Ethiopian Muslims staged one of the biggest demonstrations in Addis Ababa in support of incarcerated members of Committee for the Solutions of Ethiopian Muslims- who have been thrown to the torture chamber of Maekelawi in the capital Addis Ababa.
Today, tens of thousands of protestors marched in Addis Ababa and other towns after Friday prayer chanting the slogan “We are the Committee, Justice for the Committee”
The resilient Ethiopian Muslims’ movement was originally started over two years ago to oppose intervention of the TPLF dominated ruling party in the affairs of Ethiopian Muslims.
Government intervention manifested itself in the form of imposing unelected government affiliated “religious leaders” with intent to run the administrative affairs of the Islamic school of Awolia and even imposing a new form of Islamic teaching on Ethiopian Muslims – a move that angered them and gave rise to the resilient movement of Ethiopian Muslims.
Civility is a principle the movement held firmly from the outstart. With the intent to resolve the issue through dialogue, Ethiopian Muslims elected Outspoken Committee Members to facilitate the peaceful movement.
Government response was brutal repression as usual; it put Elected Committees behind bar ; even subjected them to torture.
While doing this, government prepared a documentary series entitled “Jihadawi Harakat“,which was aired in state controlled television, to brain wash and entice the muslim population in the country that the Committee Members were involved in “terrorist activity.”
The outcome was different that Ethiopian Muslims demonstrated firm stand that the story disseminated by Ethiopian government was all trumped up. The slogan “We are the Committee, Justice for the Committee” is a clear demonstration of that.
Partly, government intention in arresting committee members seemed to relegate the movement from resisting government intervention in religious affairs to demanding the release of committee members.
However, it is apparent that Ethiopian Muslims are demanding the release of their committee members while not forgetting the demand that caused incarceration of their committees.
The movement is unique, strong and resilient. It does not look like government can repress it by force. Dozens were killed in towns and cities outside of Addis due to brutal government attack. But it never quelled the peaceful movement down.
Written by Dimetros Birku
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