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Over 16,000 people sign petition asking the UK gov’t to revoke Somali singer’s visa over “hateful remarks”

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NAIROBI—A UK woman is petitioning her government to revoke the 6-month visa granted to a popular controversial Somali singer who linked Mogadishu’s rampant terror attacks to Somali leader’s refusal to grant Somaliland autonomy.

The petitioner, Ayan Aden took to Change.org to move the UK Foreigns and Commonwealth Office to revoke the visa of Mohamed Said well known for his stage name “Mohamed BK” saying his comments amounted to hate speech. Mohamed BK is doing a music tour of the UK as part of the annual #SomaliWeek.

Through a public petition titled “Revoke Maxamed BK’s Visa Over Hate Crime Comments,” Ayan said: “This (Mogadishu) attack in particular hurt something deep within both young and old Somalis everywhere alike.  Yet at that moment Somali Singer decided to use it to push his political agenda and incite hate.”

She added that BK’s comments “contradicts our British and Somali values and we cannot have this man continuously use his platform to mock the dead, segregate Somalis and cause political tension.”

The petition attracted over 15,600 signatures at the time of publishing this story.

Mohamed BK has since opologised for the comment he made on-stage on Saturday, stating that Mogadishu’s peace “depends on Somaliland’s independence” during a concert in London.

BK is from the Southern city of Hargeysa, the capital of the self-declared state of Somaliland.

“If there’s anything I will ask of Somalia and its leaders, it’s to let somaliland gain its independence,” the singer said. 

“If they do that, this attacks and deadly blasts will come to an end…because we (Somaliland) are their (Somalia) brothers and we demand to get our wish,” he added.

BK was speaking hours after the Saturday’s car bomb outside a tax collection centre in Mogadishu, where more than 77 people were killed and over 150 others injured. Over 32 university students died in the blast. 

The blast struck a checkpoint during the morning rush hour at the start of the working week in the capital Mogadishu. Mohamed BK’s comments attracted harsh criticism on social media where people termed his statement a “mockery of the dead.”

Speaking in Manchester during his tour of the UK, the singer said he was “sorry about the Saturday car blast in the Somali capital,” adding that his comments were taken out of context.

“To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. I condole with the families who lost loved ones in Mogadishu on Saturday and extend my heartfelt apology to the people of Mogadishu and the Somalis wherever they are,” BK said during interview with the Universal TV.

“My comments were taken out of context and I did not mean to harm the feelings of the people. I love my people. I love the Somalis,” he added.

The controversial singer whose hit songs such as “Nolosha Cusub So Dhaweey” ganered millions of views on YouTube stated that he would visit Mogadishu “in the new future” to make up for the “damage his statement caused.

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