Comment worth noting: Canadian Somali Conference more significant than its billing suggests?

Update: Be sure to read the comments to this post because ‘Somali woman’ confirms it was the Rhama Conference and she tells us more about it.

Reader ‘Somali woman’ is back with another warning.  Regular readers may remember we had an interesting exchange with her  here almost two weeks ago.   Last night ‘Somali woman’ was back with more concerning information in response to my post on May 26th about the US terror warning to border states about Somalis illegally entering the US.

This is what she says (emphasis is mine):

This isn’t surprising at all and it is too little too late. The Somalis are unwilling to assimilate, but they are willing to make everything their own: schools, malls, stores, mosques, and even districts. There are two kinds of these Islamists: 1. The one who has brought his ideologies overseas, and 2. The young ones who were brainwashed that live in the U.S.A. When one goes down the drain the other raises up its a continuous cycle.

3 weeks ago I attended (I had to) the First Annual Somali Islamic Conference which brought over 3,000 Somalis across the GTA [Greater Toronto Area] in Canada. Surprisingly the main point of this conference was: to build Islamic schools across Toronto and for Somalis to be able to have control over their children (as they say they don’t like or trust public schools and their children to attend them), to start Somali language and Arabic classes, to merge the biggest Somali mosques in Toronto: Abu Hurairah and Khalid bin Walid into one big mosque, the establishment of the MBA (Muslim Basketball Association, already established, trying to be as high and famous as the NBA), to form the Islamic Somali Imam’s Council of North America, etc.

This shows that the Somalis are coming to the move of where they want to establish a Shariah based laws in the West and its already heading in that direction. The conference was the first of its kind to gather all Somalis living in Canada and might extend to the United States.

All the preachers and Shiekhs of the conference were not surprisingly of either Somali, Arab, and or Pakistani descend. They came from all over the world: Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, USA, Canada, Australia, the UK, etc. for this conference and they had a great impact on the people because I have witnessed people literally in religious hypnosis mode (chanting prayers in Arabic or Somali) and some were even crying in agreement to the Shiekhs. So you see and know where this is heading.

Thanks to a trio of bloggers (Gates of Vienna, Vlad Tepes, and Blazing Cat Fur) who did some quick digging, below is a description of the conference Khadra likely attended in Canada.  The Rhama Conference was held at the International Centre in Toronto on May 22 and 23 and was benignly described as follows:

Islam is a natural perfection of balance, far from any extremes and in total agreement with our fitra. Our Muslim Ummah is in dire need to return to the long lost middle path of wasatiyyah. Only through our return to this path can the Ummah regain its legacies and fulfill our duty rightfully to our creator.

“Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that ye may be witnesses over mankind, and that the messenger may be a witness over yourselves ..” Quran 2:143

Abu Huraira Centre and Khalid bin walid mosque, two distinguished masjids have joined together to address these issues and many alike. On May 22nd and 23rd at the renown International Centre in Toronto, we are pleased to invite you to a one of a kind convention where two conferences will be occurring simultaneously under one roof!

The Rahma Conference will host one of the largest Somali oriented conferences in North America, hosting some of the most renown Somali Masha’ekh globally. In addition we will also be hosting English speaking Shiekhs most of which are known for their heartfelt approach and motivational speeches. This year Rahma Conference is pleased to announce we will have guest Sheikh Adil Kalbani (Imam Masjid Haram) apart of the program prepared for our attendees.

Do not miss out!

Special Guests
Sheikh Mohamed Ahmed Nur (Garyare)
Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame ( Hadraawi)

List of Somali Speakers:
Sh. Mohamed Dirir (Hargeisa)
Sh. Mustafa Haruun (Oslo)
Sh. Abdirahman Sh. Omar (MN)
Sh. Osman Madad (Vancouver)
Dr. Abdirisaq Takar (UK)
Sh. Mohamed D. Roble (UK)
Sh. Abdulqadir Ali Camba (UK)
Sh. Bashir Shiil (Toronto)
Sh. Said Rageah (Toronto)

List of English speakers:
Sh. Abdulqadir Ali – Camba (UK)
Sh. Abu Taubah
Sh. Kamal El-Mekki
Sh. Navaid Aziz
Sh. Said

We are so naive (as ‘Somali woman’ has reminded us previously).  Was there any Canadian press coverage of a meeting that brought together 3000 Somalis from all over North America?  Does anyone know?  Is anyone paying attention?

National Refugee “Consultation” scheduled for Washington, DC next week

Update June 6th: More from Friends of Refugees about hand-selected refugees who presumably will tow the line sponsored to go to the Grand Hyatt by the International Rescue Committee, here.

