Thursday, March 21, 2013

what a week to be queer and somali

it all started this past weekend when i heard about the story of a young somali gay guy who was killed in somalia by the extremist islamist group al-shabaab, the taliban-style goons who run part of somalia. this came to me from a gay somali facebook group. i directly asked for more information from the young man who’s running the group, and he gave me a bunch of links where in the somali press it was reported in the preceding 24 hours.

the two things that stood out for me;

1) the somali links all seemed to have been written by the same person (somali “news” websites don’t pay that much attention to copyright, and sometimes they will publish things from another “news” site without even asking permission), which made it difficult to confirm if it was indeed independently verifiable story. 

2) the title was very interesting: “Al-Shabaab oo Xukun Dil ah ku fulisay non la sheegay in uu ku kacay Fal Qoomu Luud ah (Aqriso Magaca Ninka la dilay)”, which literally says “Al-Shabaab has condemned a young man who was guilty of the crime of the People of Lut (Read the Name of the man killed)”. 

the story, which was written by a man named maxamed ganey and published first by “Codka Qaranka” or the “Voice of the Nation” on march 16th, said that a young man named mohamed baashi. who happend to be 18, had been found guilty of raping a 13-year-old named aweys xasan. baashi, according to the article, had confessed to raping the boy once in comparison to the boy’s allegations that baashi had raped him four times. 

maxamed ganey, or most of the somali people, would never write on a mainstream website that a rapist is connected to the people of lut. they believe the people of lut were homosexuals, and that that story in the qur’an is about homosexuality. those of us who are queer muslims and who are believers of islam not being homophobic have been saying that for centuries now, but that's a different story.

of course, this confirmed my suspicion that the story was fake, probably a good gesture meant to discredit the terrorist group al-shabaab, because "aweys xasan", who happens to be the "victim" in the story, is "xasan aweys" backwards (and xasan aweys is the main leader from al-shabaab). it worked because now even the largest gay news magazine in the united states is running the story as a true story.