This Side of God’s Country: Ethiopia By Tecola W. Hagos

August 19th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

“Every object of knowledge is known not as a result of its own nature, but of the nature of those who comprehend it.” Boethius (Book V, vi)

I. Introduction

Before I get to the meat of my essay, I would like to express my good wish to all Ethiopian Muslims (and those all over the World) a happy Id al-Fitr celebration. Much can be learned about a particular country from the way it treats the helpless, the wayfarer, the stranger et cetera. The whole cannons of human civilization are based on such simple but far reaching principles of compassion to the weak, the stranger, and the poor. Without such human qualities, we might as well be seen as Komodo dragons.

The celebration of Id al-Fitr this Sunday in Ethiopia is a true testament of the great faith of a people, I mean Ethiopian People in toto. Id al-Fitr is the greatest of all festivals for Muslim Ethiopians and Muslims around the World. Watching on Ethiopian Television (ETV) hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian Muslims worshiping in the center of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, where one finds Churches and Mosques side by side, in great freedom and dignity is a source of unfathomable pride for me. However, when I look around the nations in our neighborhood what I see are nations like Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen et cetera whose treatment of their indigenous and/or expatriate Christian population is absolutely deplorable.

In Saudi Arabia there is not a single Church of worship to serve the tens of thousands expatriate workers; even private worship in the private homes of individual Christians is perceived as a crime. In Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, et cetera Christians are murdered, kidnapped, and their Churches routinely vandalized or burned down. And I say to myself, watching on ETV the multitude of Muslims freely worshiping and promoting their religion with dignity and freedom right at the center of Addis Ababa that Ethiopia is truly God’s country that He set her up as a great example for all the peoples of the World to learn how to live in harmony with diversity of religion, race, ethnicity et cetera. Who is to say that is not God’s plan? Maybe that is why Ethiopia had never been extinguished as a sovereign nation over several thousand years.

I am sure that a benevolent God cannot endorse disharmony in society and cruelty against those who cannot defend themselves. How could we take silently the intolerance and barbarism of the Governments of Saudi Arabia and any of the Arab nations in their treatment of indigenous and expatriate Christians and minority groups as the will of God? Moreover, not only it is their moral responsibility, but also their covenant to respect and safeguard human rights and dignity as members of the United Nations.

II. God’s Children

It is a shame that individuals seeking refuge from persecution, hunger and deprivations in Arab countries are abused, often tortured, and murdered. When it comes to Ethiopians who are seeking such refuge as domestic workers the treatment is horrendous that would shame any Arab in the Middle East or elsewhere. The number of Ethiopian young women who committed suicide due to intolerable conditions of employment that amounts to slave labor and widely practiced abuse and physical torture is quite alarming. Several reports of international human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch have repeatedly informed the public about the severity and scope of abuse of Ethiopian females who suffered greatly in the hands of their employers. None of the Arab Governments where such abuses took place have taken any remedial steps.

The Id al-Fitr is a singular moment for all Arab Governments to take a good hard look at their abusive behavior and their failure to protect the weak, the poor, the disfranchised and, most of all, the helpless stranger among whom is also the Ethiopian. I ask you all Arab Muslims that you read your own Holy Book, the Quran with care and commitment: “And do good unto your parents, and near of kin, and unto orphans, and the needy, and the neighbour from among your own people, and the neighbor who is a stranger, and the friend by your side, and the wayfarer…” An-Nisa (4:36), The Quran.

Ethiopia has been identified for hundreds of years as a Christian island in a sea of Moslems. However, that precarious existence being under constant threat of annihilation did not deter the many righteous Ethiopian Christian Emperors from providing safe sanctuary and ultimately a shared motherland to all Ethiopian Muslims. The greatness of Ethiopians was affirmed when the Prophet Mohammad himself when he was threatened of being destroyed by his opponents sent his close family members and those first followers of his new religion to go to Ethiopia where he believed they could be safe and treated with justice and dignity.

“The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) realized that he could not protect his followers form the attacks, and said ‘go to the Habesha, there is a Christian king there. There is justice in his kingdom. Habesha is the land of truth. Therefore, go there until we achieve victory with the help of Allah.’” This is a quotation from the venerated biographer of the Prophet, Ibn Eshaq.

Now, look what the Prophet’s Arab descendants and followers are doing to the descendants of the people of Ethiopia who protected and kept safe the Prophet Mohammad’s followers and relations. And it is also true that their conspiracy to destabilize and destroy Ethiopia has been their mission for generations.

III. Who dares harm God’s creation?

I cannot understand how people to be-fearing could take upon himself or herself to harm, torture, behead, murder any other human being that is also the creation of God. Governments, such as that of Saudi Arabia, Libya et cetera, due to their horrible treatment of human beings both indigenous and expatriate workers, are in fact defiling and besmirching the Holy places entrusted to them for upkeep. Where there is a single human being suffering under the brutal interrogations and inhuman punishments as victim of legal processes marred with tremendous flaws, does stain and degrade the sanctity of such places venerated by the Muslim believers. It is both a moral and logical contradiction to keep inanimate objects or particular places where some historic events took place as sacred and yet violate and abuse the very living human being in whom God’s greatest gift resides. Where there is injustice and cruelty done even to a single individual, God is also disrespected. The first duty of any Muslim ruler in the Middle East is to respect God’s creation—mankind. By allowing the abuse of Ethiopians and other domestic workers, Arabs are disrespecting and violating the sanctity of God’s handiwork.

In Libya during their months of uprising, black foreign workers were particularly targeted and mercilessly butchered. I am sure in Syria similar persecution might be taking place right now. Already some of the news coming out of Syria asserts such persecution of domestic workers is wide spread. All in all, I find almost all Arabs in general, both men and women, to be the most inhuman savages who abuse, violate, and disrespect their own people and black foreign workers in their societies. I do not think this characteristic is prompted due to their religion. In fact, if it were not for Islam, they would have been much worse than just blowing up themselves in order to kill enemies, or brutalize helpless young female domestic workers, or torture and abuse criminals in their prison systems. In all this savagery of most Arabs, I find the complacency of the Ethiopian Government far worse than the actual harm done to Ethiopian workers and refugees. If I were a leader commanding an army, I would go to war with any society that abuses a single Ethiopian.

