[8] The mechanism is debated; however, modulation of the renin-angiotensin system has been implicated in animal studies of acute respiratory distress syndrome,[9] and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is a well-established receptor for the SARS-CoV virus.[10]. Cashman KD, Ritz C, Adebayo FA, Dowling KG, Itkonen ST, et al. BMJ Open. ... including Somali and Arabic due to the deaths in Sweden. Eur J Nutr. cramped housing accommodation, high rates of smoking and poor understanding of the Swedish language (which in turn leads to poor understanding of health information on covid-19 provided by the authorities) may explain the situation. Considering that only 0.84% of the Stockholm County population was born in Somalia (n=8,178 by … Often Somalis are gathering socially. Anne Speckhard, Ph.D., is Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. To draw comparisons between the Somali experience in Minnesota and Sweden, it is first necessary to present some preliminary population data. [7] In Israel, the ultra-orthodox are estimated to make up 12 percent of the population but are now turning up as 60 percent of the COVID-19 deaths, showing a similar trend to the Swedish Somali population. BMJ. To this, Othman asks if new immigrants are not required to learn Swedish upon arrival, if language incompetence is a major factor, and if men and women have the same difficulties. After the Somali death toll reached disproportionate to the percentage number of those living in Sweden, the authorities decided to interpret all useful information into Somali language.”, Abdirahman Sayid explains. Competing interests: If you are not careful COVID-19 will not differentiate between anyone based on their religion.”. Other Swedish medical experts estimate 18 percent of the COVID-19 deaths country-wide are from the Somali community. These include: 1) a culture of stubborn disregard of advice from authorities; 2) ignorance due to language barriers when that advice comes in languages other than Somali. [But,] in that world there was an invasion of a virus that the eye didn’t catch. This is not braveness; it is stupidity, since they have been told that the disease transmits through physical contact and sitting close to each other. Across Scandinavia this picture is repeated: Sweden has 57,000 Somalis, the second highest population of Somalis in Europe. In 1990, the United … 7 of 10 Somalis had an income less than 5000 SEK per month (1 euro ~ 10 SEK). In Editor’s choice of 19 March Fiona Godlee writes, “With the covid-19 pandemic we have entered extraordinary times, when some things are known but many more are not and where decisions must be made nonetheless.”[1] We fully agree. From this small informal polling in the Somali language on Facebook of the Somali global community and diaspora, it appears that there are four main factors to which the over-representation of the Somali Swedish community in COVID deaths in Sweden can be attributed. “Somalis are unpopular in this country and therefore, are unlikely to receive real health care service. A Somali super mum in Sweden. [11] In this vein, 22-year-old Somali Towfiq Shire Muuse, who lives in Amsterdam, remarks about the general Somali ignorance of the Swedish quarantine but adds that social gathering seems to be preventing this type of stigmatization in the community: “The Swedish government has ordered closures of businesses and mosques, but it appears that some Somalis are still going to mosques and making social gatherings. Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL, Greenberg L, Aloia JF, et al. Another possible explanation is Ethnic benign neutropenia - the most common form of neutropenia worldwide and very common among East African populations. I’ve watched shows from Somali National TV televised where the reporter asked people playing and socialising at Lido beach in Mogadishu [Somalia] if they are unaware of corona virus. She has interviewed over 700 terrorists, their family members and supporters in various parts of the world including in Western Europe, the Balkans, Central Asia, the Former Soviet Union and the Middle East. BMJ 2020;368:m110110.1136. [1] Normally, this diaspora group fades into the background, but now, suddenly, a chilling new statistic brings them to the fore, as 40 percent of the reported COVID-19 related deaths occurring in Stockholm involve the Somali diaspora communities. The party earned only 3 percent support in 2010. Sweden's Arab-speaking community has by some estimates grown to become the country's largest, surpassing the speakers of Finnish at some point after the 2015 migrant crisis, when 163,000 asylum seekers from predominantly Arab-speaking nations entered the country. Her previous research experiences include positions at Stanford University, UC San Diego, and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland. Every single weekend there is a meeting or wedding going on and sometimes people are not obligated to follow preventative procedures. Many people said that this disease is only meant to kill for non-Muslims thus, it cannot affect Muslims. 