The Somalis welcome the KHAT ban
Open letter to the Home Secretary, her Excellency, Theresa May
I would like to take this opportunity to express my heart felt appreciation for having the moral conviction to have banned the narcotic KHAT drug import into our country, which has been a poisonous chamber that has tortured the Somali community into a slow painful death, including extermination death, organ failure, cardiac arrest, liver disease and social torment – by causing family break ups.
Your promise to ban KHAT brought jubilation to the Somali community in this country, who have been let down by successive British governments to ban it. With your decisive courage, it concluded a painful long haul journey campaign into getting KHAT banned in the UK. Over years, despite the health risks inter woven with the use of KHAT, until last week, our government was indifferent to our blight to accord state protection from these harmful substances of narcotic drugs to our community. As an academic, I have always viewed the indecisiveness of the state to protect its Somali citizens from KHAT was in breach of their human rights abuse perpetrated by the state. With years of disregards to our concerns, the Somalis were disillusioned to their politicians, and they felt the state was socially engineering them to a despondent life. In succinct, it has not been extended to the protection available to the other communities that safe guard from the illicit drugs.
However, the ban of KHAT has poignantly raised our perception of believing ourselves that we are the fabrics of the British society, and it was felt that we finally had our concerns listened to by our government. This has brought us to have equal protection as to the indigenous community. Your decision has been a reflection of our needs, and I am sure the Somali community will be reciprocally committed to emulate by far to contributing to make Britain a very successful country.
As an academic, I have appreciated that you did not accept the biased demagoguery advisory committee who appeared to have deluded into believing their decision that KHAT was not anything more than a mild drug. In fact, this committee appeared to have been immoral and acting in the interest of the Kenya’s commercial farmers at the expenses of the Somali community in this country. This psychotic drug has been documented to cause cardiac arrest, liver disease and mental illness; and has the efficacy of hard drugs effects. In addition, empirical evidenced linked KHAT use to cause family break downs, contributed to the unemployment, lured the youth into crime, and myriad problems that are inextricable linked to KHAT use. It has also a huge burden on the NHS in specialist areas, including, liver transplants and heart operations as outlined in the New England Medical Journey publication dated 29 April 2010. In the past twenty years, many studies have globally been carried out into the effects of KHAT use on human health. The outcome of these studies into KHAT has led to all developed countries with exception of BRITIAN to ban it to protect their citizens.
Finally, I am glad that you have taken the ownership to ban KHAT and dismissed the study of the advisory committee who appeared to be out of touch with reality; and acted in the interest of the Kenyan commercial KHAT Farmers. Their advice was biased and indifferent to thousands of the Somalis that have had their lives curtailed for good by the use of this psychotic drug (KHAT). Therefore, we kindly request you to bring the ban with immediate effect to end the misery of our community.
Once again thank you for helping us to ensure to bring up our children in a safe environment away from substances of misuses that our community in general are prone to without the state protection.
Ahmed Abdi Isse,
A Social Science Academic
This letter was sent to the Home Secretary