Conclusion

One must be careful when putting labels on an entire society or people for being this or that. However, there are justifiable instances to label a particular society as criminal. For example, the German society was no less guilty of the genocide and brutality committed against the defenseless Jews in the Second World War, no less was the Japanese society blameless for the atrocities committed by its soldiers in China, Korea, and the Philippines in the Second World War. The Italian society of the time could be labeled also as barbaric during the occupation of Ethiopia in 1935-1941 where Rudolph Graziani committed mass atrocities, and now since the Italian people are opening a mausoleum to such war criminal, Italians can be labeled as barbaric people. I can offer very many instances from history from all over the world that particular societies could be labeled as participants in the savagery and brutality of their governments.

I do acknowledge that millions of innocent Arabs, especially in Iraq, have been killed by random bombings and ground fires in the hands of the Military of the United States and those of NATO troops whose forces are overwhelmingly Christians. But that has nothing to do with Ethiopians, even less with domestic workers in Arab countries. No associative guilt can be justified by any measurement. At any rate, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Gulf States were fully cooperating with the Western forces in the devastation suffered by Iraqis. Moreover, far more violence is perpetrated by Arabs on other Arabs all over the Arab world than that committed by foreign powers. To all Arabs, my last statement is to urge them live by the vision and precepts of what the Id al-Fitr represents and stop the brutality and violent abuse of defenseless foreign workers and refugees. God Bless All Ethiopians.

Tecola W. Hagos
Washington DC
August 19, 2012
Copyright © Phineaus St. Claire, 2012

  1. Mariam
    | #1

    Nice and balanced paper, thank you!

    The issue is I think the overall Teachings of Islam is to annihilate other religions and co-existence is not on any of its agenda. Ethiopia will be the next Iran or Egypt when the majority become Muslims, they will insist on destroying the church and christianity just as Hilter insisted on annihilating the Jews by force. And then they will want to create a state like Saudi. I may be mistaken but this is what I see happening.

  2. T’kkel
    | #2

    Thank you for this. There are times when the truth however, uncomfortable has to be clearly stated.

  3. Girum
    | #3

    @ Tecola W.Hagos
    *****************************************************
    In Libya during their months of uprising, black foreign workers were particularly targeted and mercilessly butchered. I am sure in Syria similar persecution might be taking place right now. Already some of the news coming out of Syria asserts such persecution of domestic workers is wide spread.
    *****************************************************

