Must read SomaliSpot: Debunking anti Somali media propaganda (in the UK)

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Somalis in the western media are given bad press, whereas other immigrant communities are often heralded as though they have supposedly flourished. This is actually contrary to facts and ignores underlying factors that would give a more fair and accurate understanding.

Many parts of the media have a sinister agenda and are out to demonise and vilify Somalis. Because they are black, muslim, african immigrants. Somalis face a torrent of prejudicial vitriol, underlying racial discrimination and inherent bias in media reporting, disguised as journalism. Whether it be from the DailyMail, TheEconomist, Fox News or TheSun. The alt-white media houses are on the offensive. Their motivations and bias should be self evidence.

So I did some digging.


Somalis are not any less educated or employed than their comparable refugee counterparts. This assertion as factually incorrect. Nor is it the case that all "other refugees have flourished". It is clear that many journalists from these media companies have some strange sort of vendetta against Somalis. And they often use data and statistics to justify their prejudicial and deeply problematic stories about Somalis.

When looking at inherently backward looking statistics of educational performance, employment and social indicators we ought to interpret the data in this light and put it into context. Much of the media woefully misinterpret the statistics. High unemployment levels, inadequate English and poor social integration for example should not at all be surprising. After all, we are talking about first generation refugees here coming from Somalia. Rather there should be a recognition of the problems - yes - but also alongside that an acknowledgement that some of the challenges that Somalis faced were specific time-bound issues in the years after the 90s and the 2006 refugee waves. Especially the large wave of refugees that came to Europe after Ethiopia's brutal invasion of Somalia in 2006. It was a generational problem in the sense that it was being experienced by first generation refugees and immigrants, facing uniquely but pervasive first generation problems of, for example, not being able to speak the language.

To point out come very important considerations

1. Consider where Somalis come from. In a place like Somalia, that has been in conflict for a long time, government institutions are very weak or non-existent. Education is not available to a significant proportion of the population; many are illiterate. We as a society have also chose to not speak English in Somalia or Somaliland, but rather to maintain our own ancient language, history and culture. Whereas the Kenyans, Nigerians, Indians or even Pakistanis do speak English in their countries. It is therefore unrealistic to expect that first generation Somali refugees will all come here speaking English. It will take them time to adjust. And in that regard it should be acknowledged that Somalis had a huge disadvantage, but that they have overcome that and are now beginning to prosper.This necessarily means it will take first generation Somali immigrants some time to adjust, to learn the language, to learn the country's systems and ways of doing things. This does not mean, however, that they should be unwelcome in the UK or that they are not able to learn English or gain employment... it will just take them that bit longer.

2. It isn't constructive to compare immigrants from English speaking countries - with functioning governments and highly advanced education systems - to immigrants from non-English speaking countries. Those from English speaking countries i.e. Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Ghana, Bangladesh are far more likely to speak English. They will will therefore integrate quicker. But that is not to say that Somali immigrants do not and cannot make a highly valuable contribution to the U.K as indicated by the likes of Mo Farah, Rageh Omaar, Dr Sada Mire and many others.

3. Not all generations of immigrants are the same. Do not compare 1st generation Somali immigrants to 2nd generation Somali immigrants. Similarly do not compare 1st generation Somali immigrants and 4th generation British Indians. The latter have been brought up in completely different environments and their life prospects are completely different. If you look at the second generation (i.e. kids of immigrants), I would be extremely surprised if they didn't speak English or were unable to write and read. The majority of them will also be employed at some level, if not now, certainly in the future once they reach adulthood.

4. Employment prospects and income depend on and are affected by lots of things - one's ethnicity or background is just one of a multitude of interconnected factors. Other factors include educational attainment, qualifications, availability of suitable jobs in the local economy, discrimination, barriers to entry, competition in the job market. Is it their ethnicity or background that inherently causes them to experience high unemployment, or is it a little more complicated than that? There are parts of the UK almost exclusively inhabited by white British people where there is high unemployment, low educational attainment - does this make white Brits undesirable or inherently lazy? The answer is obviously no.

5. A person's employment status or educational achievement is not a permanent condition.No-one is born with a bundle of qualifications and degree certificates in their hand. These are obtained these over time, in enabling environments and given the right opportunities. I am sure there are first generation Muslim immigrants in the UK who have more qualifications and better paid jobs than the author - so journalists shouldn't generalise. And language is learned, not innate... and the learning process is not helped by, in the UK for example, the Government having cut funding to ESOL education across the country.

6. Living in social housing is not a crime, nor can journalists shame Somalis who live in social housing. Most Somalis have valid reasons to live in social housing. Firstly, the majority of Somalis arrived in the UK, USA and Europe since the year 2000 and they mostly live in the South East of England which is the most expensive place to buy property in the UK, if not in Europe. They therefore have not had the same opportunity to accumulate generational wealth required to buy properties with an average property price of £530,000 ($770,000 USD). Secondly, unlike the average British person or more established immigrant communities who have been here for three or four generations, they cannot rely on inheritances, 'the bank of mum and dad' or 'the bank of granddad and grandma' to pay for housing deposits in the tens of thousands of pounds. Thirdly, Somalis for religious reasons choose not to engage in activities that involve being charged or charging interest, as in Islam interest is considered usury, and therefore contrary to the teachings of Islam. So for religious reasons many Somalis, other Muslim communities and orthodox Jews choose to live in social housing. However, there are 4 million households in the UK who live in Social housing. Somali households in social housing are less than 0.5% of the total, so it is not the case that they are putting strain on the system.

