Minneapolis council race reveals anti-gay tensions in Somali refugee ‘community’

From Minneapolis Public Radio:

 MINNEAPOLIS — The political awakening of Minnesota’s Somali community poses a conundrum for the DFL party. While Somali-Americans overwhelmingly vote Democratic, many appear to disagree with the party when it comes to gay rights.

That tension was on display Sunday, as the party considered a dispute between a Somali city council candidate and the openly gay incumbent he’s running against.

At the meeting, the party’s Constitution, Bylaws and Rules Committee upheld the party’s endorsement of Abdi Warsame, who’s running for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council.

That seat is currently held by Robert Lilligren, who’s been on the council nearly a dozen years. But Lilligren lost the DFL endorsement this year to Warsame after hundreds of Somali-Americans turned out at precinct caucuses in April, and came back to the party’s convention, giving Warsame overwhelming support.  [We told you about the convention here.—-ed]


All 13 City Council wards in Minneapolis were redrawn last year as part of the post-census redistricting, and Lilligren’s ward changed substantially. Somali activists, led by Warsame, lobbied to have the borders moved so that as many East African voters as possible could be concentrated there.

Sacramento Iraqis have mental problems; no psychiatric treatment readily available

This is not the first time that we have written about Iraqi refugee mental health problems (and I suspect it won’t be the last).

So far, this fiscal year (2013) we have “welcomed” 11,066 Iraqis.  If the Sacramento percentages of suffering delicate Iraqis is representative then we have just admitted:

6,528 cases of insomnia

4,869 depressed people

4,537 people with headaches

4,205 fearful people

…all in need of mental health professionals to help them cope, so that they can find jobs.

LOL!  I bet the percentages of Americans reading this post who are experiencing sleeplessness, depression, headaches and fear are at about the same percentage as the Iraqis as we contemplate what the US State Department and the resettlement contractors are doing to America and how the heck we are going to pay for all of this!

Here is the story from California Health Line:

Many of the 2,700 Iraqi refugees living in the Sacramento area have experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder but struggle to obtain mental health care services, according to a report by the UC-Davis Health System Clinical and Translational Science Center, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The report was conducted with the help of Opening Doors,* a refugee resettlement agency, and the Mesopotamia Organization, an Iraqi self-help agency.

Report Findings

The report analyzed the number of Iraqi refugees experiencing PTSD symptoms and found that:

59% of refugees reported experiencing insomnia;
44% of refugees reported experiencing depression;
41% of refugees reported experiencing headaches; and
38% of refugees reported experiencing fear (Magagnini, Sacramento Bee, 6/3).

Obamacare to the rescue?  Don’t count on it!

According to the report:

65% of refugees reported experiencing long waits for treatment of symptoms;
74% of refugees said needed services were not covered by their health insurance; and
82% of refugees said that the U.S. health care system moved too slowly (UC-Davis report, May 2013).

The Iraqi unemployment rate in the US is at about 67%.   Who knew it was because they have so many mental health problems.

He ( Sarmed Ibrahim) added that the lack of medical treatment is affecting Iraqi refugees’ ability to obtain jobs.

Just a reminder, California takes the most refugees of any state, so its only going to get worse for Medi-Cal.

* Opening Doors is a Sacramento refugee resettlement agency.  Its most recent Form 990 is here.  Out of a revenue stream of $636,186, government grants (taxpayer dollars) supplied $595,700 of their income.

Mostly Christian refugees to be repatriated to Burma; US to end program for them

This story has been languishing in my posting queue for weeks, so I thought I better get it posted so as to keep our archives up to date.

Thailand’s Mae La Refugee Camp

After taking tens of thousands of Burmese refugees to the US, and turning cities such as Ft. Wayne, Indiana into the Burmese capital of America we are now saying, it’s o.k. for the rest of you to go back home.    Truth be told, I think we’re bored with the Burmese Christians and are planning to make room for Burmese Rohingya Muslims to diversify our refugee collection (after all that is only “fair”, right?).  We have already taken some Muslims from Burma.

This is the AP story from early last month:

Since the day she was born, 20-year-old Naw Lawnadoo has known almost nothing of the world beyond the fence and guard posts that hem her in with 45,000 others — ethnic minorities from Myanmar and those like her who were born and raised in the Mae La refugee camp in neighboring Thailand.

School, family, friends, shopping and churchgoing — many of the refugees are Christian — have all been confined to a valley of densely packed bamboo-and-thatch huts huddled under soaring limestone cliffs.

Now, she and other camp residents face a future that will dramatically change their constricted but secure, sometimes happy lives. With the end of 50 years of military rule in Myanmar, aid groups are beginning to prepare for the eventual return of one of the world’s largest refugee populations — some 1 million people in camps and hideouts spread across five countries.

