

U.S.-born Islamic scholar hopes to encourage Muslim youth in struggle for religious identity

By Kay Campbell | kcampbell@al.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter

Mohammed Al-Saadi 3.jpg
Mohammed Al-Saadi, the guest lecturer for the second half of Ramadan 2013 at the Alabama Islamic Education Center of Al-Zahra, lectures from the minbar of the prayer hall. The banner behind him spells the names of the Fourteen Infallibles, the daughter and sons and grandsons of the Prophet Muhammad. Shi'a Muslims honor the leadership of the natural lineage of Muhammad as the first authority on Islam, while Sunni Muslims honor the lineage of the elder of the Islamic community. Both denominations affirm the supreme importance of being Muslim, not being Shi'a or Sunni. (Kay Campbell / KCampbell@AL.com)
 
The month of Ramadan can be a month of self-revolution for Muslims, says Mohammed Al-Saadi, the visiting scholar for the remaining two weeks of the month of fasting and study at the Alabama Islamic Educational Center of Fatemeh Al Zahra, Huntsville’s Shi’a Muslim congregation.
Al-Saadi will lecture at the mosque, at 8200 Memorial Parkway S.W. in Huntsville, Fridays at 1 p.m. prayers and nightly at 7 p.m. The lectures are followed by question-and-answer discussions. Visitors are always welcome, he said.

Al-Saadi, 26, and his wife are studying Islamic studies at the Islamic seminary in Najaf, Iraq. Al-Saadi, who was born and raised in the United States, is the son of parents who emigrated from Iraq to the U.S. He said he felt drawn to study Islam more deeply because he found, as an active member of the mosques his family attended, that he was being asked to speak.

“I realized I had become too active too soon,” Al-Saadi said Friday, July 26, 2013, speaking the prayer hall of the center after Friday noon prayers and before the evening prayers. “I realized that to do a good job of representing the faith to youth, I needed to educate myself first before educating others.”

Shi’a youth find themselves twice a minority in the United States, Al-Saadi said.

First, of course, Muslims are a religious minority in the U.S., and often viewed with some suspicion by people who don’t know them. Second, within the Muslim faith, Shi’a Muslims are a much smaller minority than the majority Sunni. Layer on top of that that many Muslim youth are first-generation American children of immigrants, and they are dealing with a lot, Al-Saadi said.

“I try to help the youth focus on the importance of developing their Muslim identity without the full-fledged assimilation into the secular culture,” Al-Saadi said. “They should preserve their identity, know who they are, and be a practicing Muslim, not just a Muslim in name.”

“But they also need to be patient with the struggle of all that and be quick to seek help and counsel when they feel torn between their faith and the culture,” Al-Saadi said. “Many of the youth are pretty much struggling. After all, they are in a society that rewards them for not being Muslim.”

His lectures during Ramadan for the entire congregation will include the etiquette of fasting and the importance of referring to experts, not just personal opinion, in studying the Quran other Islamic texts.

“Muslims can use the month of Ramadan for a revolution of the self,” Al-Saadi said. “They can become better Muslims and better human beings.”
Source: AL.com

Oil Companies Fish for the Gold in Somalia

Oil Companies Fish for the Gold in Somalia

In a good week, reports from the Horn of Africa couldn't be more upbeat. "Somalia is a good news story for the region—for the region, for the international community, but most especially, for the people of Somalia itself," declared Johnnie Carson, U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs last October.
This year, however, the news picture went from upbeat to grim. Foreign Policy magazine reported that the U.S. has upped its aid to Somali intelligence agencies allied against al-Shabaab, the country's Islamist insurgency. Training camps were preparing Ugandan peacekeepers to fight Somalia militants, and Predator drones, fighter jets and nearly 2,000 U.S. troops and military civilians were being parked at a base in neighboring Djibouti.
Despite billions in U.S. aid being spent on Somalia to, as President Obama observed, "strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace," a new U.N. report confirms that "the military strength of al-Shabaab, with an approximately 5,000-strong force, remains arguably intact in terms of operational readiness, chain of command, discipline and communication capabilities.
Meanwhile, as the U.S. is pulled deeper into this costly and seemingly unwinnable war, Western oil companies from Canada and Norway are trolling Somalia's semi-autonomous regions—Puntland and Somaliland—for potentially enriching oil exploration contracts.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Al Shabaab claim attack on Turkish mission in Somalia, three dead | Top News | Reuters

Al Shabaab claim attack on Turkish mission in Somalia, three dead | Top News | Reuters

A car loaded with explosives rammed into an office housing Turkish embassy staff in the Somali capital, killing three people, witnesses and officials said on Saturday, the latest in a series of blasts claimed by Islamist al Shabaab rebels.

Al Shabaab was pushed out of bases in Mogadishu by Somali and African forces about two years ago, raising hopes of a return to relative security in a city hit by years of war.

But the militants have kept up guerrilla-style attacks and continue to control large rural areas, challenging the authority of a government less than a year old.

