Tigrai Online May 02, 2013
In Norway, as well as in California, some Anarchists, Muslim Extremists, OLF supporters, Shabiya and others recently blocked the sales of Abay Dam Bonds by force as shown in the videos below. Supporting the Abay Dam has nothing to do with supporting or opposing EPRDF (i.e. the current Government). The Abay Dam will promote economic development in Ethiopia among other things. Above all, during the five-year Italian Occupation in the 1930s, Mussolini built several roads and bridges in Ethiopia and those roads and bridges have been helping the Ethiopian people to this day despite the fact millions of Ethiopians were tortured or killed by Mussolini and Graziani. Therefore, it does not matter at all who builds the Abay Dam whether a brutal regime like Mussolini or Hitler, or Governments like that of Haile Selassie, Mengistu or EPRDF, since the Abay Dam will last for ever while all governments will go away in time. Therefore, all Ethiopians who truly love Ethiopia should support the Abay Dam without any reservation.
Besides, all who oppose the Abay Dam, directly or indirectly are supporting Ethiopia's historical enemies like Egypt whether they like it or not. Egypt has been threatening to demolish the Abay Dam if and when it is built, and has successfully prevented the World Bank and other International Agencies from providing Ethiopia with Grants or Loans or any other financial assistance that Ethiopia needs to build the Abay Dam. Here, our strong message to Egypt is that not only we will build the Abay Dam, but if Egypt does not stop such sabotage, we may decide to divert some of the Abay Water for internal use within Ethiopia and build thousands of smaller Dams especially without international agreement in place, since we will not accept or even recognize previous "colonial treaties." Above all, if Egypt decides to start a War with Ethiopia, we had already defeated Egypt three times in history and we will defeat Egypt again especially with our growing population, our heroic people and our highlands that helped us defeat even the Italian Colonial power that had a larger army and significantly more weapons. But Ethiopia does not want war with Egypt or any other country. Instead, Ethiopia it trying to build the Abay Dam using Ethiopia's River, the Abay River(i.e.Blue Nile) without the intention of hurting Egypt or any other Country. If Egypt refuses to understand that, we will teach her a lesson again. Having put Egypt on Notice, let us turn to the Anarchists and extremists.
In addition to the sabotage by Egypt as shown above, Anarchists and Muslim Extremists are blocking the funds coming from Ethiopians themselves. Shame on you Anarchists and Muslim Extremists for siding with our historical Enemy, Egypt! In fact, history tells us that Ethiopians did put aside their differences among them and jointly fought against foreign enemies by siding even with the government they hated in order to save Ethiopia from invasion by foreign countries. In that regard, if we go back to 1977, during the War between Ethiopia and Somalia, some leftist organizations supported Somalia so that the Ethiopian Army could be defeated and Mengistu's Regime could fall. However, the Ethiopian People overwhelmingly stood with Mengistu in order to save Ethiopia from Somalian invasion despite the fact that the majority of Ethiopians were opposing Mengistu at that time. Thus, opposing the Abay Dam and siding with Ethiopia's major enemies such as Egypt is not what heroic Ethiopians are known for. Therefore, we are alerting those who truly love Ethiopia, but misguided by anarchists and extremists, to come back and support the Abay Dam while continuing to oppose EPRDF on any other issue if that is what they wish to do. Thus, the lesson here is, it is possible for an Ethiopian to support the Abay Dam, and still oppose the current Government at the same time for any other reason.
With regards to the Muslim Extremists in Norway and California, we are not saying that they are extremists only because they are opposing the Abay Dam or supporting the Muslim protests in Ethiopia. Instead, we believe that the overwhelming majority of those Muslims truly love Ethiopia as much as we do. However, we believe that some of them are misguided because of the influence of Wahabbi and Salafi extremists as we will show with the help of the video of "Respected Muslim Leaders Exposing Extremists' Hidden Agenda." Above all, there are several "Youtube videos under the title of "The Muslim Extremists In Ethiopia" as any one can see. In response to the said videos, we are expecting that some Muslims will challenge us and we will welcome such a challenge since at the end of such discussions, we are hoping that all of us will learn the truth. Thus, we will post on our Website any article even by the Muslim Extremists that challenges our evidence as long as such a challenge is supported by concrete evidence as we tried to present here without any personal attack etc since our ultimate objective is that all of us will finally learn the truth and resolve our differences peacefully. Before we go to the detailed analysis of the situation in Ethiopia, let us briefly state about the history of Christianity and the Muslim Religion (Islam) in Ethiopia.