    Either we are with truth or else truth shall not be with us!!! And indeed God is not only love but also power and truth. And if we are with out truth then we are also without God. And if we are without God and Truth then ………………….?
    Whatever intellectual knowledge we may acquire what we can/have to is to discover truth not rather to invent or reinvent truth. I say it again and again and again the entire civil unrest and sectarian conflicts in 3rd world nations are the well devised schemes of Global Capitalism’s Neo-Liberal and Neo-colonialism Imperialistic projects. So the sectarian civil conflict inside Iraq, Libya, Syria and the likes is part of this diabolical project with such a scheme for regime change in such once independent nations who do not bow to the interest and service of the West. As long as Western Governments and elites are in such insatiable madness of civilization (Unbridled lust for Power and Money) that has a bad sentiment like “it is we who knows all for all the world and hence we have to dictate every thing in our own terms interest and objective….” mentality then chaos and crisis is inevitable globally. So the ensuing crisis and chaos in Iraq Libya, Syria and others is primarily the result of the inner workings of Global Capitalism’s Neo-Liberal and Neo-colonialism Imperialistic projects and not as such the works of Ghadafi or Bashir Alasad or Sdam Hussein irrespective of whether they are democrat or Dictator. What we need is just some commonsense and common wisdom to figure out such schemes. The entire crisis and chaos (civilian murdering and bombing) in Libya and Syria and even now in Iraq is such a clandestinely orchestrated scheme by infiltrating terrorists, including Alqaeda, supported by GCC nations like Qatar and Saudi Arabia in collaboration with Western Governments and so that to misleadingly portray or depict the incumbent regimes to the world community as is they are committing crime against their own subject civilian citizens and humanity. How on earth GC nations like Qatar and Saudi Arabia even ruled by despotic aristocratic monarchs where there is no the slightest feign or semblance of election dare t lecture and advance democracy in Libya or Syria or the rest of the world? In Saudi Arabia Women are even prohibited to officially drive a car until recently and are also prohibited to participate in every public gatherings and events like Olympic and sports. It is even in this recent Olympiad that the Saudi Women were allowed to participate. The paradox and irony is why Western Governments have such ‘undemocratic’ symbiotic relationship with such GCC nation very despotic regimes while to the contrary it is sabotaging to topple and make regime changes in Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria and others relatively ruled by better regimes (in the essence of democracy and human rights) under the disguise of advancing democracy in such nations? Blacks in Libya have been murdered not by Ghadafi but rather by those rebels supported by terrorist in order to misleadingly depict or portray Ghadafi to the world community, through the mainstream corporate media, as if Ghadafi has been committing crime against their own subject civilian citizens and humanity. The same modus-operandi and template has been exploited against Syria for same regime change like Libya except this time the Veto-Power owners like China and Russia not only stopped becoming indifferent but also more than that they also seriously opposed having practiced same ‘No-Fly-Zone’ euphemism against Syria. So the Arab Revolution primary clandestine motive is also evolving in to becoming a regime-change through severe catastrophic crisis and chaos under this smoke screen of Arab Spring potentially evolving in to Arab winter in the long run. I personally oppose any sort of non-visionary revolution primarily characterized by mere emotional gushing devoid of proper rational thinking and insight. Such revolution devoid of proper rational thinking and insight only serves as a means of pressure valve for mere soothing and grieving of emotional trauma. My question is for how long the mass is entrapped in such vicious-circle and quandary? Is it not even childish to enjoy the instantaneous achievements in throwing away despotic regimes while we are perpetually entrapped under this vicious-circle and quandary of paradigm set-up? What is happening now days in Iraq after the removal of Sadam? Better type of peace, prosperity, democracy, freedom or the opposite of sectarian war, death, disease, impoverishment, instability …..?The 3rd world innocent mass is agonized sandwiched between two evils. The one is local regimes so savage, corrupt, irresponsible, despotic and oppressive, racist and plundering like Meles/TPLF and the other is their MASTER Global Capitalism. Some regimes of some nations like Syria, Libya, Iran and others are relatively despotic but are very nationalist, sovereign and independent of Western domination who advance their nations and peoples well-being and interest more than that of Western Governments interest. Some nations very very rare to mention are both relatively democratic and also are very nationalist, sovereign and independent of Western domination who advance their nations and peoples well-being and interest more than that of Western Governments interest. However some regimes of some nations are so corrupt, racist, looting, mercenary ,stooge client-regimes who bow like a servant to advance foreign interest and agendas more than own nation’s interest and agenda. And the case in Ethiopia under the rule of MEles/TPLF is the worst of all possible combination scenarios ever happened in the world that belongs to such last type unusual one. Dear writer it is immoral to compare regimes of Libya under Ghadafi and Syria under Bashir Alasad with Ethiopia under Meles/TPLF. Both Ghadafi and Bashir Alasad are so nationalist who trust, love, respect and their respective nation despite the fact that they are dictators. Both regimes of Ghadafi and Bashir Alasad are not stooge client-regimes of Western governments and hence a regime- change has been on the table of Western Governments for such a long time long ago before the Arab-Spring. The Arab spring only serves as a suitable smoke screen and stepping stone to invoke such regime change agenda in Libya, Syria and then tomorrow in Iran camouflaged under this humdrum of Arab Spring. Those civilian mass killings we see in main stream media like Aljezera are such an orchestrated gambling played by the so called rebels, even supported by terrorist like Alqaeda, to blame this inhumanity against the respective incumbent regimes. So Black Africans were murdered by the then so called rebels of NTC now clinging to power after Ghadafi.The same template is being applied in Syria. Ghadafi ruled Libya for 42 years and how on earth we accept such charismatic leader, though dictator, immediately turns in to a savage beast to eat his own peoples he ruled for 42 years the way that has been presented to us in the mainstream media? Ghadafi said no to AFRICOM and also devised a gold dinar regionally currency and that is one of the main reasons together with his usual similar unbending independent tendency to western regimes that paved the way for his regime change by NATO. Sadame of Iraq was similar as Ghadafi of Libya and that was the main reason for the regime-change in Iraq with such devastating consequences. The case in Syria is also some how similar. The problem with most of us is we like the easiest comfortable analysis that fits our own narrow prejudice based on the hyped issues of dictatorship and its opposite of fashionable Democracy. We want to view things in such black and white narrow perspective. Just for the mere sake of having Western governments support on our side we are usually betraying truth and eventually as truth shall betray us also in return then we fail. So many knowledgeable and far-sighted political activists and intellectuals who are citizens of Western nations are demonizing their own governments Global Capitalism’s Neo-Liberal and Neo-colonialism Imperialistic projects. To the contrary I do not understand why so many Ethiopian political elites are so naïve and gullible to be so indifferent to this issue. We better know that there is ample difference between Western peoples and Western Governments.
    So many Western peoples never support the interventionist unjust move against Libya and Syria and more than this in a coordinated manner against Iran. Because what the peoples of Western Nations themselves benefit from their governments Global Capitalism’s Neo-Liberal and Neo-colonialism Imperialistic projects war mongering its MIC(Military Industrial Complex) is austerity-measure and bank-bail out and the demise of Welfare State and hence the ensuing social and economic crisis and hence unemployment, impoverishment and …… The Saudi Monarch regime bought a 60 Billion dollar worth military expenditure from the USA and the west. This bid is the heights ever bid in world history. Who benefit from this bid? The mass? Never ever. Now Saudi Arabia is using same military apparatus against Bahrain peoples opposing the Bahrain monarchic regime. And well tomorrow the same military apparatus will also be used against Iran or others. And like wise Meles/TPLF has been engaged in similar proxy war bids in Somalia and Sudan in service of the West and that is also the main reason why the West gives deaf ear for Meles/TPLF crimes in Ethiopia. So the entire scenario is such an imperialistic nature. So the Libya and Syria and potentially Iran case is also similar in that it is also characterized by proxy war schemes among super powers like USA/West on one league and China/ Russia/Iran on the other league. Finally I want to again assert that it is being so naïve and gullible to ignore and detach the relevance of the pervasive nature Global Capitalism’s Neo-Liberal and Neo-colonialism Imperialistic projects and only talk about the respective national governments nature of being democratic or dictatorial. The later is very subordinate and dependent on the former meta-governing and pervasive global social order. Any way I conclude with the saying “Either we are with truth or else truth shall not be with us!!!” And indeed as the bible says so Ethiopia stretches its hands to Almighty God and not to the West or corrupt and selfish Western governments.

    God Bless Ethiopia !!!

  4. Hussein
    | #4

    Salam; Anyone who is unbiased, neutral or scientific in searching truth will easily find that Islam is the 1st or the only tolerant religion. When you know that Islam was ruling India hundreds of years and a single Hindu was not ordered to change to Islam through coercion, same to Egypt, the holy land of Palestine. Spain can be a real witness on what happened when Islam was dominant and when Christians became dominant. Go back to history books or learn Islam to see it’s reality and don’t judge Islam through today’s irreligious dictators of those mentioned countries. As for Ethiopia, read your history well to see exactly the crimes committed against the Muslims by the Orthodox church worshipers when they dominated the Muslim southern populations. Thanks.