Spice City Toronto: Somali Cuisine Smothers the Stereotypes

Spice City Toronto: Somali Cuisine Smothers the Stereotypes

Toronto's Somali community has been having a difficult time in the press lately, but a Rexdale restaurant provides an eloquent rebuttal.
If your only information about Toronto’s Somali population comes from the news media, you could easily come to believe that the community is comprised entirely of drug-dealing, gun-toting thugs. A visit to Dabagoye, a Somali restaurant located a few streets over from the infamous Rexdale house where Rob Ford is believed to have posed in a photo with alleged gangsters, reveals another side to this 80,000-strong contingent of Torontonians. 

Fasting: A Remedy for the Soul

Fasting: A Remedy for the Soul

On the surface, fasting nearly seventeen hours daily for Ramadan seems rather insane. But if you knew how much it remedies the soul, you would fast, too.

Mo Farah: My family will 'struggle' if money transfer service accounts to Somalia close - ITV News

Mo Farah: My family will 'struggle' if money transfer service accounts to Somalia close - ITV News

Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah says that his extended family will struggle if Barclays goes ahead with plans to shut systems that allow money transfers to accounts in Somalia.

Cash transfer businesses including Dahabshiil, the largest in the UK providing money transfer services to Somalia, are set to close over fears that they were being used for money laundering.

Human Rights NGO denied access to Somali Detainees

Human Rights NGO denied access to Somali Detainees

Mauritius

Human rights non-governmental organisation DiS MoI (Droits huMains dans l’Oc√©ean Indien) has been denied access to the twelve Somali detainees at the Beau Bassin Prison.

Last month, the director of DiS MoI Mr. Lyndley Couronne wrote to the Commissioner of Prisons Mr. Jean Bruneau to seek his permission to visit the prisoners but he was told that there was already a Somali who is looking after the prisoners and that a legislation prevented access to the detainees.

“I firmly denounce the attitude of the Commissioner of Prisons Mr. Bruneau. He is refusing to communicate and there seems to be double standards in terms of visit to prisoners. He should understand that the prisons are not his private properties”, Mr.Couronne told News on Sunday.

Suspected terrorist headed to federal prison

Suspected terrorist headed to federal prison

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a Somali man with suspected terrorist ties to eight years in prison for lying to FBI agents and to an immigration judge in a failed attempt to obtain asylum.

Abdullah Omar Fidse — who pleaded guilty to the charges in December — has already served two of those years because federal authorities transferred him from immigration detention facilities to federal facilities in 2011.

He faced up to 10 years in stacked sentences as part of a plea agreement for the separate charges of lying to the FBI and lying to immigration officials.

Speaking through an interpreter, Fidse denied accusations of supposed associations with terrorist groups in Somalia, saying government prosecutors “are not seeking the truth.”

“I am not a terrorist,” Fidse said. “I am accused of things that I don't know where they are coming from.”

Authorities detained Fidse and his co-defendant, Deka Abdalla Sheikh, at the Hidalgo port of entry in January 2008. Both claimed persecution in their home country but did not possess identification. Sheikh eventually received asylum, but Fidse did not.

Terror suspect in citizenship fight

Terror suspect in citizenship fight

A British terror suspect is challenging a government decision to strip him of his UK citizenship as a "flagrant deprivation" of his human rights.

Mahdi Hashi, 23, was given a British passport after he left Somalia with his family to settle in London in 1995.

In June last year, while Mr Hashi was back in Somalia, he was told his citizenship was to be revoked due to alleged Islamist extremist involvement.

He was then detained by US authorities and is now in prison in New York.

In June last year, when he was in Somalia, the Home Secretary served notice that she intended to make an order removing his citizenship because he "had been involved in Islamist extremism".

Mr Hashi, formerly of Camden in north London, claims his citizenship was revoked to pave the way for his extraordinary rendition to the US, where he is currently awaiting trial on terrorism charges.

Bill Cosby slammed for admiring Black Muslims parenting | The Muslim NewsThe Muslim News

Bill Cosby slammed for admiring Black Muslims parenting | The Muslim NewsThe Muslim News

Bill Cosby has sparked the rage of a Tea Party favorite when he praised the parenting skills of Black Muslim Americans last month.

Penning an op-ed for The New York Post one of America’s greatest comedians and social thinker focused on the apathetic parenting attitudes of  Black Americans and suggested they emulate the positive and productive parenting of their Muslim counterparts.

“I’m a Christian. But Muslims are misunderstood. Intentionally misunderstood. We should all be more like them. They make sense, especially with their children. There is no other group like the Black Muslims, who put so much effort into teaching children the right things, they don’t smoke, they don’t drink or overindulge in alcohol, they protect their women, they command respect. And what do these other people do? ”

“They complain about them, they criticize them. We’d be a better world if we emulated them. We don’t have to become black Muslims, but we can embrace the things that work.”

Reacting to Cosby’s “A Plague of Apathy,” former Florida Republican Congressman and Fox News contributor Allen West completely ignored the values Cosby highlighted and instead tweeted:

“2day in NY Post, Bill Cosby said we should b more like Muslims. U mean honor killings, beheadings, suicide bombings? Hope ur kidding sir.”

