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SOMALIS

Somali Parents Empower Youth: Battling ‘Woke’ Minnesota Schools and the Battle for Better Education

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By KELLY LACO, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF POLITICS FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

A handful of Somali parents who hoped to provide better lives for their children in Minnesota are now battling it out with their public school district for teaching ‘sexualized topics’ without their consent.

First Liberty Institute is representing six Somali-Muslim families who are asking to be notified before their children are instructed on LGBTQ identities, because they say it violates their religious beliefs.

Their children are all aged seven to nine years old, and the majority are in the third and fourth grades.

Attorneys sent a letter Thursday to the school district first obtained by DailyMail.com, saying the district has failed to ‘provide notice to parents before controversial issues are taught, or to give an opportunity for parents to review curriculum in advance.’

According to Minnesota state law, the school district must provide parents with notice before ‘sexualized topics’ will be covered in class. In addition, parents must be allowed to determine if the curriculum is ‘consistent’ with their religious beliefs, and if it is not, they can choose to exclude their kids from the curriculum.

Several books that the children have already been exposed to against the wishes of their Muslim parents includes: ‘My Shadow is Pink, Our Subway Baby, and Ho’onani: Hula Warrior.’

My Shadow is Pink is a rhyming story ‘that touches on the subjects of gender identity, self acceptance, equality and diversity,’ according to the book’s description on Amazon.

The boy realizes he likes activities and colors ‘not for boys’ as he explores his gender identity.

The children were already exposed to these texts without any notice or consent, the letter states.

‘And they have no way of knowing what books their children will be exposed to next.’

One mother, speaking at a recent school board meeting, brought up the book ‘Our Subway Baby’ that she says introduced her child to the concept of having two gay fathers.

‘We are troubled by the way these books are being presented to our children,’  stated.

‘This approach directly conflicts with our deeply held religious beliefs,’ she continued, saying the Constitution protects those rights.

She said that their ‘concerns are not rooted in animosity toward any group, including the LGBTQ community,’ and the families feel ‘grateful’ for the opportunity to live in a community that values ‘diversity and freedom.’

Their request is simply to be notified of the content of the materials first before it is presented to young children.

But lawyers for the families say that the school district is still failing to provide advance notice or ‘an opportunity to review curriculum’ before their children are exposed.

In addition, the district requires parents to describe their reasons for opting out – which they say is a ‘burdensome prerequisite.’

Furthermore, the families’ religious beliefs are therefore being invited to be ‘scrutinized.’

An attorney representing the families says they are dealing with severe stress and anxiety due to the school district’s silence.

DailyMail.com reached out to the school district for a response and spokesperson Rachel Hicks confirmed receipt of the letter.

Hicks said that the K-5 literacy curriculum ‘reflects storylines of LGBTQ+ students and families.’

In addition, the curriculum is ‘in alignment’ with the values held by the district.

‘We understand that families may have diverse perspectives and preferences when it comes to the curriculum, reading materials and literature topics covered in the classroom,’ she said in the statement.

‘We encourage parents and caregivers to engage in conversations directly with their teachers and principals if they have questions. We appreciate the partnership of families in creating an educational environment that respects the needs and humanity of each student.’

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AFRICA

Turkey under pressure to seek return of Somalia president’s son involved in fatal traffic crash

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The Turkish government is under pressure to seek the return of the Somali president’s son who allegedly fled Turkey after causing a fatal traffic crash in Istanbul

The Turkish government is facing mounting pressure to seek the return of the Somali president’s son, who allegedly fled Turkey after causing a fatal traffic crash in Istanbul.

Yunus Emre Gocer, a 38-year-old motorcycle courier, died of injuries in a hospital on Dec. 6, six days after he was hit by a car driven by Mohammed Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on a busy highway in Istanbul.

Turkish authorities ordered Mohamud arrested and barred him from traveling abroad following the motorcyclist’s death, but reports said the Somali president’s son had already left Turkey by the time the warrant was issued.

On Sunday, dozens of people, including motorcycle courier groups, staged a demonstration in Istanbul demanding that Mohamud face trial for Gocer’s death.

Ekrem Imamoglu, the mayor of Istanbul and a prominent opposition politician, tweeted a security camera video of the crash, claiming that the “suspect left Turkey with his hands free,” and accusing the government of “being too weak to defend the rights of its own citizens.”

Responding to the pressure, Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said without elaborating that “international procedures” had been initiated concerning the crash.

“Regardless of their title, everyone is equal before the law and the entire process for the capture of the suspect — including the international procedure — is being carried out meticulously,” Tunc tweeted on Sunday.

Separately, Tunc said that an investigation was also launched into police officers who conducted an initial investigation into the collision and allegedly allowed Mohamud to go free.

There was no immediate information on Mohamud’s whereabouts, and officials in Somalia haven’t commented on the incident.

On Monday, a Somali diplomat in Turkey told The Associated Press that the president’s son took the severely injured victim to a hospital after the crash. He later travelled to Dubai, according to the diplomat.

The diplomat, who requested anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to speak to the media on the matter, said that the car is owned by the Somali Embassy. The president’s family travels with diplomatic passports and had previously lived in Turkey, according to the official.

In Somalia, Mogadishu resident Ibrahim Hassan expressed concerns that the fatal collision could harm ties with Turkey and adversely affect Somalis living in Turkey.

“There may be consequences for the Somali community living in Turkey and members of the Somali business community,” he said. “The fear is that if President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud fails to send his son back to Turkey to face justice, it could strain the relationship between the two nations.”

Turkey has built close ties with Somalia since 2011 when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — then prime minister — visited the East African nation in a show of support for the country, which was suffering from severe drought. Turkey has provided humanitarian aid, built infrastructure and opened a military base in Somalia where it has trained officers and police.

Omar Faruk contributed to this report from Mogadishu, Somalia.

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