NEWS 2004


January 18, 2004


One of my friends told me that I am wrong to talk about ‘Midgan problems in Somalia” He said, “You can not eradicate the idea of superiority (Gob) and inferiority (Gun) in Somalia, So you have to come to realize that it is part of the Somali reality. If the role was reversed, the Midgans would do to Ajji, what Ajji are doing now to Midgans. So if you raise Midgans at top then there must be other tribes who will fill the bottom” I said, “ My friend, it is logical but can we have equality without superiority and inferiority, without oppressing other tribes?” He replied, “ Azhar, Speaking critically, in Somalia, there was a time when some people thought the Hawiye tribe was not being treated well. When Hawiye got power for about 10 years ago, they started killing each other and destroying all Somali resources. We saw that Hawiye were even worse, Killings of the innocent in large numbers of themselves something that was almost unknown in Somalia before the civil war. I said,  “ We have to understand that Darod were used to fight previously and now each other same way as Hawiye so we can not blame Hawiye why are they fighting each other. Looking at reality, Why Darod is fighting in Kismayo, In Bari and So on?  Why are Rahanweyn fighting Each other?  I am not pro and con of any tribe in Somalia be it Hawiye or Darod, Isaaq or Dir but I am suspicious whether Darod gave opportunity to Hawiye to lead the country or Hawiye were given Lip-service of void words? He said, “ I agree with you, so again, back to my point, even If Darod became the leaders of Somalia or Hawiye, racism toward Jareer and tribalism toward Midgan will always be there in Somalia I guess, I am trying to convince you that, we should not spend our energy on the Whys but how to live together, accepting that as our fate”

Unfortunately, I cannot stop from debating and arguing on this point of tribalism can eliminated in our mind then the usage will vanish because I have vision that education and debating can reduce the tribalism so more we speak about the attitudes of tribalist more we will understand the reality of Somali tribalism.  For my understanding, at root, Tribalism is a form of collectivism: the belief that an individual's identity is determined by his unchosen physiological characteristics -- and not by his chosen values and actions. Racism and Tribalism are indeed systemic in the all the society, but the roots of both run much deeper than skin color or tribe name. The heart of the matter is that no one likes anyone who is different. The real "-ism" that society must overcome is the belief that, if you're not "one of us" you must be inferior. Such as Midgan. The tribalism says, I'm a Darod and you're a Hawiye, you’re not one of us so cannot become leader and there fore, you must be inferior. To me, the racist says, I'm white and you're black or I'm black and you're white. You’re not one of us and must be inferior.  All these attitudes fuel hate and fear and violence in both the tribalist and the racist are diseases. Tribalism can be defined as the belief that one tribe of people are superior to another because of the tribe they are born into. The virus of tribalism may exist in the hearts and minds of millions around the world but when tribalism is acted upon, especially by a group of people, things don't just become dangerous, they become deadly. There are two notable examples from this century Such as Tribalism in Somalia and Rwanda, which was a source of death, and destruction in Africa; for example Rwanda (Central Africa)-1994 Over a period of 100 days, beginning April 6, 1994, up to 800,000 members of the Tutsi tribe were killed by another tribe, Hutus used clubs and machetes to kill. As many as 10,000 were murdered each day, In Somalia in 1991, death of famine and war created about one million death and about four million Somali refugees in our world who were forced to abandon their homes essentially because of tribalism wars. Why these people were being killed because they were born wrong tribe or were they standing wrong place at the wrong time?  Why are they killing each other?  All these tribes want power and dignity. They are searching for superiority while others are running from inferiority. No one wants to be inferior but every one wants to be superior and all of us cannot become superior without understanding humanity. We are superior because we are better than Animal but Animal can live peaceful  and eat their grasses but why not Somalis?

Ali-Azhar, BA.