West has come under fire for past comments that were widely deemed Islamophobic and culturally insensitive.

He once claimed that the Qur’an teaches its followers “to carry out attacks against Americans and innocent people.”

And he has also called his then-colleague Rep Keith Ellison, the only Muslim serving in Congress, someone that represents “the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established.”

Friday, July 26, 2013

Somali pirates now protecting illegal fishing ships, says UN report

Somali pirates now protecting illegal fishing ships, says UN report

Frustrated by a string of failed hijacking attempts, Somali pirates have turned to a new business model: providing “security” for ships illegally plundering Somalia’s fish stocks — the same scourge that launched the Horn of Africa’s piracy era eight years ago.
Somali piracy was recently a fearsome trend that saw dozens of ships and hundreds of hostages taken yearly, but the success rate of the maritime hijackers has fallen dramatically over the last year thanks to increased security on ships and more effective international naval patrols.

Somali pirate gangs in search of new revenue are now providing armed protection for ships illegally fishing Somali waters. Erstwhile pirates are also trafficking in arms, drugs and humans, according to a report published this month by the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.

Obama hosts Ramadan dinner at White House - Boston.com

Obama hosts Ramadan dinner at White House - Boston.com

President Barack Obama saluted Muslim Americans on Thursday for their contributions in helping build the nation as business entrepreneurs, technology innovators and pioneers in medicine.
Obama spoke at a White House dinner he hosted to celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The meal, or iftar, breaks the day of fasting when Muslim families and communities eat together after sunset.
Obama said Ramadan is ‘‘a time of reflection, a chance to demonstrate ones devotion to God through prayer and through fasting, but it’s also a time for family and friends to come together.’’

U.S. pushes 'Secret War' in Somalia while oil companies for the gfishold

U.S. pushes 'Secret War' in Somalia while oil companies for the gfishold

Despite billions in U.S. aid spent on Somalia to, as President Obama observed: “strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace,” a new U.N. report confirms that “the military strength of al-Shabaab, with an approximately 5,000-strong force, remains arguably intact in terms of operational readiness, chain of command, discipline and communication capabilities.”
“By avoiding direct military confrontation, it has preserved the core of its fighting force and resources.”
Meanwhile, as the U.S. is pulled deeper into this costly and seemingly unwinnable war, Western oil companies from Canada and Norway are trolling Somalia’s semi-autonomous regions – Puntland and Somaliland – for potentially-enriching oil exploration contracts.
In some cases Somaliland and Puntland have awarded licenses for exploration zones that overlap.

Somali elders seek larger role in national politics - Sabahionline.com

Somali elders seek larger role in national politics - Sabahionline.com

Somali traditional elders, who were instrumental in creating the federal government, met this month to discuss how to increase their role in reconciliation and helping President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's administration expand its authority nationwide.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

U.S. said escalating efforts as al-Qaida bounces back in Somalia

U.S. said escalating efforts as al-Qaida bounces back in Somalia

The United States is reported to be escalating its largely secret war against al-Qaida in the turbulent Horn of Africa state of Somalia amid signs the al-Shabaab Islamist network remains a danger despite recent setbacks.
The insurgents, who suffered a series of military defeats in 2011-12 in their battle against a shaky Western-backed transitional federal government installed in late 2006, have been written off several times before and regrouped -- just as they appear to be doing now.


Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2013/07/24/Covert-US-flights-could-signal-new-Somalia-action/UPI-74961374695362/#ixzz2a5j89a4s

More than 2,000 killed in Syria since start of Ramadan, NGO says

More than 2,000 killed in Syria since start of Ramadan, NGO says

At least 2,014 people have been killed in Syria’s civil war since the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began on July 10, a watchdog said on Thursday.

More than 1,323 of the dead were pro- and anti-regime fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Ramadan Talk - Feeding the Poor, Profitable Venture With No Risk

allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Ramadan Talk - Feeding the Poor, Profitable Venture With No Risk

Fasting for a couple of days might be all it takes to understand the suffering of those who go without food in their own way of life. Understanding the plight of the poor is one part of what Ramadan is meant to achieve. We are therefore reminded severally both in the Qur'an and hadith that giving food to fasting Muslim is a great deed in the month.

Some of the penance for kafarah; and remedies for the aged who cannot fast or the terminally ill person who cannot fast is to feed the poor. That shows how much Allah values putting food at the table of the poor. Abundant rewards awaits anyone who feeds a fasting Muslim for sahur or iftar just as there are devine benefits for those who share their wealth with others during the month or after.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Man finds $10,000 at Rochester ATM - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Man finds $10,000 at Rochester ATM - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Every now and then some of us might feel a little lucky when we find a quarter or even a dollar bill on the ground.  Well one man should be feeling very lucky after finding more than $10,000 cash near an ATM in Northwest Rochester.

In Jasmin Hamzagic's case, lucky may not be the right word..  Because after finding the money, felt a little stressed out.  "It was my payday.  And I came to take some cash off the machine and I find the big money.  Not my money"  But I find big money," he said.