Christianity in Ethiopia began during the first century A.D. and Ethiopia had been one of the first two countries if not the first country to accept Christianity even before the Europeans did. On the other hand, the Muslim Religion ( Islam) was founded by the Prophet Mohammed. As History tells us, Mohammed was born in 570 A.D. and the Muslim Religion came into existence between 610 A.D. and 632 A.D. Prophet Mohammed sent some Muslims including some of his own relatives to Ethiopia to protect them during the war in the region, and the Christian Ethiopian King gave the said Muslims, a complete protection and allowed them to practice their religion as they wish. In short, the Muslim Religion began in Ethiopia about 600 years after Christianity came into existence. Therefore, during the last 1400 years, Ethiopian Christians and Muslims lived side by side peacefully. Since the beginning, the Ethiopian Muslims, have been Sufi Muslims who are moderates who lived with Christians with mutual love and respect.
However, during Haile Selassie, Muslim Holidays were not celebrated as National Holidays. Instead, only Christian Holidays were recognized as National Holidays and Government Offices and Schools etc were closed only during Christian Holidays. It was during the DERG Regime that about 500,000 people marched from Piasa, and Sidist Kilo to Menelik Palace and demanded the DERG Regime to declare Muslim Holidays as National Holidays. By the way, the majority of those Marchers were Christians who demanded for Muslim Holidays to become National Holidays the same as Christian Holidays. As a result, DERG declared 3 Muslim Holidays and 3 Christian Holidays as National Holidays. However, DERG did not provide complete religious freedom. For instance, DERG did not allow Muslim extremists to come from foreign countries to teach or preach in Ethiopia. Moreover, DERG was controlling the number of Mosques built in Ethiopia among other things.
On the other hand, despite the fact many Ethiopians including us criticize EPRDF on the issues of Assab, Democracy among other issues, we have to admit that EPRDF, gave more religious freedom than DERG or Haile Selassie did in any way we look at it, by clearly defining religious freedom in the Ethiopian Constitution, by allowing even Muslim extremists like Wahabbis and Salafis to come to Ethiopia to teach and preach. Moreover, EPRDF allowed Muslims to build as many Mosques as they want under the name of " freedom of religion." As a result, Wahabis' influence began to expand dramatically, and in fact some Wahabis and Salafis began to kill innocent Christians as well as Sufi' Muslims and burn Churches as shown by testimony of "Respected Muslim Leaders" in the video shown below and as shown in many other Youtube videos. In response to the burning of churches, some Christians also burnt some Mosques. Then that is when EPRDF realized its mistakes for allowing the Wahabbi extremists to expand their influence in Ethiopia and the possibility of those Muslim Extremists to engulf Ethiopia with a Religious War, and that is why EPRDF is trying to put the situation under control.
Responding to that, the extremists are falsely claiming about AL-AHBASH Religion as the cause of the Muslims' protest, as clearly explained by those "Respected Muslim Leaders" as shown in the video below. We are expecting that some Muslims will challenge our evidence and we welcome such a challenge since we believe that through honest and rational discussions, we can resolve the current problems at least with those people who truly love Ethiopia and with those who put Ethiopia above their religion and try to coexist peacefully as we have done for 1400 years. Putting Ethiopia above our religion means defending our beloved Ethiopia regardless of whether our enemies are Christian or Muslim Countries and that is precisely why we should love Ethiopia more than our religion. With regards, to the relevant statistics, the population of Ethiopia is 93,877,025 of which 43.5% are Orthodox Christians, 18.6% are Protestant Christians, and about 1% are Catholic Christians and 33.9% are Muslims while other religions and traditional account for about 3%. (Please see the World Fact Book, 2013). In summary, Christians account for about 63% while Muslims account for about 34% and the rest account for about 3%. In other words, there are about 60 million Christians, 31.5 million Muslims and about 2.5 million others, in Ethiopia.
