In the present, the cultural and religious climate in the Somalis as well as other parts of the region are affected by retrograded and old model customs and believes which seems to be an antithetical approach to the understanding of the nature of the world. Somali population which mostly settles horn of Africa esp.
Somalia has been under broad turmoil and feud around three decades is now turning in to a society whose entire existence and heritage seems to be debilitating. This prolonged political chaos in Somalia has not influenced only governance and stability but has also retarded the pivotal freethinkers and the mode of accurate critical thinking, and that is why the scholars; authors; and intellectuals are lamenting about the destitution of the society.
The Somali culture is full of remnants and superstitions of mankind’s primitive age, in spite of these false believes which even subsided their theoretical belief of the Islamic religion, the Somali culture is somehow religiously oriented but it has totally ignored many social issues, the deadly one which made the culture a bigotry and lust for persecution is; the inequality and humiliation of segregation in which portion of the Somali society is suffering from.
The first point which needs to be focused is the; egalitarianism and discrimination inside the Somalis. For instance, Gabooye, which is the name of one of the Somali clans and Somali pure descendants, has been facing long-term discrimination and bare isolation from the other society, Gabooye, is believed to be inferior to others due to vague and baseless histories which are uttering that; Gabooye, clan once upon time ate dead animal flesh meat when severe drought emerged out, while others keep persisting in the hunger.
Frankly speaking there is nothing wrong both sociologically and religiously eating the body of the carcass during severe starvation and famine -while everyone is on the edge of mortality. This symbolism and propaganda effectively fuelled hatred among Somali clans and perpetuated conflicts of integration; inter-marriage and chauvinism. Besides that, this clan has been discriminated harshly from each public sector, socially, economically and even religiously dominated.
Somalis claim to be absolute Muslim religious people, but that is a fake aﬃrmation because of religions esp. [=Islam] always ties together the moral principle which it lays down for people and self-love which is centered in their nature. Religions combine the natural criterion of action and existence – so it can guarantee cheerfulness, comfort, justice, and egalitarianism!
Now thousands of Somali families are underneath of a cloud of a qualm and uncertainty owing to this inequity. Majority of the people had denied their existence and their social role. This tribal prejudice continued all through the seventeenth century up to now. Whatever, it’s startling how contemporarily Somali people accepted rudimentary customs and believes from ancient ancestor?! — Our ancestors who were among the people who sowed the seeds of this kind case were unequivocally illiterate people and they were unable to articulate the worth of human being.
In terms of mythology, there are many other imaginary stories which need to be cleansed from the morality of the people which are thought to be the products of either racially inherited traits or unknown etiology. Moreover, Satan or Jinn possession to the human body is still another theme which remains fuzzy one in the Somali people and a further society. Today there are inevitable habits and misleading beliefs which have been directly linked to religion as well as this one.
Somali people believe that Satan or jinn penetrate human body typically females, and following penetration, the person will be like an epileptic patient and unable to wake up until verses of Qur’an [God’s words] to be recited upon his ears.
Today there are nearly 500 religious remedy places [what so-called Illaaj in Arabic] within each Somali city which performs different procedures including herbal medication; Quran recitations and listening and another kind of brutalizing treatment.
It seems to me that a lot of evil deeds are done in the name of religions which are totally frightening and threatening. In these treatment areas there are belligerent mullah shaped individuals accompanied by strong and muscular men body guides which assists the aggressive treatment, for the first time of patients admission, patients hands and legs are tied tightly stretched wires and ropes which ceases patient movement even after patient arousal.
Furthermore, patients are crushed through thick and painful sticks and woods which sometimes consequences serious bodily injury. Most of the people assume these places as a therapeutic and psychotherapy center, and it’s the way they were persuaded.
These houses were designed resembling detention centers and have no ventilation gaps, as well, each wall of the rooms, outsized microphones, and extremely loud Quran cassette recordings are suspended which even sometimes can cause eardrum injury.
Mainly peoples who are admitted over these areas are psychiatric patients whom require medical care treatment and psychotherapy instead of conducting unjustified herbal remedy. However, there are nearby many other cultural, environmental, and traditional myths which still adheres the minds of numerous Somali people.
Abdirahman A. Adam Dhere is an Academic researcher, author, and Social Activist. He is also Horn of Africa analyst.