Somali govt refutes UN corruption allegation as "unbalanced" - WORLD - Globaltimes.cn

Somali govt refutes UN corruption allegation as "unbalanced" - WORLD - Globaltimes.cn

The Somali government on Tuesday refuted a report by made last week by the UN monitoring group on Somalia and Eritrea alleging widespread corruption in the Horn of Africa country's nascent financial institutions.

"It is clear that the report is increasingly dependent upon gossip, guilt-by-association, and hearsay," said presidential spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman.

“Detention of Somali Migrant in Malta unlawful” EU Court Rules

“Detention of Somali Migrant in Malta unlawful” EU Court Rules

The European Court of Human Rights today ruled that Malta breached the human rights of a Somali migrant who suffered degrading conditions at the Lyster Barracks detention centre in Hal Far.
The court ruled that the women, who suffered a miscarriage during her incarceration, was detained unlawfully and in violation of her human rights.
The court unanimously decided that the Maltese State is to pay the Somali national Aden Ahmed €30,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage within three months from the judgment.

Somali parents take charge of education | Globalization | DW.DE | 23.07.2013

Somali parents take charge of education | Globalization | DW.DE | 23.07.2013

For decades, Somalia has had no government and thus no state education system. About 40 percent of Somali children attend school, according to UN figures. Most of these schools are run by parents.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

For some converts, Ramadan is the loneliest time of year

By 

(RNS) Since converting to Islam more than five years ago, Paul K. DeMelto of Cleveland has done all he could to become a more knowledgeable Muslim, attending a new converts class and hiring Arabic tutors to help him learn to read the Quran.
Paul K. DeMelto of Cleveland converted to Islam more than five years ago. Photo courtesy Paul K. DeMelto
But despite his efforts, DeMelto found himself alone last Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim year, when adherents fast from sunrise to sunset and eat a communal meal at night.
As he looks to another Ramadan beginning Tuesday (July 9), DeMelto wonders if this might be the year when he finally lands an invitation to a fellow Muslim’s home for the iftar, the fast-breaking meal.
“The one thing that I expected to experience more fully in turning to Islam was engagement in a community,” said DeMelto, a 40-year-old baker.
Like many American converts to Islam, DeMelto changed his lifestyle, quit drinking alcohol, scaled back social ties with his drinking buddies, but still struggles to cultivate new Muslim friends. His isolation is particularly acute during Ramadan, when he feels like a Christian alone on Christmas.
Ramadan is the most social month of the Muslim year, a period of fellowship with family and friends over sometimes lavish evening meals. But many American converts to Islam break the daily fast alone, often in front of the TV set.
There can be consequences when “born” Muslims don’t reach out to new converts.
“I see how the new Muslims are kind of ignored,” said Vaqar Sharief, a former new Muslims coordinator for the Islamic Society of Delaware. “Many of them stop coming and they leave the religion.”
To be sure, Muslims are urged to focus on reading the Quran and reflecting on God during the monthlong fast, but even the most pious Muslims acknowledge the socializing that happens nightly strengthens bonds among Muslims and contributes to social cohesion.
“The concept of being together and uniting is something very important,” said Imam Talal Eid of Quincy, Mass. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said that any person who hosts an iftar for someone who has fasted will be forgiven his sins and blessed with other rewards.
Caroline Williams said her first impression of Islam was that it was a friendly and social religious faith.
“Part of what drew me in was how welcoming everybody was at the mosque,” said Williams, a 32-year-old New Orleans resident who converted in 2010.
Yet new and old converts said they lack a sense of belonging, and are left out at major holidays. The exclusion happens for many reasons. Sometimes it’s an oversight or a lack of knowledge about co-religionists who are lonely. Other times, ethnic cliques play a role.
“Being invited to private homes isn’t common, and can be the loneliest experience of all when people speak their native language, leaving us to read or stare at the ceiling,” said Nadja Adolf of Newark, Calif., who converted in 2001.
For Kelly Kaufman, the loneliness of her first Ramadan was driven home whenever she was asked by a fellow Muslim how she broke her fast the night before, and answered “Cocoa Puffs while watching ‘Seinfeld,’” or “chocolate cake and ice cream while playing with my cat.”
“It’s an incredibly lonely experience that I don’t think many people know about,” said Kaufman, who converted in 2010.
To help, she set up a website where Chicago-area converts and other Muslims can contact each other and post helpful articles about prayer, Arabic lessons, or Islamic dos and don’ts.
 Imran, 22, and his parents Habeeb and Seemi Ahmed pray in their Long Island, NY home just before breaking their fast after the first day of Ramadan on Aug. 11, 2010. RNS photo by Sally Morrow
Some Muslims suggest that converts should go to mosques that hold communal iftar dinners and try to make friends there. In fact, many converts do attend mosque iftars, but still find it hard to form closer bonds.
“People are friendly, but I don’t feel like I’m family,” said Williams, who worships at Masjid Abu Bakr Al Siddique in New Orleans. She said she misses having the kind of close relationship that involves dinner invitations and long, deep talks.
A few mosques around the country have started to recognize the problem of convert isolation. The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, the largest mosque in New England, holds monthly “Convert-sations” meetings.
Sharief and his wife hold classes at their Delaware mosque that teach new converts how to pray and other Islamic fundamentals. They are also conscientious enough to invite new Muslims to potlucks, volunteer and interfaith activities, and other mosque-related events. And once the couple moves into a new house, Sharief said they will hold the convert classes and other activities there.
“You have to make these people feel part of the family,” said Sharief. “Ramadan is a great opportunity. You have to make them feel special.”
Source: Religion News