2019; 58:2281-91. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1775-1. Sweden accepts more refugees in proportion to size of population than any other nation in the developed world — when it comes to offering shelter, no one does it better. They play cards, and pool, and hands are exchanged. is a Somali Australian who has a BS in Security and Counter Terrorism from Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia and is embarking now on a Master’s degree in Psychology at Monash University, Melbourne. The top five countries of birth among African immigrants living in Sweden in 2019 were Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Egypt. Palmblad J, Höglund P. Ethnic benign neutropenia: A phenomenon finds an explanation. In 2007, she was responsible for designing the psychological and Islamic challenge aspects of the Detainee Rehabilitation Program in Iraq to be applied to 20,000 + detainees and 800 juveniles. Beside the foods they eat do not have enough nutrition to defend their health and immune system.” In reference to unpopularity, Ibrahim Guled is likely referencing prejudice and the fact that Somalis have also been overrepresented in Swedish statistics for those who joined ISIS and the fact that Swedish international workers have been killed by extremists in Somalia. A fifth camp, Kambioos, was closed in February 2017. doi: 10.1002/pbc.27361. 25-year-old Somali Swedish Abdirahman Sayid echoes others’ comments about language barriers in the Somali diaspora community, “They do not know the language and most of them are able to read in the Somali language only.” Likewise, he points out that, “The Somali person prefers to be told information, not to read information.” He also references an observation that Somalis have apparently continued to ignore or are unaware of quarantine restrictions. 6 of the 15 victims who have died of COVID-19 are Somali. Considering that only 0.84% of the Stockholm County population was born in Somalia (n=8,178 by December 2019) this is an astonishing high rate. Viral Mutations May Cause Another ‘Very, Very Bad’ COVID-19 Wave, Scientists Warn, Medical Equipment Packaging Company Hacker Who Disrupted PPE Shipments Sentenced, On the Front Lines in a Year of Crisis: 2020 Homeland Security Today Awards, Newark Liberty Loses Third TSA Officer to COVID-19, CBP Stops Counterfeit Masks in Significant Seizures, U.K. Molly has presented original research at the International Summit on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma and UC San Diego Research Conferences. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001663. is a research fellow at ICSVE.  Molly Ellenberg holds an M.A. Where is the power of the USA? Thus, the community finds it harder to practice the necessary social distancing to protect from COVID-19. 25-year-old Somali Swedish Abdirahman Sayid, who is university educated, refers to the widespread Islamic belief in God-ordained fate: “In my view, the reason why they did not take the government’s advice was that they intuitively listen to Somali clerics when it comes this intense wide spread of sickness and they say, ‘What is meant to happen to my health, it’s already ordained by Allah.’ But, the Quran never said, ‘Don’t look after yourself.’ They are misinterpreting the Quran.”, Abdirahman goes on to state, “A man we used to pray together with at the mosque called me and told me that the mosque is still open and that the café in the mosque is still working as well!!! Demeke T, Osmancevic A, Gillstedt M, Krogstad AL, Angesjö E, et al. She is a sought after counterterrorism expert and has consulted to NATO, OSCE, the EU Commission and EU Parliament, European and other foreign governments and to the U.S. Senate & House, Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, Health & Human Services, CIA, and FBI and appeared on CNN, BBC, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, CTV, and in Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, London Times and many other publications. Life in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby seen through the eyes of a mother fighting to improve life for its residents. quarantine. Editor’s choice. She regularly speaks and publishes on the topics of the psychology of radicalization and terrorism and is the author of several books, including Talking to Terrorists, Bride of ISIS, Undercover Jihadi and ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate. Why don’t you get rid of the small virus? Kalliokoski P, Bergqvist Y, Löfvander M. 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