  5. SEBHAT NEGA says,
    | #5

    “We fought for Eritrean independence from the colonial rule of Ethiopia. Even now, if Eritrea is attacked, EPRDF would jump into Eritrea, join the Eritrean people and engage the enemy.” – Sebhat Nega on Radio Woyane (May 28, 2007)

    In a four-part interview with TPLF radio on May 28, 2007, TPLF chief Sebhat Nega said time and again that no one fought for Eritrean independence from an Ethiopian colonial rule like TPLF did. “We paid dearly to liberate Eritrea,” he said. “Even if Eritrea comes under attack today,” Sebhat warned, “I’ve no doubt the EPRDF-led government would jump into Eritrea, join the Eritrean people and engage the enemy.”

    TPLF has since its inception been controlled by mercenary elements that fought against Ethiopia as their enemy. The group that wiped out so many lives and terrorized Tigrians into slavery and servitude, is still in power. If Ethiopia is turned into a failed, landlocked state, it is with a purpose. Read details from the historical facts presented by Asgede G. Selassie, author of Gahdi 1 and Gahdi 2. A survivor of the pogrom, Asgede was one of the 11 rebels who founded TPLF.

    http://www.ethiomedia.com/atop/mercenary_tplf_rule.html

    mr. Hagos , please do not try to distract people from the main issue of woyane persecution and murder that has been the reason for the demonstrations of moslems and others up and down Ethiopia. Condemn the persecutions clearly and show where you stand.

  6. Anbesie
    | #6

    It is okay to remember the bad days of human history and learn from it. But dear Mr. Tecola do not forget that the gist of your article in relation to Id-al-Fitr celebration in Ethiopia would have made a better sense and congruency if you had connected it with the existing repression of the Muslims in Ethiopia by the TPLF/EPRDF junta. You seem to miss the visible and current problem of the Muslims. You are throwing stones at other small birds rather than the real big bird in front us, namely the current imminent danger created by the ethiopian falling regime. Or are you implying that the problem now in ethiopia is not worth mentioning in comparision to the problems of ethiopian muslims faced in foreign countries?
    I am increasingly alarmed by your lengthy articles who appear in oppositions diaspora sites!!

  7. astra
    | #7

    Thank you Tecola for a good expose. As you said Ethiopia is far more advanced than its its Arab neighbours, who do not tolerate Christians and persecute them to this day. Ethiopia is the only country in the world where Muslims and Christians coexist peacefully. The truth has to be told and retold

  8. Ethiopiawi
    | #8

    Thank you, Mariam, for your comments.It is good to know that my Ethiopian Muslim ancestors who have fought and died for Ethiopia, are seen as terrorists by you. Islam and Christianity did not originate in Ethiopia: both came from the Middle-East. But the people were already there. The only difference between you and I is how we worship God. We are not invaders nor colonialist. It is my country, my land and I have nothing to prove to you.

  9. Ethio-Eritrea
    | #9

    Thank you, Mariam, for your comments.It is good to know that my Ethiopian Muslim ancestors who have fought and died for Ethiopia, are seen as terrorists by you. Islam and Christianity did not originate in Ethiopia: both came from the Middle-East. But the people were already there. The only difference between you and I is how we worship God. We are not invaders nor colonialist. It is my country, my land and I have nothing to prove to you.

  10. bilal
    | #10

    @Mariam
    “Ethiopia will be the next Iran’ what a moronic comparison. Ethiopia is a country for both muslims and christians.The muslims after being repressed for many years just woke up and demande their universal human rights. Ethiopian muslims never demanded to turn Ethiopia int a muslim state.Stop playing the fear game and cnfuse ethiopian christians who started to demand the same rights as muslims. We have one common enemy and that common enemy is ethnically base rulin party

  11. bilal
    | #11

    Mr Tecola you forgot to mention the eid al fitr holiday was not a day of celebration for ethiopian muslims. It was a day that millions came out to denounce the mal-treatment of muslims by the ruling partyFor more about that day please visit you tube and watch the videos

  12. koyabiassou@gmail.com
    | #12

    Dear Dr Tecola, the probleme in the arab country is racism.For the arabs black are slave wether he is muslim or not.In Ethiopia the probleme is to respect and apply the consttution and accept the cession of any nation and nationalities.You are living the periode of conquest,of slavery .Dr Tecola it is not muslim agains chritian.It is freedom agains colonialist.Unfortunatly amhar elite dont understand.

  13. Yinegal
    | #13

    Typical Tecola,
    What is the major problem of Ethiopians at this particular time of our history?
    What goes on in the Arab countries around or Tigrean People’s Liberation Front Government? Is what the Woyane Government doing more destructive to the lives of Ethiopians at large and the followers of Islam in particular or less destructive to what the Arab governments are doing to our fellow Ethiopians who are fleeing their own country because of the Tigrean Government? Let me qoute you clearly:
    “However, there are justifiable instances to label a particular society as criminal. For example, the German society was no less guilty of the genocide and brutality committed against the defenseless Jews in the Second World War, no less was the Japanese society blameless for the atrocities committed by its soldiers in China, Korea, and the Philippines in the Second World War. The Italian society of the time could be labeled also as barbaric during the occupation of Ethiopia in 1935-1941 where Rudolph Graziani committed mass atrocities, and now since the Italian people are opening a mausoleum to such war criminal, Italians can be labeled as barbaric people.” Do you think your kin will escape from this? Too late! The train has departed.

  14. Yinegal
    | #14

    If it is not clear for you, dear Tecola, you are part of it and your effort has no legs to let you escape.

  15. pete
    | #15

    As far as I know, the Muslim community has been non participant in Ethiopian politics. During the DERG regime, they prosper while everyone else suffered. They have always been good doing business and staying away from politics. What are they wanting now? they want a piece of action for free? did they step forward to defend Ethiopia’s border from Somalia’s invasion back in the 1977-78? no one in Ethiopia said Muslims are not accepted. they them self brought the trouble when some of them decided to sleep with Saudi Wahhabis/Salafis and want to import this evil teaching to Ethiopia. I refuse to buy into their agenda unless it smells legit. I will not align myself with them just for the sake of indifference I may have with the government. After all, one of the issue the government is accused of is to accept Eritrea’s independence for the sake of their survival. Temporary alignment only leads to more bloodshed in the future. Besides, I it against my basic discipline of to profit now and pay heavy later. Not going to happen.

  16. Abebech
    | #16

    Why is that many Ethiopians, even those who are intellectuals, refuse to keep their religion private?
    I do not subscribe to a religion and when I came across an article or an opinion piece that is based on religious dogmas, I always try to cast out its God/Allaha mantra to grasp the core message. But it is hard. Most of these readings,can not stand on their own merit.
    Keep your religion private and focus yor writing on the issues!

  17. Ethio-Eritrea
    | #17

    Pete,
    I suspect you are not Ethiopian. I have never heard in my entire life any Ethiopian make an ignorant remark as the one below:
    `? did [Muslims] step forward to defend Ethiopia’s border from Somalia’s invasion back in the 1977-78?` Where do you get off making such an idiotic statement. This is an insult to every true patriot, Muslim or Christian, that has died on the battlefield of Ethiopia, protecting its integrity and unity. It is an insult to every every Muslim in Ethiopia that has shed blood, that has lost a loved one fighting and defending against invaders.
    As far as I know it was Shabia and Woyane that worked hand in hand with the Somalians against Ethiopia. Meles and Issayas even stationed in Somalia and I heard they had Somalian passport.
    As far as I know, both are not Muslim and are leading their respective country.
    Pete, you are traitor to your nation, your country, your history and you kind. Kehadi Banda come in all shapes.

  18. Gomen BeTena
    | #18

    @Abebech

    I think you forgot that Africa was colonized under the guise of religion.Oh! My mistake. That was “old story”. How about the middle eastern govs.? Are they free of religion?….Would you tell us what ISSUES you’re talking about?

  19. mohamed
    | #19

    @pete
    Dear Pete, we dont want a muslim state in Ethiopia .And as far as i know, the probleme in Ethiopia is not religion.But if you read the history ,muslims in eTHIOPIA were secondf zone citizens and they were fighting the rule of Menelik and Hail Selassie.The Derg first accepted that all religion had the same rights and moslem holidays paid.In Dire Dawa ,we were living under curfew even during Ramadan.So we were not participating in politics because we were fighting aginst the rule.We were fighting segregation in the administraton,in the army everywhere.Do you know that the condition to be officer in the army was to change religion.Muslim in ethiopia must have all its right,we dont want you to join us .We will succed. All people fighting for their right succed.

  20. ahmed
    | #20

    @Mariam
    Mariam So ACCORDING TO YOU the muslimS and christianS can not live peacefully in Ethiopia.
    and the solution is the christian domination to rule Ethiopia? Right?You know why Ethiopia lost Erirea? Haile Selassie canceled the confedration and annexed the country.Result 30 years of war.And your way of thinking will push Afar, Somali,Oromo,Harar,the people of the South 60per cent to follow Eritrea.

  21. love
    | #21

    @Hussein
    Really? Again because Islam is your religion you always paint it as a peaceful religion when in fact it has a history, even now of blood bath. The difference between the followers of Islam and Christianity is that Christianst at least admit the wrong doings by their own Christians where as Muslims flatly deny this by blood bath being comitted by Muslims. How do you explain the spread of Islam during Ottomoan Empired? Isn’t by killings and forced conversion of other believers be it those Animists (those who believe in nature) or Christians or Hindus etc? it doesn’t matter “who made them do it” isn’t it Muslims today committing crimes against Muslims and other non Muslims? How do you explain the mass genocide “documented” of the Armenians and many other Chrisitians? Isn’t it Islam faith? The fact that you never admit these things is staggering.

    Have you no shame when you flatly accusing Ethiopians christinas killed Muslims? Where is you r documentation? What about Gragn Ahmed? How do you by pass that? Why don’t you discuss based on fact? Isn’t Ethiopia who safe guarded Islam? Is this the thanks you are giving them by blaming them that they killed Muslims? The problem is you are no honest debator because you are biased because you can’t out ward say the crimes committed by Muslims.

  22. love
    | #22

    Mohamed,

    Please provide prove of Muslims were prejudiced even under Derg.

  23. love
    | #23

    There is probably a conspiracy going against Ethiopia by these groups: Egypt, Arabs (to islamize Ethiopia) Shaebia, TPLF and Westerners for sure. We are going in the wrong direction because of these groups for sure. Ethiopians should remain Ethiopians keeep your faith to yourselves otherwise consider the demise of Ethiopia (whether you be christian or muslim). If you don’t work towards the safety of Ethiopia, you won’t even have a country to worship in the first place.

  24. mohamed
    | #24

    @love
    Love i am giving you two small prove:
    There was not any single General in the Army.The highest position one can reach late after all christan was colonel.And only one or two reached this position.
    Eid al fitr,Eid al adha were working days.
    After the conquest and the invasion of muslim countries (Afar,Somai,Oromo and others)some narrow minded are against federal Ethiopia ,talking aboutAndinet.They dont want to understand that we want to live our identity,our culture we want the largest autonomy in our state in the federation.We must have out share everywhere.
    Look how these regions developpent with Meles in POWER.He is christian and he see the reality and he shares the power.

    About Salafist,Al shabab and other muslim terrorist ,i think we are on the same side. Religion must be in the private space.
    Those talking about ANDINET,Integrity should see that the enemy of Ethiopia is not Shabia,Egypt,Somalia Oromo .No the enemy is inSIDE ethiopia they are those who wants to take the power to cancel the federal systeme.

    My wish is to see new generation af amara,oromo tigre,somali,sidama,gambela all ethiopian etc.. living in peace with the eritreans,somals in somalia,djibouti kenyans in peace and love.

  25. mohamed
    | #25

    @love
    Love i am giving you two small prove:
    There was not any single General in the Army.The highest position one can reach late after all christan was colonel.And only one or two reached this position.
    Eid al fitr,Eid al adha were working days.

  26. ASEBE
    | #26

    TO ALL MY MOSLEM BROTHERS AND SISTERS FROM A CHRISTIAN BROTHER:
    ID MUBARAK!!!
    I ALSO WISH YOU VICTORY IN YOUR PEACEFUL DEMANDS OF HAVING AN INDEPENDENT MEJLIS AND THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN LEADERS.
    I APPLAUDE YOUR COURAGE,WISDOM AND PEACEFUL RESOLUTE STANCE IN PURSUING YOUR LEGITIMATE GOALS DESPITE THE REGIME’S KILLINGS,MORE BRUTAL RESPONSE AND FURTHER PROVOCATIONS.INSIST BEING RIGHTEOUS,KEEP ON FIGHTING AND VICTORY IS SURE TO COME IN THE END!

  27. abebech
    | #27

    dear Gomen betena;
    The issues are the life, politics and leaders of Ethiopia and the like.
    If there is a desire to pontificate about Allah/God or some other religious ideas,well, lets discuss it on its own merit instead of slowly sliding God/Allah without notice.
    I do not want to hear your religios propaganda!

  28. aha!
    | #28

    This essay portrays a comparative analysis, the first of its kind, about the plights of Christians in the Mosleum world, also that side of God’s country, without mention of uprising of traditional moslims demostrating peacefully to have their demands to the TPLF/eprdf regime and have hods hands with their christian counterparts, who have their own demands with the TPLF/eprdf regime. The Ethiopian christians should not have need to have exposed to that kind of situation in the first place, had they not been exported to the middle East in search of labour to support their families had the TPLF/eprdf regime provided jobs for those exported by TPLF affiliated businesses. But it is important to focus on as Haji Seid Mohamed put it, since these Ethiopians have desire to leave their country, our major focus need to be, ” hagere yegara nat, haymanot gin yegil new, hagere kele haymanotim yelem, hagerachinin ketifat lemadan, hulachinim (christian and moslims of all ethnicities) tebabiren ininessa”, which they way I put it to save Ethiopia from the negative forces of disintegration, to restore individual freedom, liberty and equality to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights, to restore Ethiopian nationalism and the sovereignity of Ethiopia, which makes all other complaints subsequent to that priority agenda. Never theless the essay is good as initiating talking points.

  29. Ethio-Eritrea
    | #29

    @love,

    you are importing problems that have nothing to do with Ethiopia. It’s a country forged by wars and alliances of every tribe, region, ethnical groug AND religions. I don’t care about how the Ottoman Empire spread in Europe, or how PIzarro brought Christianity to South America. Every religion, like every idiology, has a dark history. There are no exception.
    I am an Ethiopian patriot that happens to be a Muslim. I care only about Ethiopia. Everyone, except a minority, has suffered under every regime in Ethiopia. To wail about who suffered more is pathetic and most of all UN-ETHIOPIAN.
    Woyane has been able to rule in Ethiopia using evey division they could find.
    People like Love, Pete and Hussein are Useful Idiots of Woyane and traitors to Ethiopia. You should be traited like Woyane Kehadi Banda.

  30. boku
    | #30

    As usual, Tekola is underhanded. What Tekola portrays is Ethiopia that is a chrstian nation that tolerates muslims.The muslims he talks about are Ethiopians not foreigners. If he is to be balanced he could have presented the views of those that demonstrated the same day in the manner Jowar Mohammed did. Tekola is a fox that is thinly veiled unable to shake his past marriage with the criminal junta ruling the country destroying the very fabric of the nation by deviding it!

  31. love
    | #31

    @mohamed

    So you are not providing evidence to me where Christians killed Muslims in Ethiopia. Yet you now divert attention to say there are no muslims in the army so on. This means when you are talking about rights, it is about your involvement in politics. Which is nothing wrong providing that you have no other ulterior motives. You assertion tells us that you want Ethiopia to be under Islam according to your assertion. This means you are challenging centruries of peaceful coexistance between Christians and Muslims. Historically, Ethiopia has been a christian nation. To be honest with you, there is no drawing the line when groups ask for “freedom” eventually the agenda will be to stomp the others. This happened in many part of the world. Look at Egypt, Arab Muslims made Egyptian christians and the indegenous extinct the evidence is right there for you. We know also under coordinated plan between Egypt, Arabs, Liberation Fronts, Shaebia, Muslims extremist in Ethiopia and West, the plan is to make Ethiopia a muslim nation with sharia law so that in under unstable nation, it is also easy to loot the resources of Ethiopia. Well the odds are against Ethiopia it is very evident.

  32. love
    | #32

    @Ethio-Eritrea

    It is nice to hear that you are Eritrean Muslim and you care for Ethiopia. However I am responding to Hussein based on his claims Ethiopian chrisitians killed Muslims. I guess such massive words of accusation really helps the propoganda and the agenda. While it is nice that you care about Ethiopia, you have to see the growing pattern where Ethiopia is leading. You must care about Otoomoan empire who Islamized the indigenous Ethiopians in East part of Ethiopia. But then you don’t want to open up to the truth and fact. This is where we are that aggressive conversion of Ethiopians is something that puts borther against brother because of the scheme of outsiders. But do not ignore again fact. Now you probably will by pass the fact becuse you happen to be a Muslim and deep down you support such unholy conversion that is going on until this day in modern day Ethiopia. And yet you will by pass this because right under your nose Ethiopians are being brainwashed by conversiion to set a brother against brother. This is the problem that is going on today and you have to care and root out the problem in the first place.

  33. love
    | #33

    Etho Eritrea,

    Indeed the main culprit of division in the form of forced or passive aggressive conversion of Ethiopians, and in addition to ethnicity is TPLF. Yes, this entitiy should be dismantled to stop division which leads to peaceful coexistance.

  34. Anonymous
    | #34

    Ethiopian please pay attention how many TPLF have been commenting on this website and other Ethiopian websites under Muslims name putting all the blame on Amhara ethnic group to divide Ethiopians, at the same time, they failed to make a single statement on the 21 years of horrendous crimes of dictator Meles and the tplf thugs. These laughable TPLF mafia criminals are back at work to divide Ethiopians.