Sentencing hearing begins for 3 Somali pirates

Sentencing hearing begins for 3 Somali pirates

A sentencing hearing for three Somali pirates who could face the death penalty got underway in Virginia on Monday.

Earlier this month, Ahmed Muse Salad, Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar were convicted in the 2011 shooting deaths of four Americans off the coast of Africa.

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Prof. Baadiyow - Says Somali Govt Loses the Expectations of the Somali People

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Prof. Baadiyow - Says Somali Govt Loses the Expectations of the Somali People

Prof: Abdiraxman Abdi Baddiyow one of Somali politicians who addressed to Shebelle Media Network in Mogadishu told that Somali federal government failed to meet the expectation and the will of Somali people, adding that Somali federal government had not made any change, taking for instance that security, Economy as well as Business of the country is very low as Baddiyow stated.
On the other hand the Baddiyow talked about the reports issued by UN monitoring group on Somali and Eretria against Somali government, and reaffirmed that Somali politicians witnessed that yet any change was not made in the corruption within Somali government.

Somali government drafts bill to protect women's rights - Sabahionline.com

Somali government drafts bill to protect women's rights - Sabahionline.com

The Somali Ministry of Development and Social Affairs is drafting a bill that outlines a new gender policy for the country and safeguards women's rights, particularly in politics and education.
The proposed legislation is part of a wide-ranging government programme that aims to promote women's rights and support their access to education, health services and participation in governance.
While 30% of parliament is supposed to be reserved for women, women make up less than 16% of the current parliament. Under the proposed law, those seats would remain exclusive to women and would be kept vacant even if there are not enough women candidates to fill them, said Mohamed Omar, director-general of the women's department in the Ministry of Development and Social Affairs.
In addition, the bill calls for quotas in other government branches and guarantees that 60% of free education recipients would be women.

Somali Community Condemns Health Commissioner

Somali Community Condemns Health Commissioner

A Somali health organization announced Monday that members of the Twin Cities Somali community would gather Friday to express a “vote of no confidence" for Minnesota Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger.

The press conference is being organized by Isuroon—a nonprofit founded by Hopkins resident Fartun Weli that provides health education and advocacy for the local Somali community.

Report Finds Gradual Fall in Female Genital Cutting in Africa

Report Finds Gradual Fall in Female Genital Cutting in Africa

A comprehensive new assessment of the ancient practice of female genital cutting has found a gradual but significant decline in many countries, even in some where it remains deeply entrenched.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Alaska's seafood industry workers?

By Jim Paulin - Dutch Harbor Fisherman

SOMALIA: Somalis Mental Health State. By Farhia Ali Abdi

SOMALIA: Somalis Mental Health State. By Farhia Ali Abdi

World Health Organization (WHO) indicated in their recent study of Somalia’s mental health care that people with mental illness in Somalia face degrading and dangerous cultural practices such as being restrained with chains, which are not only widespread, but also socially and culturally accepted. WHO further expressed that Somalia has one of the world highest rates of mental-health disorder. Approximately, one-third of its eight million Somalis are affected by some kind of mental disorder, yet there are only three trained psychiatrists in the entire country who specialize in mental illness. Psychiatry as a profession is heavily stigmatized in Somalia by both the general public and the medical community. Healing for mental problems is provided by religious leaders or by traditional healers, and it has become an ineffective method in the current Somalia society.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ramadan with Islamic Relief USA



Ramadan with Islamic Relief USA

‘I don’t see why I should apologise for someone else’s crimes’ | The Muslim NewsThe Muslim News

‘I don’t see why I should apologise for someone else’s crimes’ | The Muslim NewsThe Muslim News

By Masuma Rahim

Patriotism is a concept I have always struggled with. Loyalty to a country on the basis that you were born or lived there has always made me uncomfortable. I think any kind of unwavering loyalty is bordering on the foolish. The only loyalty that matters is loyalty to your values. With that mindset, you retain the full right to criticise and object and all those things one should be able to do in a democracy. But of course it’s not quite that simple.

I was born in Britain and part of me is proud of this nation and the things it has achieved. After the horrors of war, it built the welfare state. It took refugees (including my family) when few other states would. It educated me and thousands like me and provided us with opportunities we wouldn’t have had in our lands of origin. Despite my issues with patriotism I am proud to be British and I owe this country a great deal. I may well be prouder of my citizenship than many of my fellow Britons. The problem is I don’t look very British. And because I don’t look British, I’m not always treated as though I am.

