Local Somalis holding rally to condemn violence in homelandby Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Somali-Americans in Minnesota will protest a rash of suicide bombings in their homeland at a rally Friday in Minneapolis.
Somalia has been at civil war for the past two decades, but suicide attacks began to surface only recently. Last month, the radical Islamic group Al-Shabaab struck again, killing a number of Somali government officials and tribal leaders.
Federal authorities think Shirwa Ahmed of Minneapolis, a U.S. citizen, was responsible for a suicide bombing last fall.
Some Somali-Americans worry that the bombings will take hold of their home country like an incurable cancer.
But Ato Shaair, who is organizing the Minneapolis rally, is one of the hopeful. Shaair says Somalis won't stand for terrorism.
"A lot of people are saying enough is enough. We've got to stop this. This cannot continue," Shaair said. "The anguish and the suffering is unacceptable. I think the community and Somalis all over the world will reject this ideology."
Shaair is expecting hundreds of Somali-Americans, from religious leaders to college students, will come out to condemn the violence with one voice.
Shaair said Ahmed's alleged role in the October attack is all the more reason why Somalis in Minnesota must condemn the violence. Shaair said many Somali-Americans were angered when they heard the news.
"They're wondering why would a Somali who's here and who came here to find peace and a safe haven would go back to commit these acts of terror? It doesn't represent us," Shaair said. "The community is against suicide bombings."
Some Somalis in Minnesota have been personally affected by the violence of their homeland. One Twin Cities woman lost some of her close relatives in a bombing last month in western Somalia.
The rally will take place Friday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Peavey Park in Minneapolis.