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Anti-Somali sentiment or Somalophobia refers to the existence of fear and hostility against Somalis, or their culture.


Anti-Somali sentiment is sometimes referred to by the countable sense Somalophobe or the uncountable sense of Somalophobia,[1] or Somalophobic sentiment.[2] The antonym and opposite sentiment is referred to by the countable sense Somalophile, or its uncountable equivalent of Somalophilia.[3]


The Aughties and early 2010s saw major sporadic outbreaks of violence against Somali shopkeepers in South Africa. This violence has been attributed to jealousy over the success of Somali businesses, and ethnic tensions.[4] However, some writers have attributed such hostility to a wider xenophobia, since other non-South Africa Africans were targeted as well.[2] Somaliphobia has also been reported in Kenya during their invasion into Jubbaland in 2011.[1] Anti-Somali sentiment is sometimes expressed in the context of anti-immigration sentiment.[5][6] Anti-Somali sentiments sometimes overlap with Islamophobic sentiments. On Oct. 30, 2015, Asma Jama (a Muslim woman of Somali descent and Kenyan nationality) was beaten for speaking Swahili in an Applebee's in the outskirts of Minneapolis. The perpetrator for that violence was charged with third-degree assault. In June 2016, two Somalis were shot after wearing their traditional clothing.[7] A week prior to the shooting, a Somali halal shop in the city was vandalized.[8] Minneapolis City Council member Abdi Warsame discussed anti-Somali sentiments in the aftermath of the shooting of Justine Damond by a Somali police officer.[9]


There are also some pejorative terms that serve to dehumanize Somalis. The term skinnie became popularized with the film Black Hawk Down. The term has been said to allude to reducing Somalis to their humanitarian struggles[10] and National Public Radio has suggested that its usage deprives Somalis of their own point of view.[11] The term Abdi is also sometimes pejoratively used to refer to male Somalis.[12] The Associated Press's stylebook suggested that Somali is the correct demonym or adjective rather than Somalian.[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Tension Runs High In Kenya's 'Little Mogadishu'".
  2. ^ a b "Does South Africa black-phobic blacks suffer inferiority complex? - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan".
  3. ^ The Road to Hell, Michael Maren, 2009
  4. ^ Charman, Andrew, and Laurence Piper. "Xenophobia, criminality and violent entrepreneurship: violence against Somali shopkeepers in Delft South, Cape Town, South Africa." South African Review of Sociology 43.3 (2012): 81-105.
  5. ^ "Integration Center coffee encourages communication".
  6. ^ "MPS and Somali Community Gather on Parliament Hill to Mourn the Victims of the Mogadishu Attack".
  7. ^ "Lauderdale Man Charged In Alleged 'Hate Crime' Shootings". CBS News. July 25, 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  8. ^ Harvard, Sarah A. (1 July 2016). "2 Muslim Men Were Shot Near Minneapolis Mosque, Police Are Investigating as Hate Crime". Mic. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Warsame blasts anti-Somali rhetoric in wake of Damond shooting". Star Tribune.
  10. ^ Behnke, Andreas. "The re-enchantment of war in popular culture." Millennium 34.3 (2006): 937-949.
  11. ^ Jacobson, Harlan. "Bad day at black rock." Film Comment 38.1 (2002): 28.
  12. ^ Phoenix, Aisha. "Somali young women and hierarchies of belonging." Young 19.3 (2011): 313-331.
  13. ^ "AP Stylebook on Twitter".