Five million pilgrims at holy sites for Umra


JEDDAH, July 21 (KUNA) -- Number of pilgrims who flocked to the Kingdom to perform Ramadan Umra has reached some five million, the Ministry of Hajj said in a statement on Sunday.

The number of pilgrims who have come from outside the country and are present in Holy Makkah and Holy Medina has reached 400,000.

These figures were presented at a meeting of the Central Hajj Committee.
A plan was also examined regarding transport of the faithful from and to the Holy Mosque during the fasting month. It aimed at transporting 15 million people aboard big buses. 
 
Source:  KUNA

Ramadan 2013 Celebrations Around the World

Ramadan 2013 Celebrations Around the World

Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, began last week.

For muslims around the world, its a time abstain from food, drink and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset.

Check out the photos from our friends at Capture the Spirit of Ramadan, an international photography contest, showing how Muslims are bringing in this year's Ramadan festivities.

Ramadan, a time to right the wrongs

Ramadan, a time to right the wrongs

Our nation faces many hardships, and we are challenged to find solutions to the obstacles that block the path to continued strength and prosperity. As Muslims, we are required to act with a greater sense of responsibility to apply Islamic principles in our daily lives in order to build a healthier society for our younger generation.

Let us all strive to end the bad habits and social ills that go against Islamic teachings of moderation, compassion and hard work. To begin with, let us put an end to the obscene waste of food during Ramadan and eat in moderation. Let us show more respect for the blessings of God and cherish his gifts on earth.

Within the spirit of Ramadan, traders and the business community should willingly lower prices to ease hunger and poverty among the poor. The wealthy among us should be more humble and show compassion for the underprivileged and those in need.

In the spirit of Ramadan, let us show more respect for human life and show more compassion in our attitudes and behavior toward others.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

IRIN Africa | Planning for non-surgical male circumcision | Botswana | Kenya | Malawi | Rwanda | Tanzania | Uganda | South Africa | Aid Policy | Gender Issues | Health & Nutrition | HIV/AIDS (PlusNews)

IRIN Africa | Planning for non-surgical male circumcision | Botswana | Kenya | Malawi | Rwanda | Tanzania | Uganda | South Africa | Aid Policy | Gender Issues | Health & Nutrition | HIV/AIDS (PlusNews)

In May, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) announced the prequalification of PrePex, the first non-surgical device for adult male circumcision. Compared to surgical circumcision, the device has fewer complications and is easier and quicker to use, allowing lower-cadre medical workers to be trained to perform the procedure.

Randomized, controlled trials in 2006 found that male circumcision reduced a man's risk of contracting HIV through vaginal intercourse by as much as 60 percent.

Fourteen African countries in eastern and southern Africa plan on circumcising a total of 20 million men by 2016 in an effort to curb the transmission of HIV. A number of these countries are lagging behind on their targets, and feel the PrePex device will give their programmes a much-needed boost, while others are more cautious.

IRIN Africa | Debating reform of Somaliland’s House of Elders | Somalia | Conflict | Gender Issues | Governance

IRIN Africa | Debating reform of Somaliland’s House of Elders | Somalia | Conflict | Gender Issues | Governance

Over the past 20 years, clan elders in Somaliland's Guurti, the upper house of parliament, have negotiated inter-clan disputes and kept the peace, carefully steering the self-declared republic away from the fate of south-central Somalia, which lapsed into a long, bloody civil war after the 1991 fall of the government of President Siyad Barre.

In 2001, Somaliland passed a constitution that installed the Guurti, a body of traditional elders, in the upper house, giving them legislative authority. But they have never been elected, and their constitutionally mandated six-year term limits have effectively been ignored. Now, leaders across Somaliland are in serious discussions about how best to reform the body to avoid a constitutional crisis. 

United Nations News Centre - Somalia: UN rights office concerned over draft law that would curtail press freedom

United Nations News Centre - Somalia: UN rights office concerned over draft law that would curtail press freedom

The United Nations human rights office today expressed concern over a draft law in Somalia that would require journalists to reveal their sources and prevent them from disseminating information against Islam or Somali traditions.
“We urge the Somali authorities to review the draft in order to ensure its conformity with international human rights standards,” the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, told reporters in Geneva. “We are particularly concerned that the draft legislation contains vague language and extremely broad categories that could easily be used to curtail freedom of expression, for instance requiring media not to contravene or disseminate information that is against Islam, or Somali traditions or traditional ethics,” he said.

Somalia bank governor asks U.N. for audit amid 'slush fund' claims

Somalia bank governor asks U.N. for audit amid 'slush fund' claims

The governor of the Central Bank of Somalia said on Thursday he had asked the United Nations for help in conducting an independent audit of the nascent institution after U.N. monitors described it as a "slush fund" for private purposes.
U.N. experts, who monitor Security Council sanctions on Somalia and Eritrea, reported that money at the Central Bank of Somalia was not used to run government institutions in the war-torn Horn of Africa country and that an average 80 percent of withdrawals were made for private purposes.
Central Bank Governor Abdusalam Omer denied allegations by the U.N. experts that linked him to irregularities regarding millions of dollars withdrawn from the bank, saying the charges were malicious and baseless.