7. Large families are not necessarily problematic and should not be demonised. In the end, it the large Somali families of 6, 7 or 8 children who will provide the labour and workforce that is badly need. As evidenced by the countless Somali nurses for example now working in the U.K's hospitals. It is these large families whose sons and daughters will almost inevitably together pay more in income tax, national insurance, council tax, value added tax. Espcially when compared to the standard families who have just one or two children. It is these large families who inevitably pay more in taxes over their lifetimes than they receive in welfare. It is these same larger families whose children will pay towards the pension contributions of the greying population, now ageing at an alarming rate, for decades to come. Their vilification is again underpinned by culturally prejudicial stereotypes rather than an analysis of the hard economic facts.

So don't be brainwashed or disheartened by media who seek to destroy your spirit and in doing so subjugate your mind. Your a Somali, be proud and work hard.
I also want to spend some time talking about employment. There are a lot of statistics banded around, purportedly showing how bad employment figures are for Somalis. Has anyone actually taken the time to look at the stats. and how they are put together? I have. Surprisingly, here's what I found:


Take this statement for example: 70% of Somalis of working age population are employed and 30% are unemployed. Just think about this statement and break it down. Let's define working age first. It is anyone between the ages of 16 years and 65 years. Figures like this will include 16 to 21 yr old students in school, college and university. Evidently many of these will not work as they are engaged in full time studies. It also includes the disabled, sick, carers, mothers of young children, who are over-represented in this subset of the population and this of course distorts the data. Sometimes statistics are not an indication of performance, but an indication of the cohort of people you are looking at.

Second, Somalis (immigrants and the Muslim community more generally) is in a subset of the population that is on average significantly younger than the general population. In other words the population is skewed towards the teens and 20s. This amplifies the problem of students being included in the "working age population". Hence the number of employed "working age population", which includes 16 to 64 yr olds will for Somalis necessarily be lower. This means that comparing the white, predominantly older or elderly population to the much younger Somalis who are at a completely different stage in their lives is not a valid or meaningful comparison. The four stages of the life course are childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age, with Somali sub populations in the West predominantly being in either childhood or adolescence.

Third, the data being used to analyse Somalis is incomplete and inherently problematic. The National Office of Statistics of the UK has confirmed and acknowledged that there is a known undercount of 2nd generation Somalis in the UK census. It also acknowledges that this second generation of Somalis in the diaspora are far more likely to me employed than 1st generation refugee Somalis. Again this is acknowledged by even the Office for National Statistics. This is because the count of "Somalis" in count data, which is picked up and used by the media, tends to only include Somalia-born Somalis. It does not include those Somalis who are UK-born, as the place of birth is the best proxy for ethnicity.This means that the employment figures are significantly understated because Somalis born in the UK, in Europe or elsewhere are not included - and they are far more likely to be employed.

Fourth, you have to take into consideration other qualitative aspects of the population to understand the data; the main one being date of arrival. There have been two main streams of Somali arrivals in the UK, at different points in time. Employment prospects and language skills will differ for each group, according to how long they have lived in the UK.

The first group was small in number and arrived in the UK during the 1st world war, to fight in the war and a second cohort in the mid 1900s, as seamen, merchant shippers and to work for the Royal Navy (though many later worked in the steel industry and manufacturing). The 2nd stream arrived between 2000 (after the fall of the Soviet-backed Somali central government in the 90s) and the Ethiopian invasion and occupation of Somalia in 2006. Prospects for the first group is far better than the 2nd group and it isnt fair to lump them all together. Many of the second group were asylum seeking refugees. Asylum seekers are legally not allowed to work for payment in U.K law, while their claims are being processed, which can take years.

The second group, however, are relatively recent arrivals and it will take them some time to adjust, as I discussed in detail in my previous post in this thread. But having said that they are making significant progress; educational achievement is continually increasing and as is employment. Their current situation is not permanent, it is mainly a generational problem. As the 2nd generation grows up these statistics will be transformed, and we are already seeing Somali athletes, councillors, entrepreneurs, professionals becoming more common in the community. Trends are important when looking at employment figures and these are looking positive. Based on the latest available figures, employment figures are doubling every 10 years for Somalis, educational attainment is increasing.

Unfortunately people who hate Somalis or immigrants can't blame the UK's problems - whether economic, social, housing shortages, the government deficit - on Muslim immigrants and much less Somali Brits. At least not in any rational or reasonable way, though I understand it is something the author may choose to nevertheless do for political and ideological reasons. To put things into context, Somalis are less than 0.15% of the UK population. So the whole thing is being blown out of proportion.

Don't be brainwashed or disheartened by media who seek to destroy your spirit and in doing so subjugate your mind. Your a Somali, be proud, work hard and live your life in success.


Couldn't have put it better myself :2tjlv3e: Haters will always try to make it seem as if we're a particularly awful outlier of people, a sickening reflection of their hatred towards both Muslims and blacks.
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