UK & World News
UK Somali Image 'Tarnished' By Kenya Attack
Young Somalis living in the UK have voiced their frustration that the image of young people from their home country are being tarnished by the actions of the few.
Al Shabaab, which means 'The Youth', has claimed responsibility for the terror attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.
Mohamed Ibrahim works with Somali teenagers in north London and as a young man himself is angry that any link is made with a group holding such abhorrent views.
"As a British citizen I have got nothing to do it but because there is a Somali link it's expected that we feel some sort of association or guilt, if you like, and sometimes that's quite difficult because I despise those guys."
Singer Aar Maanta has lived in London since he was a boy and is followed by fellow Somalis not just in Britain but in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
He believes it is important for young men like him to be a positive influence and intends to push his message when he begins the first UK tour by a Somali singer next month.
"If there are more people who excel in education, in culture, in sports, if people have these kinds of role models there will be less isolation and young people can relate to us more than they can relate to people who want to put ideas in their minds and try to take advantage of them," he said.
The extremists are a tiny minority, but they are regularly on the look-out for new recruits.
Mohamed Hassan, chair of the London Somali Youth Forum, says it is vital that any signs of discontent are spotted early.
He said: "We have seen the triggers where young people fail their GCSEs and they are disenfranchised by society. We know the signs of those who are vulnerable in that context and we should be in a position where we become the channel that they can talk to and communicate their concerns."
Members of the forum are meeting with ministers in coming days to discuss ways to work to together to promote a cohesive society.
Ibrahim Isse, director of the forum, said: "Unfortunately the mainstream people only know about the bad side from the Somali community but when you look at the universities you can see thousands of young people who are graduating every single year and becoming doctors, local councillors ... even their future dreams are to become Prime Minister of this great country."