Ethiopia won't be a playground for Islamic extremism
By Taye Seboka
Ethiopian News, Tigrai Online, February 13, 2016
The Ethiopian extremist opposition are exposing Ethiopia to Islamic extremism for their personal political gain.
Islamic extremism and terrorism are a concerning threat to our world and country. But, it can’t be said that most people are aware of this, except for those who of course understood it, and those who are playing dumb and want to use it for their political end.
The Ethiopian extremist opposition force; which is exposing the country to terrorism, state that there is no Islamic extremism in Ethiopia for personal political gain. This is a disappointing act of treason. Rand Corporation, a non-profit and a nonpartisan policy research center, which undertakes detail research on identified threats to the national interest of US people and government; threats like international jihadists and Al-Qaeda.
By doing research through experts on many Islamic extremist terrorist organizations that operate in various countries, it makes timely statement of the findings. In relation to the September 11 terror attacks, Rand Corporation has done many researches on Al-Qaeda and other terrorist in Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa, especially in North Africa and Horn of Africa (including our own dangerous terrorists region).
And the corporation also gives expert advice to policy makers on potential and dynamic threats of terrorism that can occur in the future by changing their ways.
It analyzes Al-Qaeda’s capability, ties, financial source, military training, international relations, its capability to cause trouble, both in possible and impossible component. It also states that Ethiopia also has been victim of repeated attack from terrorist extremists, presenting the attack Al-Ittahad Al-Islamiya carried out on famous people and on various places as evidence.
Al-Ittahad Al-Islamiya used to have direct link, and also used to carry out terror attack under the command Al-Qaeda in Somalia. It was devastatingly hit by the counterattacking measure Ethiopia took against it.
When the Union of Islamic Court, which came in its place, and then its offshoot the extremist terror organization Al-Shabaab, tried to expand its terror horizon into Ethiopia and other countries of the Horn, Ethiopia countered it by entering into Somalia and attacking its controlled areas. Dismantled after it got weakened, the group had moved to establishing a suicide group that is limited to armed struggle. After Ethiopia left, it reassembled and changed itself to huge army and recaptured many areas.
\When the organization decided for African peacekeeping force to enter into Somalia, and Ethiopia was invited to reenter into Somalia, the country accepted the reentry and retook the many areas Al-Shabaab captured.
Al-Shabaab, which is Al-Qaeda’s Africa faction, currently has returned to its suicide bombing attacks after sustaining heavy blow to its strength. It was international jihadists that entered into Somalia together with Bin Laden from Afghanistan that established Al-Ittahad Al-Islamiya in Somalia, and militarily organized it.
Their objective was to establish an Islamic extremist government that is governed with Sharia law in Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia. In order to implement their extremist ideology, they have been working hard covertly in recruitment, in using Social Medias for creating followers, relaying Jihadi calls, and for doing propaganda works.
It can’t be said that there were no individuals that went from Ethiopia into Somalia replying the Jihad call and participate in it. And the Eritrea government, which is aware that Al-Shabaab is an international terrorist organization that is standing next to Al-Qaeda, aided the group in arms, military training on top of sheltering them in Asmara – and this has been investigated and verified by the United Nations Security Council’s Monitoring group.
The fact that self-proclaimed Ethiopian opposition forces that are standing with the Shabiya government like Ginbot 7, OLF, ONLF are working with international terrorist organization, which also work with Jawar Mohammed who claims that Oromia is of only the Muslims and wants to establish an Islamic government in Oromia and a leader of the terrorists and extremists Oromia Media Network, has become more clear than any time before.
The Eritrean government has given Assab port to the extremists Wahabi sect adhering government with long term deal for them to dock their warships and soldiers so that they can be able to attack Yemen. Most of the Wahabi extremists Islamic sect followers are Saudi Arabians, and one of them is the founder of Al-Qaeda Osama Bin Laden.
