By. Prof. Abdisalam Yassin Mohamed.
The British people are known for their politeness. Therefore, we (i.e. my humble soul and my fellow citizen Somaliland) would like to politely tell them, in their language, to go home and stay home.
All of a sudden, the British government has made an announcement advising its citizens to leave Somaliland since it is no longer safe for them to stay there. This is the first time this advice to British citizens to immediately leave Somaliland is given by the British government. Therefore, the British authorities must have obtained undeniable intelligence that a highly dangerous terrorist plot is imminent to happen.
The terrorist plot happened a day later after the British government made the announcement. But it did not happen anywhere in Somaliland. It happened in Somalia, particularly in Mogadishu and right in front of the Prime Minister’s office. We condemn any kind of terrorism any where in the world. And we also understand the early warning systems developed by Western governments to forewarn against terrorist acts before they happen and destroy precious life and property.
However, since they do employ huge resources, both in the form of manpower and money, their early warning systems must be foolproof and must not undermine the abilities, the integrity, and the reputation of other nations.
It seems to me that Western nations, such as Britain, the US, and France, will always use the proverbial “double standards” when it comes to events, particularly terrorist events, that happen around the world. If a terrorist event happens, for example, in Britain, the US, or France, these countries do not raise alarm bells telling anyone to leave either London, New York, or Paris, let alone their entire countries. However, on the basis of an intelligence report, whether accurate or inaccurate, they tell their citizen to leave the so-called developing countries and stay away from them until further notice.
This Western policy does not only express “double standards”, it also expresses arrogance and disdain for anything or anyone not Western. The suspicion and disrespect burgeons if the person or the country is non-Western and Muslim, too. Indeed, it becomes an inherent fear of the “other”, who looks different and behaves different.
The other, who not so long ago was a slave or a colonial subject perceived simply either as a nigger, a darkie, or a savage whose burden has fallen upon the West to civilize him. In spite of the abolition of slavery, colonialism, and the declarations of freedom and universal human rights, the West’s political and economic domination, cultural supremacy, and hidden racism linger on. Hence, they use either their excessive fighting power or effective systems of retreat as the condition warrants.
Coming back to the British terrorist alert against Somaliland, I would like to put few questions to the British government. Of course, I do not anticipate the mighty British government to respond to the questions of my humble soul, but it is important to ask them if only for the record.
Your predicted terrorist act happened in Somalia and not in Somaliland, can you tell us how you mixed up the two? Has Britain forgotten that Somaliland as a country that shows its identity by insisting to maintain the English word “land’ as part of its name, keeping alive its separateness as a country (i.e. the former British Somaliland Protectorate), is different from Somalia (i.e. the former UN Trusteeship)? Does Britain wish to revive the failed union that took place between the two in 1960? Is Britain paving the way for the revival of “Greater Somalia” that its late Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, crafted in 1945? Is Britain a friend or a foe of Somaliland? And lastly, fear or no fear, what exactly does Britain want from Somaliland?