The Fire of Hypocrisy: The Minnesota Somali Community in The Shadow of CVE
This is the first installment in my three-part analysis of the so-called ‘CVE’ program and its profoundly negative consequences for the Minnesota Somali community. Enjoy (or if you are/were a CVE apologist Don’t)
My father is fond of a particular Somali Maahmaah (Proverb) one that I think has in many ways colored my life as a Somali-American Muslim in these troubling times. It is a simple proverb, never quite as popular as the other viral soundbites of oral wisdom my people are so fond of, yet it has remained my father’s favorite. A mix of sagely admonition and wisdom, this Maahmaah serves as both as a reminder and a caution, simultaneously concerned with both the communal and individual concerns of a community. I can hear it now, in my father’s soft, gravelly voice:
“Dab munaafaq shiday mu’min baa ku gubta”
“A fire lit by hypocrites will burn the believers too”
The Somali Community of Minnesota is a tight-knit, industrious, immigrant enclave community nestled in one of the whitest states in America. Home to some of the largest wealth and educational disparities nationwide, the myth of “Minnesota Nice”; the in your face, smothering kindness and easy-going nature, coupled with strong passive-aggressive behavior that characterizes the emotional schema of your average Minnesotan, fits quite nicely over the monumental gaps in education, income and quality of life in this quaint Midwestern state. Like honey and sugar drizzled over a carcass, the underneath reality is not as appealing as the surface presents.