Update June 3: Friends of Refugees has more on this consultation and about how some former refugees can’t go to relate their concerns about the programs failings, here.

Here is the official invitation from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  Although Eskinder Negash, formerly of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (a federal contractor) and now director of ORR (see revolving door), says you are all invited, he doesn’t really mean you—the taxpaying public!  By that I mean when I first heard about this I tried to register but I’m an “other” and the “other” category closed out immediately (I bet they had two spots for “others”!)  Now I see the registration is completely closed.    Anyway below is Director Negash’s friendly sounding invite:

Dear Friends,

It is my pleasure to invite you to the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) 2010 National Consultation, Honoring 30 Years of Service: Commitment, Hope, and Dignity, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington D.C. on Monday, June 7, 2010 and Tuesday, June 8, 2010.

As you may know, for the past three decades, ORR, in partnership with states and non-profit agencies, have helped refugees and other vulnerable populations achieve self-sufficiency and resettle in the United States by providing short-term cash and medical assistance, employment services, transportation, translation/interpreter services, English language instruction, case management, vocational training, and many other services. In an effort to better support the refugee community, ORR hosts a national consultation with its federal, state and local partners each year. This year’s consultation will feature several small-group dialogue sessions to facilitate consultation between ORR and its stakeholders and a listening session dedicated to refugee leaders and refugee community members. Your participation in these sessions, as refugee resettlement professionals and refugees, is critical to the success of the consultation.

Immediately following the consultation, ORR will host a working session on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 and Thursday, June 10, 2010, also at the Grand Hyatt in Washington D. C. I encourage State Refugee Coordinators, Refugee Health Coordinators and individuals working in the Wilson/Fish and Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) programs to participate in these sessions.

I hope that you will be able to join us at ORR’s 2010 National Consultation and the training days that immediately follow. I look forward to your participation in helping to expand the national dialogue on the refugee program as we highlight innovative programmatic directions, address current challenges facing incoming populations, and celebrate 30 years of refugee resettlement.


Eskinder Negash
Office of Refugee Resettlement

The Grand Hyatt!

First off, don’t you just love it that when the economy is still sinking and refugees are out of work (along with a lot of other people) and fearing evictions from their apartments, we have the federal refugee gang and all the non-profit humanitarian groups meeting in the Grand Hyatt in Washington DC!   Check out the Grand Hyatt here (Escape to extraordinary elegance at Grand Hyatt Washington).   Rooms start at around $226 for one person (assuming you signed up in time).  I know for sure there are less expensive conference venues just across the river in Northern Virginia.  Almost every attendee will be on the taxpayers’ dime because the humanitarian refugee industry is now almost completely funded by you.

They are bringing in select refugees

The word went out from Mr. Negash’s office in early May that the Washington folks wanted to meet some refugees and hear directly from them about how things are going.   However, the memo indicates that refugees would have to find “sponsors” to pay their way to Washington and their stay at the Grand Hyatt.  So, my question is, won’t the refugees say just what their “sponsors” want them to say since the likely sponsors would be the resettlement contractors.  What do you think the odds are that any refugee making waves and voicing criticism of the program will be there?

Fear of rape enough to get refugee status in Canada?

A recent decision by a Canadian court could open the door for any Haitian woman believing she might be raped to seek asylum in Canada.

From The Star:

A groundbreaking Federal Court ruling has opened doors to Haitian women who are seeking refugee status in Canada because they are afraid of being raped in their own country, where sexual violence is a growing problem.

“It means a Haitian woman making a refugee claim on that basis should succeed, as long as conditions in Haiti remain as they are now,” said lawyer Raoul Boulakia.

Boulakia represents Elmancia Dezameau, a Haitian-born mother of four who sought refugee protection after arriving in Toronto in 2007, arguing she and her four daughters were at risk of being targeted for rape if she were returned home.

In support of her case, Boulakia filed reports from several international aid agencies, including Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders, which identified rape as a systemic problem in Haiti, one that has worsened since January’s earthquake.

Does this mean all Haitian women are eligible for refugee status in Canada?  It sounds like it to this lawyer.

Lawyers for the federal government argued that if Dezameau won her case, all female refugee claimants from Haiti would automatically be granted refugee protection simply because they are women.

Pinard [a Justice] rejected that argument, saying female refugee claimants from Haiti will still have to prove their risk of being raped is more than a mere possibility.

According to this story from The Star at least, it sounds like she didn’t have to submit anything in court besides general reports that rape in Haiti was widespread.  So is the Justice saying she still has to prove she is personally threatened?

Rape as a weapon to terrorize women is used throughout Africa too, so does this mean all women from certain countries would be eligible for refugee status in Canada?   It is hard to tell exactly what this ruling does.