By Tedla Asfaw
March 5, 2014
I followed the “730 Days Ethiopian Muslims Non-Violent struggle for Religious Freedom ” documentary posted on ethiomedia by Demtsachene Yesema.
The little less than one hour and thirty minutes video is an educational video for all of us. It divides the story of the struggle in different phases and educate the public on what has been accomplished for the last 730 days by Muslims in Ethiopia on their Peaceful Struggle to worship their God in their own way without interference by Home or Foreign forces.
The Muslims in Ethiopia broke ethnic division and came under one slogan “We are Ethiopian Muslims”. They got their strength through unity. Without that they would have been very weak and easy for the regime to discredit the struggle by its propaganda machine.
This peaceful struggle success also is due to the non Muslims of Ethiopia not buying the regime propaganda of ” The Muslims came to take power and rule under Sharia “. Non Muslims stood with our Muslim brothers and sisters. There was no room for Muslims Vs Christians confrontation similar to one ethnic group Vs the other one, the main driving force of politics in Ethiopia for the last 22 years.
The rally organized by Semayawi Party (Blue Party) in 2013 in solidarity with Ethiopian Muslims brought Muslims and non Muslims together in public solidarity. Ethiopians once again showed the world that Extremism be it religious or ethnic has no place in Ethiopia, the home of religious and ethnic tolerance is indeed Ethiopia !!!!
Without exaggeration it can be said that Ethiopian Muslims by Talking and Walking peaceful struggle for 730 days woke up the political organizations that were dormant from their deep sleep for the last 1460 days.
We witnessed in the last few hundreds of days political rallies in many cities in Ethiopia for freedom and justice. Most of the rallies participants are the youth. The Ethiopian women should take a page from Ethiopian women Muslims experience and come out in large numbers. Without them no peaceful struggle will succeed.
From our neighbors we have a lot to learn too. In Egypt a peaceful struggle led by Muslim Brotherhood was hijacked by army and thousands of lives lost and many jailed and exiled. The Muslim Brotherhood is now underground and more blood shed is certain. Foreign forces like Saudi Arabia succeeded in sabotaging the peaceful struggle.
Al Shabab is still terrorizing Somalia. South Sudan ethnic war has brought tens of thousands of death and many are running for their lives. In both countries the conflict is sponsored by outside forces with the help of ethnic warlords.
The success of Ethiopian Muslims struggle is mainly because it is not hijacked by foreign forces. The non Muslims Ethiopians acceptance of the struggle for freedom of religion as a just cause brought no room for religious conflict we witnessed in many parts of the world. Ethiopians closed all doors for foreign as well as home intruders.
However, we need to be vigilant against Ethnic Supremacists like that of “Oromia First” new comers based in Minnesota, USA. They tried to hijack the Ethiopian Muslims struggle and take it as their own by playing ethnic politics. The nonsense of 85 percent of Ethiopian Muslims are Oromos therefore the Ethiopian Muslims struggle is the struggle for ” Oromia Independence” should be rejected. We should tell them that Ethnicity armed with ” Mencha ” is incompatible with the Ethiopian Muslims struggle. Stay where you are !!!! No one is going to buy your propaganda from long distance !!!