Somalia’s national library rises amid the ruins | Toronto Star

Somalia’s national library rises amid the ruins | Toronto Star

It is hard to imagine the faded yellow building, where a few families eke out an existence, was once Somalia’s National Library.
Mogadishu’s ruins blend one building to the next, so there is little to distinguish it from the bombed-out remains of nearby parliament buildings.
But that may soon change if all goes to an ambitious plan to restore Mogadishu’s library — the latest project in the capital’s construction boom.
“There are so many youth who do not have a safe place to go and read; they may not have lights at their houses and they need somewhere to learn,” the project’s director, Zainab Hassan said Thursday from Mogadishu. “It is one of the most important things that can make a difference in society.”

UN experts slam Facebook for Somalia sanctions silence

UN experts slam Facebook for Somalia sanctions silence

UN sanctions experts have complained to the UN Security Council that Facebook refuses to answer questions about ship hijackings suspected to be organized on social media sites.
In a new report released Friday, the experts -- who monitor a UN arms embargo against Somalia as well as sanctions against accused pirates and Shebab Islamists -- say Facebook has failed to respond to "repeated" approaches.
The sanctions investigators say Somalia's notorious piracy business is supported by accomplices who could be bankers, businessmen, politicians or aid workers "all using their regular occupations or positions to facilitate one or another network.

Polio Eradication Suffers A Setback As Somali Outbreak Worsens : NPR

Polio Eradication Suffers A Setback As Somali Outbreak Worsens : NPR

Somalia hadn't had a case of polio for nearly six years. But in the past few months, the virus has come back. Now the East African country has the worst polio outbreak anywhere in the world.
Twenty new cases of polio were reported this week in Somalia by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. That brings the total number of cases in the Horn of Africa to 73. The rest of the world combined has tallied only 59 cases so far this year.
Health workers are worried that the virus could gain a foothold in the Horn of Africa and jeopardize the multibillion-dollar effort to wipe out the virus worldwide.

Somali Fashion Competition « XULKA.COM

Tartanka Quruxda Gabdhaha Soomaaliyeed « XULKA.COM

President Offers a Personal Take on Race in U.S.

President Offers a Personal Take on Race in U.S.

For the next 15 minutes, according to a senior aide, Mr. Obama spoke without interruption, laying out his message of why the not-guilty ruling had caused such pain among African-Americans, particularly young black men accustomed to arousing the kind of suspicion that led to the shooting death of Mr. Martin in a gated Florida neighborhood.
On Friday, reading an unusually personal, handwritten statement, Mr. Obama summed up his views with a single line: “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
That moment punctuated a turbulent week marked by dozens of phone calls to the White House from black leaders, angry protests that lit up the Internet and streets from Baltimore to Los Angeles, and anguished soul-searching by Mr. Obama. Aides say the president closely monitored the public reaction and talked repeatedly about the case with friends and family.

Kenya Links Tana River Clashes to Somali Weapons, State Security

Kenya Links Tana River Clashes to Somali Weapons, State Security

A Kenyan panel investigating clashes in the coastal region that left 164 people dead since last year said the flow of illegal arms from Somalia and an outlawed separatist group played a part fueling the violence.
Fighting between the Pokomo farming community and the Orma people, who are nomadic livestock herders, was politically instigated and also sparked by competition over land and other resources, according to a copy of the report distributed by the government-appointed panel to reporters yesterday.
The clashes in Tana River at the Kenyan coast, which is one of the country’s poorest regions, escalated after authorities failed to react, according to the panel led by High Court Judge Grace Nzioka. More than 40,000 people were displaced, it said. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta received the report in May, according to statement from the presidency.
Disputes over land have been rife since before Kenya’s independence from Britain in 1963.

Minneapolis photographer highlights Somali-American success stories

Minneapolis photographer highlights Somali-American success stories

For years, any time photographer Mohamud Mumin turned to local television channels or to newspapers for news about the Minneapolis Somali community, what he found left him disappointed.
Mumin said the media highlights the dark side of the community and abandons the many success stories and positive contributions Somali immigrants are making in their new home — a remark many in the community agree with.
“There are many great things the community is doing,” he said. “Why can’t I see those stories in the media? Why only the negative ones?”