Al-Qaeda has huge base in Yemen, and vehemently hates the Iran supported Shiite Muslims. And the battle is being fought between Wahabi Islam that is supported by Saudi Arabia and Shiite Muslims that is supported by Iran. And the battlefield is Yemen. As Yemen is near and close to us, the fighting between extremists might spill over to Ethiopia. When Isaias Afwerki decided to sell Assab to Arabs, his main objective is to make Ethiopia victim of extremist terrorist Muslims. The Eritrea government did this with the aim of making the Horn of Africa the playground of international terrorists like Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, ISIS; and for them to attack Ethiopia from different direction so that the country would not have peace and stability, and stops the development path it has already started.
It is a grand anti-Ethiopia conspiracy, which aims to stop the Grand Renaissance Dam and other projects, plotted by talking and negotiating with the Arab world extremist governments and billionaire extremist Islamic wealthy. And the Ethiopian people will fight to the end any of those so-called Ethiopian oppositions who stood with Shabiya.
As this is an issue of the country’s security, there will be no negotiation or compromise. Those who says ‘my country’ will stand and fight for his/her motherland, and those who chose Shabiya and Islamic terrorists will fight and stand with them as their servant. Political difference has long existed and will continue to exist.
But, siding with internationally condemned killer and butchers and talking about democracy at the same time is unthinkable. We now understand more than ever why it is that Ethiopia’s extremist opposition parties vehemently argued that there is no Islamic extremism in Ethiopia, and used to and still give them huge coverage in their Social Medias. It is practically clear. It has become clearer that the millions of dollars they are getting come from terrorist Islamic forces.
Although we already had our suspicion on why an opposition party called on Muslims to get out and have mass demo, what kind of relation exists between them and what tied them together, but today it has become crystal clear. However, they should know that a grand and ancient country like Ethiopia won’t be destroyed or disintegrated through such malicious plots and by sellout errand boys of extremist terrorist Islamic forces. Instead the country’s enemies will be destroyed, and cease to exist.
From ancient times on up to now, the Arab world extremist forces have fought us more than one time on the issue of Nile River, and they have been defeated twice and came back to where they come from embarrassed. The Durbushes had also fought us to spread Islam in Metema, but Ethiopia has protected its borders by sacrificing its King. And the Turks have moved to forcefully spread Islam with the barrels of gun from east to north Ethiopia, by fully arming Ahmed Gragn.
This is what is referred historically as the Gragn Ahmed invasion. Many churches and monasteries, historical heritages and documents have been burned and destroyed. Before the world today become aware of the meaning and danger of Islamic extremists, Ethiopia has seen it before many hundred years and ago and put it down in the battlefield.
It really is shameful to see extremist opposition that are based in the Diaspora and some academics, who very well know about this history, say that there is no Islamic extremism in Ethiopia when it spreading like a disease nowadays.
So, they should regret that they have created suitable condition and given up their country to be a playground for extremists. It is to get a political gain that EPRDF is saying that there is extremism in Ethiopia. It is because it’s a real threat that is casting its shadow on the country.
Assessing their own intelligence source, the big government has repeatedly stated that Islamic extremism, both from the angle of posing a threat and from interfering in the shape of foreign extremist forces, is taking root in Ethiopia. It is not a problem EPRDF created.
The problem was there before EPRDF came to power. It use to also exist during the emperor and Derg regime, and it is a rooted problem. Of course the path the previous governments took to stop Islamic extremism is different. The olden times was not like nowadays in a sense that it’s malice never reached the current level, while being supported by sophisticated technology.
The western government have verified how much Wahabi Islamic threat is looming on Ethiopia, how Kuwaiti, Qatari and Saudi NGOs are going the distance to spread extremism by recruiting young Muslims and by entering the country in the name of doing support and aid work in various regions.
Not only this. Al-Qaeda has tried to establish its own branch in Ethiopia. The extremist Islamic militant group by the name of Khawaraja has killed Christians by flaunting ISIS-like emblem.
