HU 260 Generalization

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Generalization

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Generalization

While I was doing my usual early morning rounds on the internet streets I stumbled upon an interesting online newspaper article. The title of the article was terrorism and radical Islam in East Africa generally, Kenya specifically. I am a great fan of current affairs, hence I couldn’t resist the temptation to open the link and read. What struck me as odd is the blanket generalizations used in the newspaper.

Firstly, the opening paragraph stated how it is a coincidence that the increase in terrorist activities in Kenya, coincided with the influx of Somali refugees into Kenya but I pressed on and scrolled down. The editor went ahead and made a very bold and what I thought to be a poorly researched assertion; according to him all Somali are potential terrorists who should be put under tough police surveillance. He cited an example of terrorists arrested in the last three months in Nairobi, all of them happened to be of Somali ethnic group. The other example he gave was the state of Somalia, as a nation. According to him if the people of Somalia, a homogenous country( one language, one ethnic group, one religion) can’t keep peace in their own country how can they be trusted to live in another country, according to the article they could spread the same anarchy and lawlessness.

I thought it is poor reasoning to make such vague generalizations. To paint an entire ethnic group with the same brush because of the misdemeanors of a few is just daft, lazy and sensational journalism .It is a fallacy to infer characteristics about a whole population based upon a tiny sample, if three terrorists of Somali origin had been arrested, what is that compared to more than six million Somalis worldwide? To say that the problems in their country makes them guilty by association and should be treated with uttermost caution, it is just downright unacceptable. It is a skewed way of things.

Finally, while not holding any brief for Somalis, I do not accept that the characteristic of some few members of a given group should be inferred upon an entire group. It could be true that Somali are terrorists but saying all of them are is incomprehensible.

References

Khalwale in trouble over Somali claims – News | Daily Nation. (2015, April 30). Retrieved May 1, 2015, from http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Khalwale-in-trouble-over-Somali-claims/-/1056/2702662/-/vq9tpaz/-/index.html




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