Part 3 of Special Report: Why He Chose To Leave This Good Land?

Posted November 19th, 2014 at 4:16 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

Our colleagues at VOA have recently produced Why He Chose To Leave This Good Land? a  special report on the radicalization of some young Somali-Americans. This week, we are focusing on one section of the article each day.

Please note that this report is not adapted to the Special English style, so it is more appropriate for advanced learners who use our site.

Somali shoppers at a  specialized shopping mall in Minneapolis

Somali shoppers at a specialized shopping mall in Minneapolis

You can read the full report at 

Today’s quote is from the second section, called State of failure:

Today’s quote is from the section called State of failure:

Like many Muslim groups in the United States, Somalis also faced hard suspicion after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

“Kids are being recruited. Yes, this is a fact. What are we going to do about it? We have to talk about the root causes that makes Somali kids vulnerable…. how do we fight poverty, bad school systems, the lack of opportunities,” Fartun Weli said. “The one thing we need to do is, if being Muslim can make us the worst victim in the United States, we have to make sure there are opportunities created for our community to exit poverty.”

For younger Somalis thrown into public school systems and dense neighborhoods like Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside, protection from outsiders came from gangs, like the “Somali Hot Boyz” and “Madhibaan with Attitude.”

While many Somalis have adapted slowly to American life, a sense of alienation persists for some, giving an opening for recruiters from Al-Shabab and Islamic State.

Our question for today is:

How does the report explain the connection between gang activity and radical militant recruitment? What do you think the authorities or community should do about the gang activity?

Please give us your answer in the comment section below, and come back tomorrow for another question.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Dr. Jill


Words in This Story

alienationn. feeling that one no longer belongs in a particular group, society, etc

criminal recordn. a known record of having been arrested in the past for committing a crime

vulnerable – adj. easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally, or emotionally

common denominator – n. something (such as a feature or quality) that is shared by all the members of a group of people or things



Jill produces TESOL-related content for VOA Learning English.



Confessions of an English Learner is a place for you to practice your writing and share the joys and pains of learning the language. We will post a weekly prompt, to give you a chance to practice your writing and to comment on others’ writing.


November 2014
« Oct   Dec »