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ramadan and fasting: An opportunity to improve health

Ramadan and fasting: An opportunity to improve health

Fasting — refusing food and sometimes drink for a specified period of time — is not a new phenomenon.
Many religions call for it when there’s a need to reinforce spiritual discipline or put a situation under concentrated prayer. Some people like to fast in the spring and fall, to promote weight loss or just as a way of “cleansing” and preparing for a new season.
Fasting during Ramadan
Muslims around the world are in the midst of a 30-day fast for Ramadan. In fact, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey of more than 38,000 Muslims from 39 countries, 93 percent say they fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
As one of the five pillars, or core rituals of Islamic faith, fasting during Ramadan is mandatory for all healthy adult Muslims. “Children who have not hit puberty, anyone who is sick or needs medication throughout the day, pregnant, nursing or menstruating women are exempt,” says Sara Elnakib, RD, MPH, co-founder of Muslims in Dietetics and Nutrition (MIDAN), a member interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“Travelers and the elderly who may find it hard to fast are also exempt,” she adds.
theGrio: Faith and fasting with diabetes
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from all food or drink — including water, chewing gum, the use of oral medications, and smoking from dawn to sunset. Ramadan, like so many other religious fast provides an opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal.
“Ramadan provides a fresh start for Muslims,” says Elnakib, “it provides us with the opportunity to change our bad habits, including many poor health habits.” Some Muslims may also use Ramadan as a chance to stop smoking, since they cannot smoke while fasting.
During Ramadan most Muslims eat at least two meals: a pre-fast meal known as suhur and then a sunset meal — iftar.
The classic Egyptian pre-fast meal — Ful Medames — consists of fava beans with tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, and a tiny bit of hot peppers. Elnakib makes protein and vegetables the focal point of her pre-fast meals.
“The protein keeps me feeling full longer and the vegetables provide my body with hydration as they break down.” For many Muslims suhur resembles a breakfast meal.  An omelet with spinach, olives and peppers is one example.  Elnakib’s favorite pre-fast meal consists of mini baby bell cheese wheels with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, sprinkled with salt and cumin.
Almost all Muslims around the world break their fast with dates and water or dates and milk.
“This tradition is said to impart wisdom; the fluid provides your body with the much needed hydration from the long hours of fasting and the dates provide your body with the electrolyte balance it needs with lots of Zinc, Calcium, Iron and Potassium,” Says Elnakib.
Fasting for weight loss or cleansing
Many people think fasting is the fast track to everlasting weight loss.
“It’s not!” says Elisa Zied, registered dietitian, author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips. “While fasting can contribute to a lower calorie intake, it can also leave you feeling sapped of energy.”
That’s because you’re not giving your body enough calories nor are you giving yourself an appropriate mix of nutrients for normal functioning.  Rapid weight loss promotes muscle loss and feeds the cycle of “yo-yo” dieting.
Fasting is often touted as a means of “cleaning out” the system, removing toxic wastes. But the opposite is true. Depriving the body of calories and sufficient amounts of carbohydrate through fasting, leads to a condition called ketosis — a buildup of chemicals in the blood called ketones.
Ketosis can cause weakness, nausea, dehydration, light-headedness and irritability. Zied suggest sticking to the tried and true to achieve safe, sensible and sustainable long-term weight loss.
“Load up on produce, whole grains and lean sources of protein and reduce portions, especially of high-calorie foods.”
Nutrition tips for fasting in general
“Many Muslims try to use Ramadan as a boost to their weight loss efforts, by eating healthy during the non-fasting hours and avoiding non-nutritious meals,” says Elnakib who offers the following tips to her clients:
  • Avoid drinks high in sugar during non-fasting hours and make water the primary beverage.
  • Do not binge when you resume eating (for Muslims at suhur or iftar). After the first few days of fasting, the metabolism starts slowing down to compensate for the lack of energy, so you should not over eat thinking that your body needs extra calories.
  • Load up on fruits and vegetables — they are low calorie and nutrient rich. They are composed of 70 percent water and provide a critical source of hydration, especially during these long summer days, filled with excessive heat.  (See Frequently Asked Questions About Extreme Heat)
  • Be sure to include protein at the suhur and iftar meals. Protein takes longer to digest and will keep you feeling full longer.
“Finally, even though Ramadan is a very festive time and our traditions call for us to have very delicious sweets and desserts, try to limit them to one piece per day since they are “empty” calories,” says Elnakib.
Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD is an award winning registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is the author of The African American Guide To Living Well With Diabetes and Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes. Follow Brown-Riggs on twitter @eatingsoulfully

Click here to read more : http://thegrio.com/2013/07/18/ramadan-and-fasting-an-opportunity-to-improve-health/

Standard Digital News - Kenya : ‘Superpower’ Spreads Terror In Eastleigh

Standard Digital News - Kenya : ‘Superpower’ Spreads Terror In Eastleigh

As events to mark Somali’s 53 years of independence were ongoing beneath the blazing sun at Nairobi’s Eastleigh High School, more than 10 young men interrupted the ceremony by storming the venue and taking over proceedings.
The knife-wielding men, who appeared to be well organised in their operation, then held more than 20 people hostage before robbing them of jewellery, mobile phones and cash. Victims of the July 1 incident had no doubt that ‘they’ had once again struck with incredible impunity. ‘They’ are the Superpower, a criminal gang that appears to have literally taken control of Eastleigh.
“They were at least 10 youths of Somali origin. They rounded us up and ordered us to place our phones, cash and other valuables in a small bag,” said one of the victims, who requested anonymity, adding that those who hesitated to do as ordered were badly beaten.