The US took-in about 92,000 Burmese refugees in recent years.

Some may melt into Thailand, joining the 2.5 million migrant workers from Myanmar. A few may be resettled in third countries, though the United States is ending a program under which it has taken 80 percent of the 105,000 settled so far. With shrinking options, most will likely have no choice but to return.

While camp life is hardly cosmopolitan, some of the young can meet foreigners, have access to the Internet and occasionally slip out to a nearby town, or even the shopping malls and bright lights of Bangkok, Thailand’s capital. For them, the prospect of planting rice in isolated villages to which they would probably go holds little attraction.

I guess it wouldn’t.

Just goes to show the fickle nature of the US State Department’s refugee admissions program.

Bowling Green, KY a growing Muslim community, the result of refugee resettlement

Someone needs to tell Senator Rand Paul what is happening in his home town.

A mosque in Bowling Green. Saudi money?

Here is a gushy, politically correct, story (entitled: Growing Diversity) on the huge Muslim population in Bowling Green, but not one word about those Iraqi refugee terrorists convicted there last year.

From the Bowling Green Daily News (hat tip: Robin).    By the way, the Bosnian migration was a Bill Clinton project.  He wanted to help his meatpacking friends get some cheap refugee laborers.  I’m guessing he sold out America in exchange for some campaign cash from meatpacking giants.

But, you can bet that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was perfectly fine with it, or Kentucky wouldn’t be as high as it is on the list of states “welcoming” refugees.  The Bush State Department contributed also to the demographic change we see today.

Daily News:

When Sulejman Hasanovic moved to Bowling Green 15 years ago from Bosnia, he recalls the few Muslims who lived in the community at the time meeting in homes to worship.

Now, Bowling Green has two mosques and an estimated 7,000 Muslims, who make up about 10 percent of the city’s population. They have emigrated from as many as 23 countries, including Burma, Iraq and Russia.

Even with such a presence, Hasanovic still meets people who aren’t aware of Bowling Green’s Muslim population.

“It’s a big shock for them. They’re like, ‘Oh, you’re here,’ ” he said. “But after 15 years, I think people are getting used to us here.”

Thank USCRI!  That is the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants one of the primary resettlement contractors working in Bowling Green.  And, coincidentally that contractor is run by the woman, Lavinia Limon, who was Bill Clinton’s director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement during the initial Bosnian importation.  Back to the story:

A growing Muslim population

As they have in Bowling Green, Muslims have become part of the national fabric, with about 2.5 million living in the U.S., said Lawrence Snyder, associate religious studies professor at WKU. Bowling Green has one of the highest percentages of Muslims in the state, and it’s rare for a city of its size to have two mosques.

“For the most part, they have been welcomed without much backlash,” Snyder said. “I think that says a lot about the nature of our community.”

The large growth of Bowling Green’s Muslim community occurred in a relatively short amount of time because the city is seen as a good place for refugees to resettle and a lot of those refugees happen to be Muslim, Snyder said.

“In some ways it’s just kind of a quirk of history,” he said.

What the heck—a quirk of history! 

Snyder wants you to believe these Muslim refugees “found their way” to Bowling Green ’cause from a continent away they heard Bowling Green was lovely.  Bowling Green was targeted by the US State Department and its resettlement contractors.  The US State Department planned this demographic change! Maybe someday we will know why!

The rise of Muslim immigrants is not limited to Bowling Green, but is a trend across the nation as well.

Compared to 20 years ago, a smaller percentage of new U.S. green card recipients are coming from Europe and the Americas and a growing number are coming from Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, according to a report from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

In 2012, Muslims made up about 10 percent of new legal immigrants to the U.S., compared to 5 percent in 1992, according to the report.    [This is the study we told you about here.—ed]

To learn more about what “diversity” has brought to Bowling Green, we have an entire lengthy archive on this Kentucky city.  I think we first became aware of problems in Bowling Green in April 2008 when a Bosnian teen would-be robber was shot and killed by a homeowner.  The homeowner was exonerated.

The photo is from this blog which has photos from other mosques in Kentucky as well.

I’m AnnC@refugeewatcher on twitter. Please tweet this and also follow me!

Eric Hoffer explained Palestinian refugees — in 1968

The wise Eric Hoffer — the longshoreman who became a philosopher — said this in 1968, and it’s true today.  As quoted by Fred Gottheil on American Thinker:

The Jews are a peculiar people. Things permitted to other people are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions, of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it; Poland and Czechoslovakia did it; Turkey drove out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchmen; Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese — and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. …  Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.

The only update would be all the instances of nations driving out people since then.  And we can add that some people would like the United States to take all those other refugees in. Israel still has to take the Palestinians, and all their descendants.