By: Khaled Mohamoud [Ibn Khaldun]
Since the Somali discourse of Dhako-Cadaan [basically whiteness mindset manifested in black people] commenced their propaganda project through social media platforms and posting absurd articles on popular Somali-owned news outlets, it had been a great opportunity to scrutinize and dismantle the core themes of this ill-formed discourse.
Being a Somalilander and a supporter of Cadaan-Studies activism motivated my intellectual curiosity to search the story behind the well-organized propagandist effort to sway public opinion from the truth about Cadaan-Studies and hijack the newly born intellectual renaissance regarding Somali-Studies.
I have decided to stand up for truth, objectivity and academic neutrality, bearing in mind that truth would always triumph over ill-willed disinformation and defamation.
Mohamed Hagi, a young Somaliland academician from the University of Warwick and a known proponent of Dhako-Cadaanism has tripped-up recently when he published an extremely strange piece where he presented a whole load of unauthentic information in a hopeless attempt to defame Cadaan-Studies activism by reducing the whole academic debate about whiteness privilege in Somali-Studies into a narrow political level through mangling it with the Anti-Somaliland hate politics of Somaliwayn discourse.
The whiteness mindset of Mohamed Hagi is utterly pervasive in his penultimate piece where he argued that the SJAS journal has nothing to do with Somali academics, while in reality the SJAS journal is focused on African Studies by which Somali people and Somali-Studies would be an integral part of its scope.
Mohamed Hagi showed his Dhako-Cadaan mentality in a clear remark: “The group of the SJAS writers are Sociologists, Anthropologists and Political Scientists. It is all about Research Studies in Africa, I think it is nothing to do with history and geography or even to be included with Somali academics.” [http://somalilandmonitor.net/somaliland-the-conspiracy-scheme-of-cadaan-studies/4384/]
This is not only to dismiss, abhor and despise Somali academics but also a clear effort to divert and misrepresent the Somaliland Journal of African Studies. The SJAS defined its scope clearly; “The scope of the journal is African affairs at large, but with a particular scope in East Africa and the Horn.” [http://sjasipcs.wix.com/home#!about/c226g]
The most important theme in the recent Dhako-Cadaan discourse and its center of gravity is the argument that attempts to link Cadaan-Studies Activism with the bankrupt Somaliwayn ideology, as a hopeless effort to cause the miscarriage of the new Somali Studies intellectual renaissance and silence Cadaan-Studies activists like Safia Aidid through mobilizing the Somaliwayn stigma as a last resort.
Mohamed Hagi argues that Safia Adid the pioneer of the Cadaan-Studies recent activism is the thespian [Italics in original] of a much bigger conspiracy against Somaliland. The only thing that he uses to support this paranoia is that Safia Aidid and Abdi Samater both said that “In 1943 the first modern nationalist movement, the Somali Youth Club, was founded. The club changed its name to the Somali Youth League and became a full-fledged political machine with offices and officers with all the Somalilands except Djibouti (French Somaliland), the first time specified an independence date, which was to be 1960 for Somalia’’. [Abdi Samater, 1989]
This is a nice attempt to add some sense to his paranoia and conspiracy theory but fails to do so for two reasons:
- First of all, Safia Aidid clarified that both SNL and SYL where part of the nationalist wave in the 1940’s and 1950’s which brought sovereignty to the former anglo-italian Somali colonies. She said this in her Facebook page in Somali “Halka gumaysi diidka cusub ee 1940dii iyo 1950dii ay doonayeen in gumaysigu dhammaado oo la helo dowladu ka madax bannaan xukunka Yurub. SYL iyo SNL waxay ka mid ahaayeen mawjaddaas waddaninimo.” [https://www.facebook.com/safia.aidid/posts/10153238976013895?pnref=story]
- Second, it’s true that historians differentiate historic events into categories; we all know that there is a system of classifying human history into two broad categories namely, Pre-history and Recorded history. Besides that there are sub categories like the three-age system in pre-history namely Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. On the other hand, Recorded History has sub categories which are: Ancient history, postclassical history and modern history. Further, modern history has sub categories which are; Early Modern History, Later Modern History and Contemporary History. The Contemporary Modern history defined as “too near, too closely interwoven with our lives, too much part of our destiny” [Reichmann (1960:191)].
Contemporary history is the part of history which is connected to our present, though it’s highly controversial yet some historians define it as the period from the beginning of WW2 to present. The working definition of contemporary history for the ICBH is the period since 1945. [Brian Brivati, the Contemporary History Handbook, 1996, Manchester University].
That being said, if we accept the above definition the establishment of SYL falls in that WW2 period which is a contemporary modern history. While SNL predated SYL, I don’t see any acceptable reason to endorse SYL while neglecting SNL but no one in Cadaan-Studies activists did anything as such. Though it’s a highly sensitive issue but the mere categorization of history and linking specific historic categories to specific events in the past doesn’t necessitate bias and intellectual dishonesty.
All in all, Dhako-Cadaan activists lack a thorough understanding of Cadaan-Studies activism, the whole academic inquiry of history is not necessarily a manifestation of whiteness construction though it might have some Cadaan influence yet we can’t argue that classification of historic events is all about Cadaan.
Quoting this part from Abdi Samater is not enough to stamp Safia Aidid as anti-Somaliland. Cadaan-Studies activism would prevail and those young Somali academics won’t accept to be reduced into Somaliwayn hate politics.
Dhako-Cadaan activists must bear in mind that their effort to deceive the public opinion and divert the cause is bound to failure. We are the Somalilanders, we support Somali-Studies to be emancipated from the chains and the prejudices of whiteness, we are strong, and Somaliland will exist, no matter what sort of propaganda is employed.