Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

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The American crescent

Abdi says he would sacrifice his life for the country he calls home.

The taxi driver taking me to the airport in Minneapolis is not referring to his birthplace, Somalia, but to the US – the place where he has lived for the last 13 years.

Abdi is part of a 44,000-strong Somali community in the liberal western state of Minnesota, most of who are Muslim.

My own adopted home, England, has an even larger Somali community, which has been settled for longer, but they do not tend to think of England as home.

But in Minnesota, Somalis – no less scarred or traumatised by their experiences – seem to have planted roots deeper and faster than any Somali community I have seen in the world.

They do not talk of returning home, they are home.

The Somali community’s sense of belonging in Minnesota runs contrary to the image many people may have of an irreconcilable conflict between America and Islam.

Al Jazeera English – Americas – The American crescent