The Somali community has a whole has loads of great things, we have a rich culture and truly lit weddings, but there’s a lot of things we’ve been keeping swept under the rug – and we need to start addressing these problems. I’m not saying to create an expose and ruin people’s lives, but some of these issues are ruining families and we’re all reaching our breaking point.
I can only speak from the UK diaspora perspective but addiction is really fucking with us and we’re not really speaking about it publicly. I know we’re scared as a whole to really speak about it because taking drugs and drinking alcohol is a serious taboo because it’s forbidden in our religion, but the rate of addiction is growing and it’s getting ridiculous. The taboo fucks with the fact that not only are people doing drugs and drinking alcohol, but if they’re addicted they struggle to get the help and support they need because they’re afraid.
The level of shame that is brought upon anyone who does anything even slightly forbidden would make anyone doing anything super forbidden just scared to come out and ask for help. The fact that we’re also not speaking about this issue just adds to the problem. The moment khaat was made illegal, everyone who was hooked on it turned to harder drugs. One of the reasons we’re silent on this is because we’re in denial about khaat being a drug, and the fact that a large amount of our community were hooked on it.
Let’s not even go into how people smuggle it into the UK….
Addiction is also just tough to deal with, because it’s the only disease that requires the person with it to ask for help, and a lot of our community aren’t aware of it. We just believe praying it away will help with the issue, when in reality the person will need to get real help as it’s a lifelong struggle.
We need to open up about this crippling issue so we can find a way to help our community. Open up ourselves to helping everyone instead of disowning and ignoring it. When we sweep our issues under the rug, the rug starts overspilling, and because of that we end up fucked. Alcohol and drugs don’t discriminate, so we need to educate ourselves on how to fight the issue.
Disclaimer: I wanted to do more research on the issue as a whole before writing this, but I feel like more can definitely be written, and when I do get more information on the issue I’ll definitely write a part 2.