Cautious Journey

 

By Abdumalik Omar

 

“This is a comment left on Nejashi OJ blog and I found it very reasonable and positive analysis to repost it into my blog.  This post reflects the very essence of Muslims feeling towards peace, prosperity and hope for change as well as the dangerous trend that some chose to follow for Ethiopia and its peoples”. and I gave it the title cautious journy

 

1.    I believe the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian government is treading on a dangerous path. Both of them can not feign ignorance to what is going on right under their nose. This guy is preaching hatred against Muslims right outside of some church. And the government is pleading ignorance and letting the church wage a senseless crusade against more than half the population. If the church and the government are under the impression that they are following the right course of action, I believe both of them are going to loose big time in what may follow.

The government has gained a lot of experience by rigging elections and census data. Some sources are saying that the recent census showed that sixty five percent of the population is followers of Islam. It is speculated that it is this reason why it took the government more than two years after the completion of the census to come up with some ridiculous numbers against the Muslims. Both the church and the government figured out that this is not going to do the trick against the Muslims and in their infinite wisdom, they have declared a war against Muslims to disenfranchise and demoralize them in hopes of subjugating them as they have been used to in times past.

We are being told the action of this loony “priest” is an isolated incident and does not reflect the sentiment of the larger Christian population. The majority of Ethiopian Christians might not accept what the guy is preaching, but let me remind you that every movement starts small initially and spreads wide if left unchecked. The Nazi and Fascist movement was a very marginal and fringe group at its inception. It ended up for the loss of more than fifty million lives and the destruction of so many countries. And our country was not spared the scourge of that movement. This lunatic priest is not preaching alone, he has a crowd of followers who are echoing and supporting his venomous attack against innocent Muslims and their faith. And the troubling question is where are the government and the church when everything is happening under their very eyes?

During the early years of the present government, many Christians were attacked in some Oromia regions because of the prevailing political climate that developed which pitted one ethnic group against another. Large number of non-Oromos who have lived in that region totally abandoned the area for good. For anyone who has a slight knowledge of population distribution in the country, the present course of action by some fanatic Christians does not bode well for their cause. If what we are witnessing is left unchecked, the nation will surely be divided along religious and ethnic lines which are the opposite of the outcome some chauvinist fanatics are looking four. The Ethiopian Muslims are under a constant threat both from the church and the government when it comes to the question of their Allah given rights. But some in the Ethiopian church (Mahbre Kudusan) think that Muslims are getting away with much more than they are entitled. And we Muslims are challenging the system to get our rightful place in the affairs of the nation.
If this disagreement is not resolved properly, I am afraid the light we are seeing at the other end of the tunnel is nothing but a freight train.

We Muslims have been repeatedly told by our Christian brothers and sisters that we have lived as good neighbors with mutual respect and understanding. Although the sentiment has some merit, much of the understanding and respect came from the Muslims. I am sure the Muslim of Bosina were told by their Serbian neighbors stories along the same lines until that fateful event for the Muslims arrived and paid dearly with their lives. Times have changed for us Muslim Ethiopians and we are no more content with the status-quo. Following the dictates of the constitution, we are demanding our equal rights and our rightful place in the nation as equal with all others; and for that we are confronted with obstacles and intrigue from different corners. It is the duty of the government to safeguard and protect the right of every citizen and it is the responsibility of every citizen to respect others and not infringe on that right and make a mockery of each other beliefs.

The government has a burden of protecting its citizens from malicious and hateful elements in the population and the church should be responsible for elements that are speaking on its behalf. I hope I am wrong but it is my feeling that the government is not paying much attention and the church is tacitly approving what is being done judging from its past activities. I am praying that decent elements from the government and the church will prevail in the matter to spare our people another episode of calamity that is waiting to fall.