Ethiopian Muslims, as taxpayers, have the right to use any public facility in Ethiopia. The recent controversy raised by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church through its patriarch Office or other government officials to deny Ethiopian Muslims to use Maskel Square for Eid-al Fitr or for any other purpose is unwarranted. It will serve the enemies of Ethiopia to divide Ethiopians now among religious divisions. Since a TPLF agent leads the Orthodox Church, there should be a severe analysis if this is designed to drive a wedge among Ethiopian Muslims and Christians to serve TPLF interest or the actual wishes of the Ethiopian Orthodox followers.
After TPLF took over the Orthodox Church, TPLF had its eye on the Muslim leadership. In the process, it tried to pit Muslims against the Orthodox Church, especially against Amharas. Still, through the leadership of Imam Haji Zumakan Jemal of the grand Anwar Mosque, Ethiopian Muslims refused to join TPLF. Consequently, many Muslims were killed and imprisoned, including Imam Zumakan, when TPLF sent armed people to remove the leadership and put its appointed leaders.
The recent controversy could be a scheme by the current Patriarch, a TPLF hack, or others to drive wedges to serve TPLF or fulfill the church’s wishes. Regardless, this can antagonize Ethiopian Muslims to make them feel like second-class citizens, which was often expressed before 1974.
The Abiy regime has always stayed silent when tragedies happen in Ataye, in Wollega, and elsewhere. It cannot prevent conflicts before they happened because of poor intelligence or intervene with force when they happened.
I recall the celebration of Irreechaa last year and other events at the Maskel Square/Adebaby. I am not sure if Maskal Square is the proper venue for religious or traditional celebrations.
However, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If it can be used by any religious group or by traditional groups, it would have been fair to allow Muslims to access it. This is a clear indication that there are forces bent backward to destroy Ethiopia by any means necessary, either inflaming ethnic tension or religious differences.
The Abiy regime has failed so far to curtail these forces either by lack of will, lack of power, or in cahoots with them. Nobody knows, but it looks like, in matters of importance to the nation’s survival, he often goes AWL.
Despite his flowery rhetoric and reconciliatory speeches, he is driving Ethiopia into the abyss. People have to be cognizant of this fact and make sure Muslims, Christians, and ethnic groups do not fall for this trap. Imam Haji Zumakan Jemal was my uncle, and I was proud of him when he defied Meles Zenawi to collude with him against Christians. He paid a small price; nonetheless, Ethiopia is in a mortal danger than ever before. If a leader cannot comprehend the gravity of such a mistake, such as oppressing or antagonizing almost half of the country’s population in a trivial matter like this, allowing a TPLF patriarch to make a damning press release, allowing Jawar, and others plot to kill Hachalu to start an ethnic war, and allowing TPLF to slaughter Ethiopian soldiers while asleep because of poor intelligence shows lack of wisdom and the foresight to be a leader besides demonstrating incompetence and abdication of responsibility. It might be time for new leadership or for a new party or for both.
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