Somalia has been known for a country that is not developed and is unsafe to live in. However, what holds people together in the country is religion. I will discuss how paramount religion is to the individuals in the country and the values they hold as a society. Along with what ethnic groups are in the country of Somalia and how they revolve around societal issues. Religion Religion is a big part of their identity in Somalia. Islam is the primary religion in Somalia and almost 100% of the population in Somalia are Sunni Muslims.
They follow and go by the five pillars of Islam faith. ) Faith or belief in the oneness of God and the finality of the prophet Muhammad, 2) prayer five times a day, 3) giving 25% of one’s income to charity, 4) making a pilgrimage to Mella, Saudi Arabia, at least once in one’s lifetime, and 5) fasting from sun dawn until dusk every day during the period of Ramadan (Samotor, 1993). Sunni- Islam’s religion prohibits individuals to eat pork and drink alcohol. Islam follows peace, mercy, and forgiveness. Somalis religion has also had an impact on women in their society. Women are to stay at home and take care of the family.
They can work, but it cannot interfere with household work and each woman is prohibited from eating certain types of food. Religion has played a big role in past conflicts within the country. Due to Somalia’s transitional government not adopting a constitution. A transitional charter established Islam is the state religion, which led to Christian mission schools closing in 1972. Also, foreign protestant missionaries were expelled in 1976. In the later years Somalia declared a constitution that forbids proselytizing of any religion but Islam. The number of practitioners of Islamic faith is growing.
Teachers from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan are coming to Somalia to teach the individuals in the country the importance of Islam. Al-lslahard and Al- Ittihad are two Islamic groups which have organized within the country with a goal to establish an Islamic state. Groups of non-Sunni Muslims are viewed as suspicious by a majority of Sunnis. In 1996, this year effectively, impacted Somali the most. New rules, religious schools and places of worship are required to obtain the Ministry’s permission to operate. Also new entry visas for religious groups must be approved by the ministry.
Ethnic Make-up The ethnic makeup of Somali consists of groups that go by the name of Bentu, Rerhamer, Browen/Browonese, Bajuni Galgale, Gaheyle, Boni, Eyle, Midgan, Tumal, Yibir, Ashrat. Migration of Somalians was enormous when the president of Siyaad Burre’s regime fell. This led to 900,000 Somalians fleeing to neighboring nations. Some went to Kenya. A majority of them later returned. The total number of migrants living in Somali today is estimated at 22,000 and the government views the migration level as satisfactory. In the early 1970’s many Somalians moved toward the south and southwest.
Since the north was drought stricken. There was a campaign that led the population to be intentionally displaced since 1988. In the early 90’s, many Somalians were forced into refugee camps due to fighting and starvation. 10 years of civil war led to ongoing migration. The Civil war led Somalians to leave the country of Somali and find new areas to live. Almost 70,000 Somalians were admitted into the U. S. as refugees in the collapse of the civil war resulted in humanitarian disaster, immense violations of basic human rights protection and humanitarian assistance.
Today, there are about one million Somalians that live scattered around the world. Many students went to the U. S. for education and now they are returning to their country. Since, Somalia is more developed. Today, International reports don’t maintain minorities and their rights. There are no reliable population statistics due to the chaos in the country. There are significant minorities in the country which have been excluded from power. Somalia minorities face socially- institutionalized discrimination and severe human rights abuses.
The traditional clan structure formed by the majorities continues to exchange minorities from political participation and employment, which limits their access to justice where abuse was against them or they stand accused of crimes, denies them their rights to development education and sustainable livelihoods and places restrictions on intermarriage between majority’s negativland minorities. Minorities face hate speech, which has served negative stereotypes. Today, Minorities most importantly face denial and abuses of their basic human rights violations are legally binding on Somali.
Societal Issues Women face discrimination and their rights are violated. The overthrow of president Said Rerre marked a turning point in Somali politics, economy and society. Since then Somali has suffered and began to become unsafe. Merchants were selling weapons on the streets for very low costs but hope is still alive through the women in the country. Women have over 20 plus organizations that are running to help promote peace and conciliation between the North and South of Mogadishu. Women at this point are the only victims to help de-centralize a war turn nation.
Women are also the only hope that Somali has of over reaching a legitimate way of decreasing violence and reaching political economic stability in Somali. Women have gathered in large groups to protest. They are demanding peace negations and to be included in any future authority. The future of Somalia is uncertain. However, the effects on women and their actions toward peace are a step into having a safe and peaceful country. It may take some time due to militants still causing problems not caring about women and preventing Somali from returning to the country it once was.
Conclusion Overall, even though the country of Somali is unsafe and the women don’t have rights. The women are now stepping in trying to restore their rights and freedom. By forming large groups of women who are looking for peace. Along with helping re-shape and re-build the country like it once was. However, strong religious beliefs are holding these individuals together. Even though some individuals left the country. When it was not developed. These individuals are slowly returning. Due to the country getting much stronger and more secure. Which will help rebuild their society.