It has burned down churches. It has also destroyed ancient Ethiopian Muslims mosques and Books of Menzumas. The group has also killed elderly Shieks and Ulamas just because they opposed extremism. This was later stopped by Ethiopian Special Forces.
Given extremists and terrorists change their system and characteristics, it cannot be said they are fully destroyed. But, for no the activity has been stopped. Even now, there are many situations that need investigation, study and analyze.
The Ethiopian Muslim father from Dessie that was killed by Ethiopian Wahabi and Salafi extremists Muslims in his doorstep when he was about to enter his house after preaching all day about the values of tolerance and peace can serve as more than enough evidence for this. In Kemisie city, extremist Muslim forces have made an unsuccessful effort to breakout prisoners from police station. The fact that they killed police, cut off the city’s telephone line, tried to exchange fire even with little force and went into hiding is a tangible evidence for the existence of terrorists and Islamic extremists here.
Of course, sooner or later, they have been hunted down and seized as there can’t be anything that can be outside of the watch of the people and government.
Both Wahabi and Salafi extremists, especially Whabis, have made a huge effort to seize the leader of Ethiopia Islamic Supreme Council and to forcefully impose their extremist doctrine and control everything by using the name of Islam.
As it’s known, the flow of the money that is funneled to lead the movement from foreign based Islamic extremists and Wahabi/Salafi forces. They flaunt an Islamic extremist politics. Although they say their issue is with protecting the rights of Muslims for cover, their main target is to control the leadership of Ethiopia’s Islamic Affairs Supreme Council.
If they are able to do this, they aim at establishing Sharia administered Islamic government in Ethiopia by spreading Wahabi/Salafi Islamic extremist doctrine under legal pretense, and indoctrinate their religious political ideology through time.
What stopped this malicious objective of theirs is the peaceful Ethiopian Muslim community. The likes of ‘Demstachin Yesema’ are shouting and standing as agent of the extremist Muslim group. Unless it is to say ‘leave us alone and let us do harm and malice as much as we desire’, their bogus ‘the government has interfered in our religion’ cry is baseless, as the government has the responsibility and duty to protect the peace, security of every citizen.
When some entities are subverting the rights of the people, and disturb their peace, the government cannot look at them idly. It will carry out its duty of upholding the rule of law. As it’s known, anarchism is one characteristics of extremism. That was what happened, and is happening.
What Ethiopia is focusing on and fighting is Islam extremism and terrorism. Currently, Islamic extremists and terrorist forces follow dynamic system unlike previous time.
After their main and permanent military training station in Afghanistan was hit, they have spread to the every corner of the globe at individual level. Sudan, Afghanistan and Somalia used to be their safe haven for assembling. They used to have training stations in these countries. When Bin Laden was in Somalia, there were 17 Al-Qaeda military training stations, including Campo Combonin.
The trainers were Jihadists that hailed from various Arab countries, and that have been to Afghanistan. Their close target was Ethiopia. There are also Kenya and Tanzania. Bin Laden stayed in Sudan from 1991 to 1996 in Sudan, before going to Afghanistan.
During this time, by recruiting young Muslims that entered into Sudan from various neighbor countries as Al-Qaeda members, they were made to get military training. They also had the chance to enter and get out of Ethiopian border as they like.
It was also during Bin Laden’s Sudan stay that Wahabi built mosques, spread madras’s, and taken young people to Sudan in the name of Scholarship. Bin laden and the Sudanese Islamic leader Dr. Hassan Al-Thurabi together established Al-Qaeda.
And Ethiopia was their target. They have tried to send in Islamic extremist doctrine from Somalia in the east and Sudan from the west, and squeeze the country as sandwich in the middle. And behind the struggle of religious extremist, the Eritrean government is there wishing Ethiopia’s fall and misery. And the regime is there still. It was able to foil before causing any harm by the fight and close look of every people and the fast measure taken by the government.
