The internet erupted in recent weeks when rapper and well-known social media personality, Jae Deen, was accused of being a spy. This accusation came about due to Jae Deen deciding to learn Somali.
Jae Deen, who was formerly a part of the group, ‘Deen Squad’ with Karter Zaher, made his love for languages public as he began sharing his journey of ups and downs across his social media.
His enthusiasm for different cultures has inspired many to also take this journey of learning a new language for themselves. But the response from the community wasn’t entirely positive.
Disunity within the Muslim Community
Why did members of the Muslim community respond so negatively to Jae Deen and his language journey?
The negative assumptions may have come from a place of anti-blackness, racism, or prejudice and they highlight a huge issue of disunity within the Muslim community.
We need more figures in the Ummah like Jae Deen who bring different cultures together in a dynamic way. It is extremely powerful that, as he shares his love for languages, he unintentionally, breaks down some assumptions and prejudices that people hold.
What can we learn from Jae Deen learning Somali?
There are so many benefits to learning foreign languages. Three of them include;
1. Boosts brain power
By learning a new language, you are learning new patterns, cultures, words, and meanings. You end up powering up the parts of your brain that are used for problem-solving and cognitive thinking.
2. Improves Memory
Use it or lose it. With the usage of social media and with the availability of information at our fingertips, we rarely exercise our memory function in our brains. Learning languages helps us to strengthen our memory which is great for memorizing the Quran.
3. Networking and Community
Learning languages is a way of increasing unity and the appreciation of different cultures. When you’re able to understand the subtle differences in mother tongues and weave sentences that reach the ears of different people – it helps to foster a sense of community.
We have to be less quick to judge and assume negatively of our brothers and sisters. There is so much benefit in thinking the best of others.