With regards to opposition Parties, some of the opposition Groups, are trying to exploit the Muslim Protests for political purposes. However, the fact of the matter is that, if Muslim extremists continue to burn Churches and kill Christians, and in response, Christians will be forced to kill Muslims as well, and religious war may start in Ethiopia. Then, if religious War starts in Ethiopia among 94 Million people, even the whole African Armies will not be able to stop such a religious War, leave alone the 200, 000 Ethiopian Soldiers. Therefore, Ethiopia will be a "Failed State" without a central Government and there will not be "Rule of Law" and anarchy will prevail in Ethiopia. The closest example would be, Lebanon between 1975 and 1990 where Christians were in control of certain areas, while the different factions of Muslims controlled other areas and there was no central government, and it took about 15 years to bring peace for a small Country like Lebanon. Ethiopia having 94 million people and being 35 times bigger than Lebanon, we may not bring peace and there may not be a central Government for at least 25 years if the religious War becomes a reality and millions of Muslims and Christians could be killed.
However, we are only predicting about the remote possibility since we have great confidence in the Sufi Muslims who happen to be the majority Muslims in Ethiopia and who are moderates and through rational discussions, we are hoping to prevent the above prediction from taking place. However, if some of the Opposition Parties think that they can seize power by using Muslim Extremists, such dreams to seize power will be like a Mirage in the Desert that will suddenly disappear into thin air as one approaches it closer and closer. In other words, if this Government falls because of religious War, there will be a "Failed State" without any kind of Central Government for at least 25 years as stated above. Thus, the lesson to some of the Diaspora Opposition Parties is that, don't play with fire and don't be the cause for the death of millions of Muslims and Christians as indicated above. Instead, try to be responsible like the majority of Opposition Parties who are fighting to bring more democracy in Ethiopia by peaceful means. Alternatively, if these Diaspora Opposition parties who are using the Muslim Extremists, choose the armed struggle strategy, they should go and fight inside Ethiopia and seize power like EPRDF did, if they can. However, it would not be fair to use Muslim extremists to engulf Ethiopia with a religious War.
In conclusion, all Oppositions who truly love Ethiopia and who want to reduce or possibly eradicate poverty in the long-run, through economic development in Ethiopia, should support the Abay Dam and the construction of all other infrastructures including roads, bridges, rail roads etc because such infrastructures are the key to economic development that will benefit the Ethiopian people for a very long time. Moreover, the construction of all infrastructures including the Abay Dam, do not negatively affect Religious Freedom or the advancement of Democracy in Ethiopia. Instead, such infrastructures historically resulted in more economic development that in turn led to more freedom and democracy as far as the Western developed countries such as U.S. and Europe are concerned. Therefore, blocking the Abay Dam Bond Sales, actually hurt the Ethiopian People not EPRDF. As we stated above, it does not make any difference even if Abay Dam were built by extremely cruel Regimes like Musolini or Hitler leave alone by relatively better regimes like that of Haile Selassie, DERG or EPRDF. In addition, opposing Abay Dam means supporting our major historical Enemy, Egypt whether we like it or not since Egypt has made it a full-time job to conspire with our enemies in order to sabotage the Abay Dam. Therefore, all Ethiopians including those who totally oppose EPRDF, should support the Abay Dam without any reservation due to the fact that the Abay Dam will promote great Economic Development and help our People to come out of poverty. In fact we should not wait until the Ethiopian Government representatives come to us to sell the Abay Dam Bonds since that is the most outdated method to sell bonds not to mention the money wasted for hotels etc, for the people who are selling the said bonds. Instead, the Ethiopian Embassies and Consulates should make the Abay Dam Bonds easily available to be sold through internet and even by phone with credit cards etc. since that makes it easier for the silent majority and to those who do not have the time to come to a meeting to buy the said bonds. Above all, Ethiopians, who support the Abay Dam, should take the initiative to buy the bonds by contacting the nearest Ethiopian Embassies or Consulates regardless of whether they oppose or support the current Ethiopian Government.
Where is the Ethiopian flag if these people are Ethiopians? Well they are not most of them are Eeritreans, some of them are OLF supporters and some of them are from Somalia. You might be asking what do these people have to do with Ethiopia? They don't, they are paide by Egypt because Egypt knows it can't attack the Nile Dam with planes so it is spending millions of dollars to find criminals like those to do the dirty job for her.