But, their plot and conspiracy will never stop. Even now, the threat of extremists and terrorists demand active close look; it can’t be said that their threat doesn’t exist. Before the threat of extremism and terrorism penetrated us, Ethiopia has foiled the dream of Al-Shabaab, the Somalia faction of Al-Qaeda and ISIS partner, of entering into Ethiopia. Even when Al-Shabaab was being beaten, it tried to bring misery a every chance the group gets by directly and indirectly assigning few suicide bombers. And this is a system terrorists used to give their fighters moral support; a sense ‘we still here’.
As it’s known, Al-Shabaab is still doing many works to make horn of Africa still its playground by partnering with Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Ansar-Aldin and other international terrorists. Although its strength is weakening, it gives training with new recruit. It readies itself for yet another suicide bombing mission.
The new map of ISIS includes Sudan, Ethiopia and Yemen. It officially stated that it works to create a caliphate that is administered by strict Sharia law. It has disseminated its map - though it is fantasy.
But, they won’t back down from trying it. It can be guessed that they formulate a dynamic system and strategies. It is their day to day activity to recruit new members, give them terrorist training by their covert setup. Terrorists study their targets. They assign individuals for this as businessman, import exporter, or as an investor.
For this end, they use those who have pleaded and stayed loyal with their extremist politics. The attack of the terrorists adheres to a very different approach compared to the characteristics of armed struggle. What likens them is that both attack with small number and disperse, the ability to strike fear on the psyche of the public, and the ability to use Social Medias for their propaganda.
In most of the armed struggle the world ever saw, they try to bring the people to their side as much as they can. They don’t kill every person they found on their way, like Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram. They don’t behead people; they don’t destroy their possession. What they focus on is on the limited those who they saw as their enemies.
The terrorists and Islamic extremists are inhumane. They are enemy of all people and religions. They are destroyer of ancient, and they help destroy modern civilization, education and knowledge.
They want the world to be led by one religion, which is their own extremist Islamic religion. And to this end, they behead and kill followers of other religions. Nobody will accept those who kill and bombs people, children, the elderly, young people on the road, market, stadium and shopping malls etc …
Terrorists and extremists are anti-democracy. They don’t respect or accept the rights of anyone except for theirs. Anyone that follows differing faith and tradition to them is ‘Kafir’. If one falls into their hands, his/her destiny is to be shot or beheaded.
This is why people of the world decided to fight terrorists and Islamic extremist forces from every corner. Religious extremism and fundamentalism is a threat to Ethiopia, which is also the number one concern of our world. Terrorists hate churches. After carrying out inhumane crimes, there is no stopping these people from hiding at places they believe nobody would suspect/expect them to be.
There is no point in sending huge army to break down the strength of terrorists from their root and destroy them, except for following a different system and strategy. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen are existing/tangible evidences. For this kind of sophistication, it is necessary to formulate a new military and security formula that is well adjusted to the technological of the time.
It is only possible to solve the problem from its roots by using wide-ranging political, economic, social and cultural formula. The second dangerous international terrorists region is horn of Africa.
This region is a dangerous district where extremists terrorists are found still waiting in the shadows ready to pounce on opportunities, and where huge number of individuals/terrorists links in network (whether or not in an organized or disorganized manner).
It is possible to recall the consecutive roster attacks that were carried out in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda and in the east and central part of Ethiopia. Many properties were destroyed. Many innocent lives are lost.
The Somali Dahir Aweyes’s Council was an extremists Islamic force; and it used to get support and aid from Islamic extremist wealthy (like Kuwait, Qatar,Saudi Arabia) and from the Ato Isaias Afwerki’s government. And their target was Ethiopia. And they used to have a bureau and shelter in Asmara. This group used to work closely with ONLF, and this continues to this day, with the offshoot of the group, Al-Shabaab.
