Somali: "American School Board meeting raises concerns about immigrant students"
VOASomali in Washington reports:
The American School Board Association held a meeting in Washington. They put immigrant students at the top of their agenda. This school boards meeting is yearly, and participants come from every state of the country. Siyad Ali, who is a member of the Minneapolis Board of Education, stated that Somali students are always criticized because they are behind in the education system compared to their white counterparts. He admitted that this specific issue is a problem among most immigrant student populations. In the meantime, he said that educators will be implementing new methods of teaching newcomers and that things are set to improve. Mr. Ali told VOA that in these kinds of meetings, the boards discuss the goals that have been achieved, the obstacles that they have encountered and the important issues worth more attention in delivering academic knowledge to eight million students in American schools. This year, multiple agendas are being pushed forward, like the problems faced by many immigrant students from Latin America, particularly Mexico, whose parents are either deported or on the verge of deportation, and the long-term affects this immigration saga has on that group of students. “As school board administrators, we do not want our schools to be hunting grounds for illegal immigrant parents,” said Mr. Ali. The meeting also widely discussed public school safety because of the recent surge in the number of school shootings. (02/11/2018)
Somali: "Three men convicted of plotting to bomb Somali refugees say they were encouraged by Trump's rhetoric"
Hiiraan in Ottawa, Canada reports:
Three men who were convicted of plotting to bomb an apartment building that housed a mosque and dozens of Muslim Somali refugees in Kansas were encouraged by President Donald Trump's rhetoric, their attorneys said. In court documents filed this week, attorneys for Patrick Stein, Curtis Allen and Gavin Wright say the men were influenced by Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric and Russian propaganda on social media and argue that life sentences against their clients would not deter others from committing similar crimes. "As long as the White House with impunity calls Islam 'a dangerous threat' and paints average Americans as 'victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad,' a mixed signal gets sent," Wright's attorneys wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed. "As long as the Executive Branch condemns Islam and commends and encourages violence against would-be enemies, then a sentence imposed by the Judicial Branch does little to deter people generally from engaging in such conduct if they believe they are protecting their countries from enemies identified by their own Commander-in-Chief," they continued. Stein, Allen, and Wright were convicted of one count of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of conspiracy against civil rights by a federal jury in April. The jury also convicted Wright of lying to the FBI. Officials said the men, who were members of a militia group in Kansas, planned to detonate four parked vehicles filled with explosives outside the apartment complex in Garden City the day after the 2016 presidential election to "wake people up." Federal prosecutors argued that maximum sentences of life imprisonment were appropriate for all three men. "Their goal was not only to commit mass murder, but also to incite other groups to 'wake up' and commit other acts of violence against Muslims, against landlords who rent to Muslims, and against the U.S. government, and to spread the hateful message that Muslims should be, in the words of Defendant Stein, 'eradicated' from the United States," prosecutors said. Stein's attorneys argued that the 2016 presidential election and Trump's rhetoric played a role in the responsibility of their client, whom they described as "an early and avid supporter" of Trump, who called for a Muslim registry, closing mosques, and greater surveillance of Muslim-Americans during his campaign. (31/10/2018)
Somali: "New service organization called Somali Unification Center in Minnesota"
VOASomali in Washington reports:
Mohamed Ahmed Keyd, the director of the Somali Unification Center, told VOA that it is not easy to establish a new service providing organization in this DNA era. It took a lot of time and effort to come up with the idea, to show the community the importance of the services and to convince authorities to pay for the operations. The main objective of this non-profit organization is to advocate for the rights of Somali-Americans in Minnesota. The organization is aiming to address issues like legal advice, immigration, health, housing and education, which are the most useful tools for building a new generation and developing human life. This organization has a 509A2, which means this organization can participate in all the political campaigns and they can advocate on behalf of their community. They can spend one third of their finances on campaigns and they can support or oppose any new legislation. One of the benefits of this endeavor is that the Somalis in Minnesota who are becoming more established and more involved in American politics. They have the opportunity to voice their opinions. They are also able to collaborate with other political organization, and they can oppose or stop any legislation which is against the interest of their community. This organization will work hand in hand with service non-profit organizations in Minnesota. It will be complementary to other organizations rather than overlapping their services. (01/11/2018)