Tag Archives: somalis

Poem: Whose Myth is True?

After hundreds

Of thousands

Of millions of years

We have evolved to Homo de spirituali dominus

– Man, master of spirituality!

We got more than one good book:

Qur’an, Vedas and Guru Granth Sahib,

Tripitaka and Torah

As well as the Bible

To spell out the will of God

In six different shades of black & white,

Save us from the scary black darkness,

Keep us in the pwetty white light.

Walk toward and into the light,

And death is guaranteed to be better

Than this Devil’s Domain called

Life.

But!

Backtrack to the days of BC – Before Clerics

Were afraid of their religions’ origins,

Before pagan was redefined from local & home-grown to

Spiritual Atavism To All Nations,

The world believed in different myths:

Before heaven & hell were spiritual destinations for the dead

One was the searing red ocean beneath the land,

The other the vast blue roof where birds flirted with clouds.

Blue was a foreign colour to most tongues, anthropologists believe

But I think people were smarter than that.

On the far East side we had guardian dragons

Raining good fortune and education on us from above,

While angels’ Assyrian ancestors hunted us like birds of prey.

The skies of Zambia, Angola & Congo are windows to prehistory

Because they still see pterodactyls!

Ala was an Igbo goddess as well as an Arab god,

At the tip of Africa’s horn the world was balanced on the horns of a bull

Tethered in front of the cow he loved –

Maybe the common ancestor of the Egyptian sky-cow,

As Somalis & Ethiopians were the common ancestors of Egyptians?

The Slavic sun is too lazy to inhabit the sky,

She lives on an island served by the 4 winds,

Long before Avraham preached fear of God

Inuktitut (Eskimos) preached fear of everything!

Kaluli women are the mothers of Mother Nature,

Men only have supremacy because

A male snake ate an Aboriginal goddess’s daughters,

But Chinese emperors were legally required

REQUIRED

To sexually satisfy 121 women in 15 nights!

Modern Indians caste their devotion toward fair skin

When they used to believe darker = holier.

Asian Indians meant their own skins,

American “Indians” meant that of Africans

But both stopped once pale-skins

Installed themselves in positions of superiority.

Complex, I know.

The disciples had never heard of Jesus,

Their messiah’s name was Ieshua,

Freedom fighter to them, to Roman powers terrorist.

Science and maths hadn’t yet tested the theory that

Virginity + pregnancy = impossibility,

But we had the Greek intelligence to know daemons could be

Good, evil or don’t give a shit

And the Judean intelligence to know Satan was just doing his God-given job

– But given by which God?

The New Testament one who so loved the world

He agreed with Caiaphas that

It’s better for one man to perish in place of the nation,

Sent his Judean heir to die for Gentiles’ royal screw-ups?

Or the Old Testament one who smote the world

Then remembered to keep Noah alive,

Knows idols can’t hurt him but admits

I am a jealous god?

Whose god is true?

Whose myth is true?

© One Tawny Stranger, July 2015

Scars from The Cruel Cut

Last Wednesday (6/11/13) on Channel 4, at 10:45pm, was a documentary called The Cruel Cut. A moving insight into the practice of FGM (female genital mutilation), it was presented by Leyla Hussein, a British-Somali woman and anti-FGM campaigner.

I nearly didn’t watch it because it was on so late. However, it was well worth it. She explained the different types of FGM*, where it happens, the laws regarding it, and what she does about it. As a victim of it herself, she’s well-placed to do all that. During the program she set up exhibitions where she spread awareness to ordinary members of the public (including videos of it being performed), performed a make-shift survey to members of the public asking them to support FGM**, and even directly emailed the government to ask why anti-FGM laws weren’t being enforced. Unfortunately she got a PC reply saying those laws are enforced and FGM has been successfully stopped in England. What?!?

To make it worse, she and a group of protesters went directly to public health minister’s office (forgot which one. I’ll add when I find it) to speak to her directly. Of course, she didn’t come out to meet them.

* There are 3 types, and I’ll list them from least to most severe. They’re pretty much just as painful as each other (absolutely effing excruciating!) but the latter 2 leave more room for medical complications:

Type 1 – the clitoris is either sliced through the middle or removed, to prevent the girl from experiencing pleasure during sex, 

(there is a variation of this called sunnah-circumcision, in which just the prepuce is removed, making it exactly equivalent to a male circumcision)

Type 2 – same as 1 but the labia minora (inner lips) are also removed and sewn together so when it heals the vagina is completely sealed apart from a pinprick-sized hole that she’s meant to pee & menstruate through,

Type 3 – same as 2 but the labia majora (outer lips) are sealed instead. Both this and Type 2 can lead to menstrual blood and urine pooling inside, fuelling any number of vaginal infections. 

It’s performed as part of culture in many countries in Africa and Asia, and due to migration most other continents. South America seems to have remained free, thank Allah. Among Somalis at least (which seemed to be whom Leyla was most focused on), it’s performed by women: mothers, aunties & grandmothers because they believe it’ll make the victim “clean” for when she gets married, proof of virginity before marriage. This means that when the girl grows up and she wants to have sex with her husband… he’ll have to open her back up. I won’t discuss that any further.

Once again the onus to remain “pure” is put on girls, from an age when they shouldn’t have to know “impurity”, while boys are given license to go amuck.

Men, however, don’t discuss it because as far as they’re concerned it’s women’s business. They usually don’t know how it happens and just go on what the women say – it’ll make them “clean”, it stops them from turning into whores & nymphos, etc. However, when Leyla confronted a group of Somali men to discuss it they were baffled & repulsed. They saw the natural uncut vagina as how Allah made it so it’s wrong for anyone to try to tamper with it. In short, women perform FGM because they think that’s what men want, while men don’t see its purpose and would prefer it to not be done.

And in case anyone thinks it’s a Muslim thing, no. It originated in Kemet (ancient, pre-Islamic, Egypt) and spread all over Africa thousands of years before Islam came to the continent. And it’s practised by many non-Muslim communities, as was evident from her friends who spoke about their experience with FGM (all of them had it done to them) and how it’s affected their lives. Which goes to show that once again culture trumps religion in many parts of the world.

** No that wasn’t a typo. She made a survey asking people to support FGM, just to see if they were politically incorrect enough to refuse. Within half an hour she got 19 signatures, some of them from people who were personally against FGM but felt because it was Leyla’s culture they had no right to criticise. Only one person had the backbone to express outright disgust.

Face palm + tears. 

Another interesting fact about FGM laws: in England it’s banned so the law knows it happens (~24,000 girls a year have it done in England), yet the number of people who’ve been prosecuted for it is exactly ZERO. The rest of Europe is much more no-nonsense, and France routinely examines girls for evidence of the procedure, and if such evidence is found people get their asses locked up.

Related articles:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-cruel-cut

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2478822/Female-circumcision-campaigner-horrified-shoppers-sign-pro-cutting-petition–theyre-scared-culturally-insensitive.html

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2013/nov/07/the-cruel-cut-tv-review

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/what-happened-when-antifgm-campaigner-asked-people-in-the-street-to-sign-a-petition-in-favour-of-mutilating-girls-8908877.html

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-cruel-cut