Somalis in the Diaspora have, over the years, chalked major successes in the political landscape of the various host countries that they have had to adjust to in the midst of challenges.
In recent years, Ihan Omar made headlines when she became the first Somali-American in Congress and the first member of the U.S. Congress to wear a hijab.
In Sweden, Laila Elmi, a Somali born woman recently secured a seat in Sweden’s parliament, making her the first Somali-Swedish ever to be elected to the Riksdag. There is also Sheffield’s flamboyant Lord Mayor Magid Magid.
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Now in London, a young teacher and Labour activist from Brent, Faduma Hassan, is contesting to become the Labour party’s Barnet and Camden candidate for the London Assembly elections scheduled for May 2020.
At the GLA elections for the Mayor of London and London Assembly Members, electors vote for: 1) The London Mayor, 2) the London-wide GLA Assembly Members and 3) their Constituency GLA Assembly Member. The GLA elections are held every 4 years.
Hassan, who has been a massive supporter of politician and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, is hoping to be chosen as Barnet and Camden candidate for the upcoming race.
“The GLA has so much potential to hold the government to account, to be a campaigning body, to be a progressive voice for all Londoners.
“I want to fight for a London Assembly that uses its full powers to make the lives of all Londoners better and to be a campaigning force.
“I’m running because we need activists, leaders, people who know the problems because they have faced them…I’ll be honoured if you would nominate me in your CLPs and vote for me,” said Hassan, who moved to the UK from Somalia as a refugee with her family.
Hassan previously contested in the Brent local election, as the Labour Party candidate for Kilburn. She has since received many praises for her latest step, especially considering the tough conditions being faced by most members of the Somali community in London.
Apart from the racism that black people often complain about, Muslims in Britain do face discrimination and surveillance from anti-terror laws, Hassan wrote in 2016, adding that Muslim women are the most socio-economically disadvantaged people in society.
“Black people are overall 3 times more likely to be unemployed than white people. Racism goes much deeper than “prejudice”. It is a political problem that requires political solutions,” the councillor said.
At the moment, representatives from North London’s Somali community say hundreds of children have been flown to Somalia, Somaliland and Kenya to escape the UK’s knife crime epidemic.
According to the BBC, eight per cent of those knifed to death on Britain’s streets this year has been of Somali heritage. Two in five Somalian families in London are sending their children to Africa because they feel the police cannot protect them against county lines gangs.
Here’s how Hassan hopes to tackle some of the above-mentioned problems if given the nod: