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Islam and the current repression of muslims in Ethiopia

In Islamic history and tradition, Ethiopia (Abyssinia or Al-Habasha) is known as the "Haven
for the First Migration or Hijra." For Muslims, Ethiopia is synonymous with freedom from
persecution and emancipation from fear.
Ethiopia was a land where its king, Negus or Al-Najashi, was a person renowned for justice and in
whose land human rights were cherished.

The meaning and the significance of "Hijra" are embodied in the Islamic calendar. Since its inception,
the Islamic calendar represents a history of perpetual struggle between truth and falsehood, faith and
blasphemy, freedom and oppression, light and darkness, and peace and war.
The first migration [Hijra] of the Companions and relatives of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and
blessings be upon him) to Ethiopia celebrates/signifies the birth of freedom of expression and beliefs,
whereas, the Second Migration of the Prophet Muhammad to the Madinah celebrates the end of
Based on the European World Year Book of 1991 and UNICEF/ETHIOPIA, the estimated number of
Ethiopian Muslims, ranges between 23.9 million to 27.7 million (45 percent-52 percent), and ranks the
third largest Muslim population in Africa after Nigeria and Egypt.

current situation of Ethiopian muslims

Until July 2011, Ethiopias government seemed to respect the religious freedom of its
people, including Muslims, who constitute half of the population. Article 27 of
Ethiopias constitution guarantees religious freedom and the independence/separation
of the state and religion.

The late Former Ethiopian Premier Meles Zenawi has put the Ahbash in charge of the
religious affairs of Ethiopian Muslims.


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As of or beginnning July 2011, Ethiopias government decided to fight Muslims

through restricting the freedom of all Muslims and interference in their religious
affairs. It imported imams representing the al-Ahbash movement/sect within Islam
from Lebanon and compelled Ethiopias imams and Islamic educators to embrace and
mirror their teachings. The government began dismissing dissenters by firing imams
and closing their schools. This effort was conducted not only by through Ethiopias
government but also by the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (EIASC).

The Imams from Lebanon teach about al-Ahbash in

Ethiopia . The Ahbash has launched an "indoctrination program" in predominantly
Muslim areas, forcing people to enrole into "religious training" camps. Thise who refuse
risk police interrogation and possible arrest.

When it was launched, the EIASCs members were appointed by the government rather than
being elected by the community, thus denying Muslims their religious rights and recognized
independent voice. The attempts to impose al-Ahbash triggered protests outside the Mosques
in December.

In the spring of 2012, an Arbitration Committee of 17 Islamic scholars was created by

the protesters to negotiate with the government and find solutions. The focus was to
ensure respect for religious freedoms and guarantee such as ending the imposition of
al-Ahbash, reopening schools and reinstituting dismissed imams and administrators.
The Committee also demanded new EIASC elections.

By the end of July, negotiations failed, protests increased and the government began
conducting house-to-house searches. The government arrested 1,000 protestors, along
with all of the 17 Committee members, eight of whom were released later.
Meanwhile, officials denied any role in the al-Ahbash trainings. A religious
community, insisted that the regime does not meddle in religious affairs unless the
red lines are crossed the terms they have not definedand blamed the EIASC


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alone for the al-Ahbash trainings, even though the EIASC members were initially
government appointees and remain entirely sympathetic to the government.

What does this all mean? the way to counter religious extremism is not with religious
repression but through religious freedom.

Ethiopian Muslim Protests in North Ethiopia Wello Dessie.

More than 1.5 million people gathered in Addis Ababa for EidAlfetir 2012 and protested
aganist the Goverment repression of religious freedom.

Ethiopian Muslims killed, arrested and tortured by the government

of Ethiopia


On april 27, 2012 - the armed

force of the Ethiopian Regime arbitrarily opened fire on

Muslims returning from Friday prayers and killed 11 innocent Muslims and injured
several others,. A six-year-old-boy,a woman and an old man were among the innocent
victims due to this savage attack by the Ethiopian Regime's forces. Besides, the
credible reports from the ground confirmed that scores of Muslims were arrested.
Such a brutal assault on innocent civilians shows the Ethiopian authorities' brutality
and lack of consideration for the lives of their innocent citizens.

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Ethiopian federal police stormed the Awolia mosque compound late Friday, July 13,
2012 and attacked Muslim volunteers inside. The security forces fired teargas and beat
Muslims who gathered inside the building. At least four people were reportedly killed
in the attack, while several others were seriously injured. Awolia is the center of
Muslim protests against attempts by the Ethiopian government to interfere in their
religious affairs.
Following clashes between the residents of Degan Wereda in South Wollo a few days
ago, over 100 Ethiopian Muslims were reportedly rounded up and detained. The town
was surrounded by members of the federal police and one of the detainees is 90-year
old Edris Kemal, who is a respected elder in the area.
The Ethiopian Muslims are still languishing in jail while the Swedish journalists were
released due to pressure from outside. The world community is silent on the sufferings
of Millions of Muslims.


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Muslims tourtured in the prisons of Ethiopia.

Continued arrests and detentions of peaceful protestors

Since July, when large numbers of arrests took place and incidents occurred at Awalia and
Anwar mosques in Addis Ababa, protests have continued to take place in several regions,
including the towns of Dessie, Jimma, Harar, Shashemene, Adama, Bati, Kemise, and Robe.
In addition to the original grievances of the movement, the protesters also demonstrated
against the continued detention of members of the committee chosen to present the Muslim
communitys grievances to the government. Arbitrary arrests and harassment of protesters are
reported to have taken place in a number of locations. Many of these reports have included
allegations of police beating protestors, and the use of tear gas against peaceful demonstrators
in at least two locations.

police beating protestors in Dessie

Town North Ethiopia


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Ethiopian Muslim
peacefully protest every Friday more than a year in Anwar mosque - Addis Ababa ,
other parts of the country and in all over the world but what is the response of the
outside world?

Ethiopian Muslims rocked Addis Ababa,

Dessie, Jima, Harer, Mekele, and 36 other
towns in Ethiopia.
The protesters said we are Abubeker, We are Kamil Shemsu, We are Yasin Nuru, and
we are Ahmed Mustafa Allah Waa Akbar!
Release our venerated leaders now, Allah Waa Akbar!

Let our voices be heard

As time runs out for Ethiopias crumbling minority junta to correct the wrongs of the dead
tyrant Meles Zenawi, it is fast losing credibility and legitimacy.


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(8 February 2013) the ground breaking Muslim protests and the voices they reverberated
throughout the vast nation represent the authentic voices of all Ethiopians.As you see this is
not a savage rioting to destroy property and innocent lives. We are not here to destabilize our
countrys political life and social balance by blindly demanding the implementation of the
Sharia law in a secular nation. All this is the ethnic juntas baseless propaganda war against
Muslims to create divisions and scare the 40 million orthodox Christians from joining us.
The articulate young devout told reporters at Anwar Mosque in the center of Addis Ababa.
Despite the massive intimidation campaign and threats of genocide by the minority junta the
turnout was much bigger than the previous protests. This is a clear sign of people getting fed
up with TPLF warlords and an indication that the regime is losing its hold on people.
Similar protests were held in all major cities and towns of Ethiopia with miner clashes being
reported in the eastern historic city of Harer.
Some Muslims said todays angry protest was provoked by the airing of a Holy wood
blockbuster styled and poorly written documentary entitled Jihadawi Harekat on the
Government owned ETV( Ethiopian TV)
However, in their more than a year long peaceful demand for religious freedom, Ethiopian
Muslims never sought armed confrontation and violence as a solution for their predicament
and religious rights.
The Holy synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church in exile has made a press
realease in which it condemened the killing of muslim brothers and sisters in Ethiopia and
called upon all Orthodox blieveres to joint the fellow muslims in thier protest aganist the
unlawful intervention of The TPLF/EPRDF regime in their religious affairs and norms.
.We expect that millions of Orthodox Christians will join the revolution very soon.

The Role of Norwegian government in Ethiopia

Norway has a long history in Ethiopia, both through diplomacy,bilateral assistance and
missionary work. Bilateral relations were established in 1948. The diplomatic affairs and
relations were carried out through the Norwegian embassies in Cairo and Nairobi till an
embassy was established in Addis Ababa in 1991.

On December 17th, Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs visited Addis Abeba and
held talks with national and regional actors, including Ethiopian Prime Minister
Hailemariam Desalegn.


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In February,
2010 The Norwegian state Secretary for Environment and International Development ,
Ingrid Fiskaa visited Ethiopia for two days, in what was her first trip to Africa as a
State Secretary
.In June, 2010 Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Stre visited
Addis Abeba for political meetings with Prime Minister Meles and Foreign Minister
Seyoum, as well as with the representatives of the Africa Union Commission:

Around the same time, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg took up the CoChairmanship of the UN High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing in
developing countries together with the late Ethiopias Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

In September,2010 The Labour and Social Committee from the Norwegian Parliament had a
three-day long study trip to Ethiopia's capital Addis Abeba. The focus of the trip was work
issues, decent work, child labour, women's jobs, social rights and trade unions.


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In October,2010 the last meeting of the Advisory group was held in Addis Abeba. Prime
Minister Stoltenberg visited the city to lead the meetings with his Ethiopian counterpart, and
held political talks, and paid a visit to a project supported by UNICEF and the Ethiopian
Ministry of health, where he met with Health Minister Dr. Twodoros Adhanom.

Norwegian assistance, administered by the Embassy, was for 2010 NOK 100,2 million.

If the Norwegian Politians are good friends of Ethiopian Government I request the
Norwegian state , people and the international community to ask the autocratic Ethiopian
government to stop killing, arresting, torturing with electric shocks in Ethiopia.