Somalis disappoint some Emporians, others angered

The Somali era for Emporia, KS came to an end this past Saturday night when the last Somali refugees in that city didn’t show up for a farewell dinner planned in their honor.   Granted the whole Somali saga in Emporia was fraught with controversy from the very beginning when hundreds of refugees arrived in this prairie city to work for a Tyson’s meat packing plant, so the saga’s end is not unexpected.   We have an entire category that covers the conflict that evolved over months.

Tyson’s recently closed the plant with little notice putting hundreds of workers, not just the Somalis, out of a job.

What was apparently intended as a gesture of goodwill by Christians turned into another source of hard feelings when the Somalis became a no-show due to the sudden illness of the group’s leader.   Somalis are hardcore believers in the prohibition in Islam to not become too friendly with Christians, and the church setting itself might have caused them to stay away.  Who knows?

Tables full of hot food and desserts brought in by organizers and friends lined tables outside the church kitchen, while hosts waited for the guests to arrive. Eventually, the call came that the Somali organizer was too sick to come to Sacred Heart.

The article in the Emporia Gazette yesterday stirred up more hard feelings when commenters began to question why others fired from Tyson’s weren’t given a special dinner; nor was there a request made for citizens to volunteer to clean rental units vacated by those who lost their jobs as there was for the Somalis.

Here is a comment from someone named Tosie:

Are you serious? People are needed to help the Somalians pack up? They got here easy enough didn’t they? They can pack up and leave just the same. I don’t see anyone saying, “Hey, Emporias, let’s pitch in and help EVERYONE that is going to have to leave Emporia to get another job pack up and clean.” Once again, poor Somalians, let’s give them special treatment. No thanks…..

Read the whole article here.

British Blogger Lionheart seeks asylum in the US

Last month we told you about Lionheart, the blogger from the UK, who was in the United States and feared returning to his homeland because the authorities there threatened to arrest him over words he used on his blog.  See our earlier post here in which we made the important point that we all must stick together if we are to preserve perhaps the strongest pillar of western society—free speech.

We learned from the Center for Vigilant Freedom that Lionheart has decided to seek asylum in the United States.  Imagine that, an Englishman seeking political asylum in America!  What is the world coming to!

“I am applying for political asylum on the grounds of political persecution and human rights issues.


“All I’ve done is written words on a blog. That doesn’t befit a prison sentence.”

Britain is paying attention to female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation is enough of a widespread problem in Britain that they’re beginning to pay attention to it. The Scotsman has a good report on the situation. Scotland has different laws from the rest of Britain in some cases, and it seems to be behind the curve.

…two years after Scotland upgraded the law here against FGM, there has been little training of medical and educational professionals, and even less public debate. Campaigners and the police agree there are girls in Scotland – usually aged between seven and nine, sometimes younger – at risk of being taken out of the UK for a holiday and being subjected to the procedure.


Medical professionals in Scotland are being confronted with the complications and often horrible damage of FGM – both physical and mental. Today, a major two-day conference begins in Glasgow with the aim of finding ways of increasing public awareness of FGM and continuing existing work with the health services on the issue.


The Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development (Forward), an international non-governmental organisation, has compiled figures suggesting that 20,000 girls in the UK are at risk of FGM. Naana Otoo-Oyortey, Forward’s director, says some information from hospitals between 2001 and 2004 showed a 40 per cent increase in women who have been subjected to some sort of FGM.

We don’t have as many immigrants here as Britain does from countries where FGM is practiced.

Most cases of FGM are in 28 African countries, such as Egypt, Somalia and Sudan. Prevalence runs as high as 98 per cent in some nations, while in others – such as Nigeria, Kenya, Togo and Senegal – the rates vary between 20 and 50 per cent. It can also be found in Yemen, Oman, Iraqi Kurdistan, among some Bedouin women in Israel, and in parts of India and Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia. 

But we do have some, including the Somali refugees who make up a substantial proportion of the refugees we have accepted in the last few years. From the article, it sounds as if the British weren’t aware of the problem until fairly recently. I hope our health officials are on top of the problem, but I don’t have a lot of confidence.

To the Brits’ credit, there isn’t even a hint in the article of the culturally relative attitude we saw in the New York Times, where some people actually believe female genital mutilation is just-another-cultural-practice-and-who-are-we-to-judge? People there are horrified by it and appear to be taking action. Then there’s this interesting bit:

London-based midwife Comfort Momoh was made an MBE in the New Year honours list for her work reversing Type III FGM cases. She has trained midwives around the UK and will be speaking at this week’s conference in Glasgow. There are now 14 clinics in the UK continuing the work.

Type III cases are the worst ones, where the women’s genitals are pretty much cut out and she is stitched up so there is just a tiny hole. As you can imagine, this leads to horrible health problems in addition to the physical and psychological trauma of the procedure itself. I didn’t know it could be reversed; hurray for these midwives for undoing some of the damage to these poor women.