Eritrea has given full military training, shelter, equipment and logistics support to Islamic extremist forces like Al-Shabaab and ONLF indirectly by using what was sent to it from Arab countries. No matter how much religious freedom is guaranteed through international and national law, religious and extremist religious politics say that they will spread Islamic government everywhere.
For their religious political ideology, they instigate psychological warfare on their Social Medias that is supported by guns, bombs and heavy losses. They have outperformed in their propaganda war. While the extremist and terrorist Islamic forces are many (Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, Ansar - Aldin etc …), they believe that they will enter heaven by killing others.
Their thinking starting from the Middle East is doing everything possible, most of it malicious and done in a confidential sort of way, to spread into Africa and Europe. International extremist has extended Jihad call at various times by targeting Ethiopia.
There is no basis and environment that is needed for terrorist plots in Ethiopia. The country's culture also doesn’t accept it. Various extremist Islamic has shown tremendous feat in indoctrinating extremism within Ethiopia under the radar.
The identities behind chaos Mentone and operate international terrorist force are known .There are many information that shows that the Islamic extremist force doesn’t sleep. Given the big country’s highly sophisticated technological spying equipment, sea and air satellite information, it is surprising to see how they are vulnerable to attacks of terrorists.
And as Ethiopia mobilized almost its entire people, it will continue to move forward by foiling the plots and conspiracies of terrorists and extremists. The main and important force that defends against extremists and terrorists are the people themselves. Terrorism is an enemy of mankind. Not only we should be defending again it, we should also destroy it – as it doesn’t benefit anyone.
If we take our country, every religion has full rights stipulated on the constitution. The government doesn’t interfere on the affairs of religions. This means that the government doesn’t have any official religion. Whether at national or international level, religious rights and freedom is basic human right.
Everyone has the duty to show the same respect and courtesy to other religions as he/she would its own. Extremists don’t accept this. After the coming of EPRDF to power every religion has found their full rights, not like in previous regimes, where aspects of that were limited.
With regards to Islam, in an unprecedented feat in the country's history, the rights of Muslim community is respected, their holiday celebrated overtly and large number of mosques are built during this regime's tenure.
The effort to manipulate this success by Islamic extremists and fundamentalists by using various guises has many negative implications. The Wahabi/Salafai sect, which had the chance to infiltrate into Ethiopia from the Middle East at various times, have worked in covert for many years to indoctrinate young Muslims with Islamic extremism so that the long existing Ethiopian Islam religious rule and heritage won't be passed down to the next generation.
After working covertly to increase their supporters and lay their bases under the radar, in recent times they have moved to operate openly. One of their teachings is the one that states every Muslims should wear Hijab just like they do in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan. This is the same as trying to do Taliban's extremists work here in Ethiopia.
With their thinking that obeisance/worship has to be done in schools, in 1994 students in Menelik schools obeisance in doorsteps of the school after they were prohibited from doing so within the compound of the school. Then, it was made to be stopped.
The ones behind this of course were Ethiopian Islam extremists. After studying the situation thoroughly, the government stated although their religious rights is protected within the constitution, it’s not legal and appropriate to do this in institutions and have the right to do it in their place of worship or their homes.
After this, the situation was able to be diffused and stopped. The activity of Muslim extremists of creating Islamic government in Ethiopia is planned to make the country a playground for the spreading network of Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab and ISIS.
The statement made by the security boss of Shabiya, General Teklay in which he said that they have been able to percolate Al-Shabbab in the issue of the Mosque disturbance in Ethiopia, and that they should continue with that is evidence to this.
The collaboration that was striked between the extremist political oppositions and the extremist Muslims in the name of democracy and rights, and their effort to make Ethiopia a center of destruction will face huge fight from the people of Ethiopia.
The people of Ethiopia don't negotiate when it comes to their country's peace. The local and foreign based oppositions, who claim that terrorist and extremist Islamic force doesn't exist in Ethiopia, will be held accountable by the people and history for the historic-proportion-wrong they have done.