  35. Anonymous
    | #35

    Ethiopians, please pay attention how many TPLF have been commenting on this website and other Ethiopian websites under Muslims name putting all the blame on Amhara ethnic group to divide Ethiopians, at the same time, they failed to make a single statement on the 21 years of horrendous crimes of dictator Meles and the tplf thugs. These laughable TPLF mafia criminals are back at work to divide Ethiopians.

  36. Ethio-Eritrea
    | #36

    I would be careful if I were you to interpret what people feel deep down when you are unable to make coherent and cohesive arguments based on historical facts.
    I am not an Eritrean who cares about Ethiopia. I am an Ethiopian-Eritrean who cares about Ethiopia and Eritrea
    Secondly, the argument between Hussein and you is akin to two deaf people shouting at each other, and neither could rid lips nor sign language.
    There has been massive killing of Muslims by Christians. And massive killing of Christians by Muslims. That is our history. Unlike the both of you nincompoops, I don’t allow my background affect my analysis.
    Now, as far as the Ottoman Empire, it was established at the end of the 16th century. Islam precedes the settling of the Turks in our area. Islam was not established by force in Ethiopia. When the descendants of the Prophet waged their conquest on every part of the known world, including those countries around us, Ethiopia was the only one that was spared. Because the Prophet said that in reward for having giving haven to his first followers, to allow the Habashas to convert if they so wish.
    ^ Ofcansky, Thomas P.; LaVerle Berry (1991). “Ethiopia and the Early Islamic Period”. A Country Study: Ethiopia. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. Retrieved 2007-09-25. “According to Islamic tradition, some members of Muhammad’s family and some of his early converts had taken refuge with the Aksumites during the troubled years preceding the Prophet’s rise to power, and Aksum was exempted from the jihad, or holy war, as a result.”

    People in Ethiopia at the beginning converted because of contacts from Arab traders, just like Christians in Ethiopia converted due to contacts from outside, ie missionaries.
    I am sure in later year there were violent contacts within Ethiopia between followers of both faiths and I doubt that they were tender with each other. To wail and moan about it or to look for “patterns” today is so ridiculous.
    By the way, one peculiar thing about the Ottoman is that they were not particularly interested in the conversion of the people they ruled over. They were more bent on building and Empire. The places were they ruled over centuries remained as Christian as when they came: Bulgaria, Greece, most parts of the former Yugoslavia, etc.

    About forced conversion, it is actually a simplification. When Muslims rule over an area, they forced non-Muslims to pay a tax. And that tax would stop if they converted. It is in the interest of the ruler that you do not convert because you are a source of revenue. If you convert, than Islam gains a follower. People would convert at the beginning to avoid the tax, to marry a Muslim, to move up the social ladder, but not out of sincere faith. But afterward their descendants are born into the faith. This whole business of conversion at the edge of the sword is overblown.
    I think a great example of the same custom is when the King of Wollo, Mohamed Ali, converted to Christianity and changed his name to Negus Mikael so he could marry the Daughter of Menelik II. That is our collective history.
    Since you care about this issue, I suggest you are yourself with some facts. Read the Oxford History of Islam. You will both be better equipped to have an intelligent conversation.

    If there is something I hate, is ignorance.
    If I was a ruler of Ethiopia and I see either you or Hussein, I would have both of you shot. This business of bringing outside beef, a crusade or a jihad, is repellent to me. I am an Ethiopian first and foremost.

  37. mohamed
    | #37

    @love
    Yes Histtorically Ethiopia was christian.You are wright.But that were only Amhara,and Tigary Kilil.After you invade muslim counntries you impose your barbaries to people who didnt belong to your people.”It is forbidden to kill even Galla” who used to say that.Menelik.The Genocide of Oromo and others : AGAIN mENELIK.My friend i dont want sharia,i dont want also invaders impose to me their language,religion and culture.What i want to be free in my home without your arrogance.It is more than 100 years we are struggling.We can live when you understand that Ethiopia is no more a christian country ,stop you false propaganda.Otherwise we can separate .And you can sing everywhere Ethiopia is christian country while you are only living in the northern parth of the country.Then Orthodox be the single religion ,amharic official language.

  38. Ethio-Eritrea
    | #38

    PS:
    Love,
    I am starting to believe you might be a Woyane cadre, stooge or agent provocateur. This can’t be a coincidence what is happening in Ethiopia and Woyane are desperate to stock up any type of hate and suspicion.

  39. mohamed
    | #39

    Dear love dont put religion everywhere.I rspect all religionS.And i repeat I hate muslims terorists like Shabab.Let talk about the problem in Ethiopia. The probleme is colonial. Majority of Sidama are christian,50% of Oromo are christian,but they are fightin for their rights .politics rights,freedom.Religion have nothing to do there.So please keep your god in your heart and dont mixed with the strugle people of all religion agains slavery.50% of eritreans are christian they were fighting THE CHRISTIA Haile SELASSIE……..

  40. Ethio-Eritrea
    | #40

    @MOhamed,
    You are parroting Woyane propaganda. Neither under the monarchy nor the derg were any ethnical or religious entity forced to relinquish their cultures and languages. The present federal system is a sham by which WOyane has been able to fool people like you so they could stay in power for so long. That makes you a Useful Idiot. It tells you that you have self-rule and relies on your past (imagined or not) grieveances to better control you.
    Andinet is Unity. Unity is what makes us strong. Out of many, ONE. We are different, but stronger against external and internal enemies by our Andinet. You are weak and makes us weak.

    @Love:
    “Historically, Ethiopia has been a christian nation.”
    As far as anyone saying that I have been tolerated in my own country, let me tell you something:
    The muslim populations lived in majority muslim areas in the eastern parts and the lowlands. Some of the Sultanates were forced to join the Empire, others did it willfuly.
    The Christian Kingdoms were tradionally Christians and the Muslim Sultanates were tradionally Muslim.
    When we created an entity called Ethiopia that incorporated both tradionally Christian and Muslim parts, we created a nation that was BOTH CHRISTIAN AND MUSLIM.
    So please revisit your history before you make ridiculous statement like these.

