Demonizing Human Rights: The War on Ethiopian Muslims
By Najib Mohammed
Once again the Ethiopian government openly displayed its evil intentions by airing a fictitious drama depicting Ethiopian Muslims as blood thirsty people bent on establishing an Islamic state. This second drama that was aired on January 18, 2014 is the twin drama of “Jihadawi Harakat” that was aired a year ago. To the credit of the wise people of Ethiopia, the intension behind “Jiahadawi Harakat” failed miserably by creating adverse reaction uniting instead of creation division between Muslims and Christians.
Despotic regimes such as the one in Ethiopia care less about peace and development. Their aim is to stay in power by any means necessary. Including inciting civil wars. We should not forget the recent history in Africa. Rwanda is a classic example where government owned media outlets TV and Radio instigated the people to rise up against each other by spewing hatred and mistrust. In Rwanda, close to a million people massacred by their own countrymen for being of a different ethnic group.
For the last 2 decades this ethnic card was tried again and again and did not bring the expected results. Few examples are the tension the government created between the Oromo and Amara, between the Oromo and Somalis, between Somalis and the Afar, between the Beni-shangol and Amaras but the most heinous one was the massacring of hundredths of Anuak people of south west of Ethiopia by government forces.
Now, the Ethiopian government is trying to foment a religious clash of gargantuan proportion. Though in small scale, the Ethiopian government had planned and executed clashes between Muslims and Christians. Their cadres were responsible of burning of each other’s places of worships. Most of those who were interviewed after the incidents testified that the perpetrators’ of these crimes were infiltrators that they have no knowledge of. It is said in some cases the government issued permits for two different religious groups for the same piece of land creating clashes where lives were lost.
On Monday December 23, 2013, the incarcerated Muslim leaders whom the documentary drama depicts as terrorists published a message of peace from their cell and the followings are the 3 points they concluded their message with:
“We urge [all Muslims and Christians] to keep preserving on a solid foundation the unity and mutual respect demonstrated among Muslims as well as between Muslims and Christians that came about despite the government’s efforts of creating discord and enmity. For the country to come out of the current turmoil and stride on the path to prosperity, true freedom of religion, equality and mutual respect among people is a prerequisite, not an alternative. In order to prosper together, we must replace fear and suspicion by love and trust.
We would like to affirm to our people and the government that we are ready to pay all the necessary sacrifice to continue our peaceful struggle for our inalienable rights. We and our people are in full gear and preparedness for the next round of the peaceful movement for our rights and we express with great and unwavering determination that we will not back away from paying all the necessary sacrifices required of us.
We urge the government to stop its unconstitutional adventures and acts, including the indiscriminate jailing of Muslims, confiscation of mosques, false accusations and labeling religious personalities, journalists and rights activists as “terrorists”, and a host of other violations of constitutional rights. We also urge the government to stop the inhumane practices and demand for the release of prisoners of conscience at “Maekelawi” (the Central Crime Investigation Department) and other detention facilities. We would like to express that it is our earnest wish to see that all the people of Ethiopia enjoy the fruits of true peace, justice, democracy and development.
Finally, we appeal to all concerned to carry on the peaceful struggle forward in a civilized and well-planned manner and in a much more effective way than it has been so far with utmost commitment and determination until true justice and freedom are achieved. We have no doubt that victory and success will be ours at the end of the day through our peaceful struggle.”
The hate mongering and the government’s efforts to characterize Ethiopian Muslims is by itself an insult to the intelligence of all Ethiopians. No matter how hard the government tries to divide the people, the long history that they lived together with respect, Ethiopians of all persuasions will not fall victims of the plotting and knifings of this regime. The number of films and videos that use terror-activities as a critical basis for their lame anything illegal and forwarded to the courts as evidence has victimized so many innocent people. Rights activists, Journalists, and politicians who dared to write or say anything to the government’s dislike were charged with terrorism and are languishing in the dungeon of prisons all over the country.
Sooner or later the people of Ethiopia, the real victims, will discover that the government they thought was “theirs” has always and ‘ONLY’ been the real enemy of the people of Ethiopia.
I hope it is sooner than later. Inshallah!
May the Almighty Allah bring peace and Justice to Ethiopia and the whole World! Ameen!