  41. Gomen BeTena
    | #41

    @abebech
    Did you say “I do not want to hear your religios propaganda!”?
    The issue raised by the article provider is very complex and I didn’t express my views about the article,let alone propagating “my religion”. I don’t know where you got your facts. What I wanted to say is that politics and religion are interwoven in one or another way. No one can fool us. You have the right not to read and hear about your so called religion. But you don’t have any right to impose your interest on any one.
    You wrote:”The issues are the life, politics and leaders of Ethiopia and the like.”

    I hope you would tell us what you mean by life ,politics, leaders. would you tell us the role of faith in humanity?……

  42. Abebech
    | #42

    @gomen betena
    What about “faith”?
    What is faith ?
    What is so special about faith?
    Religious “faith” is a mental phenomena based on mental delusion.
    As u can see most of the responses above relate to some dude trying to tell us that how good his / her religion is better than the others, or how his religion is “Sientific”.
    Again keep your religion or religious faith private.

  43. Gomen BeTena
    | #43

    @Abebech
    Abebech said: “Religious “faith” is a mental phenomena based on mental delusion.”
    On Our planet live 7 billion people. How many of these belong to one or another religious group? Aren’t they the majority (about 6.5 billion?)…? According to abebech they suffer from delusion. …
    I hope Abebech would try to reach these people and cure them.
    Abebech! You said: “As u can see most of the responses above relate to some dude trying to tell us that how good his / her religion is better than the others, or how his religion is “Sientific”.”
    What’s wrong with this? I’m quite sure you won’t answer it..
    IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY CITIZENS HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREELY BELIEVE AND PROPAGATE THEIR RELIGION…..

    aBEBECH You said: “Again keep your religion or religious faith private.”

    I think you missed the issue raised by Tecola. Second you don’t know what freedom of religion is. Are you justifing the sufferings of Jews by Hitler? Are you telling me not to talk about all atrocities done on people around the world under the disuise of religion?
    The Saudi gov denied sopme ethiopian christians to practice their religion.According you your gov doesn’t have to defend its citizens rights since religion is a private issue. Amn’t I correct?
    You responded to my previous question regarding what issues you … one of the issues to be disscused is life of the people.
    I’m quite sure you know ethiopian muslims are fighting the alleged gov. interference in their religion.
    Are we going to ignore this issue in the assumed disscussion/s about the muslims’ life..?

  44. gragn ahmed
    | #44

    Much can be learned about a particular country from the way it treats the helpless, the wayfarer, the stranger et cetera. The whole cannons of human civilization are based on such simple but far reaching principles of compassion to the weak, the stranger, and the poor. Without such human qualities, we might as well be seen as Komodo dragons.”

    “In Saudi Arabia there is not a single Church of worship to serve the tens of thousands expatriate workers; even private worship in the private homes of individual Christians is perceived as a crime. In Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, et cetera Christians are murdered, kidnapped, and their Churches routinely vandalized or burned down. And I say to myself, watching on ETV the multitude of Muslims freely worshiping and promoting their religion with dignity and freedom right at the center of Addis Ababa that Ethiopia is truly God’s country that He set her up as a great example for all the peoples of the World to learn how to live in harmony with diversity of religion, race, ethnicity et cetera. Who is to say that is not God’s plan? Maybe that is why Ethiopia had never been extinguished as a sovereign nation over several thousand years.”

    I really don’t agree with rosy statements on the second paragraph. First, paragraph on the other hand is promising. I tried to really read your mind based on the contextual meaning of the whole essay. Hence, I found these two above paragraphs very unlikely to go hand in hand. I can not tell whether you go by your first statement of the second statement.

    I really don’t appreciate the fact that you compared Ethiopian Muslims who are resident of a sovereign nation Ethiopia to compare them with others who are another sovereign nation.

    I really don’t know why every time we are Ethiopian Muslims we are compared with the Saudis. Let me make it clear, why would we not compare parts of Ethiopia who are christian and parts of Ethiopia that are Muslim areas and see whether the two lived equally and who lived in oppression. For example, in a 100% Muslim areas of Somali Ethiopia there are churchs even in remote places like Wuchale. Whereas there are no mesjids in Axum area where there are many Muslims. So, to a sane mind one would think that Muslims are more tolerant than christian Ethiopians. However, you jumped to another country’s sovereign issue. don’t you even appreciate what we are doing in Ethiopia to show some kind of respect despite our areas being Muslim. So, I once again feel so disappointed for lack of such intellectual courage on your part. It is true the Northern intellectuals are no better than the ignorant some fake Priests and Leaders. So, the whole essay lacks a clear analysis.

    This approach will be of no use. Please don’t compare us to Saudis. We are citizens. The time is changing because Muslim have now big power and if you continue to show some unreasonable attitude we will have no choice but to do the same to you.

    For the fact, we have been repressed more than the copts of Egypt. Now, you want to exchange Ethiopian Muslims with the whole of Arabs. Why compare it to Saudi Arabia only or Egypt. There are many Arab countries where christians go out dancing particularly in the Gulf areas, Morroco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Sudan, etc.

    It is very interesting you mentioned Sudan. Is it not sudan who gave you refugee so you can move to USA? Is it not Meles who had Muslim passport despite he being a Muslim hater. Is not Essayas a muslim hater while he lived in a Muslim country?

    Did not yemenis accept a lot of refugees during Mengestu take over by Weyane? Have they not welcomed you?

    But you want us to be treated as refugees while we were born in that country. It is good you applaud Ethiopia but with no substance.

  45. said
    | #45

    why didnt you mention that Ethiopian Muslems are not allowed to build mosque in Axum, their own country?

  46. Yinegal
    | #46

    I say AMEN to that. Wonderfully put.
    @Ethio-Eritrea

  47. Abebech
    | #47

    Religion is made by man when humans were unable to explain things. But this is 21st century and we have come a long way in scientific know-how’s than those illiterate flat earthers creators of religion.
    If 6 billion people are still clinging to the mental delusion that do not make it “scientific”or good. It remains delusional.
    The Abrahamic religion(Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)have spilled human blood ever since they were created.
    Who is stupid enough to accept in these days that there was once a talkin snake?

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