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  • The “Ahbashism” Campaign in Ethiopia and the Resistance of the Muslim People

    The “Ahbashism” Campaign in Ethiopia and the Resistance of the Muslim People Part Two: Since Aweliya Uprising Introduction In part one of this article, I tried to show the start of the “Ahbashism” campaign in Ethiopia and the resistance of Muslim society which covered a period of August 2011 –January 2012. In this chapter (part two), I will try to list down the latest developments in the campaign and the resistance of the Muslims which we had seen in from the end of January 2012 onwards. 1. The Aweliya Movement 1.1 The Participants The Aweliya movement has got a new shape in the last two months. The number of the Muslim mass steadily increased and on March 2/2012 (Yekatit 23/2012), about 250,000 people attended the “Anti-Majlis” and “Anti-Ahbash” demonstrations. It was thought that this number may remain the highest record since that day was a wholly day in Ethiopia where offices will be closed creating an opportunity for thousands to join the movement at Aweliya. However, it the presumed record was broken on the next Jum’a (Firiday March 9/2012) where about 450,000 people participated in the huge public gathering. The reason for the high increase is the tricks made by the Ministry of Federal Affairs where it tried to lure the public by corrupting the question asked by the Muslim ummah and the misleading ways in which it presented the answers (the detail is discussed below). The participants of the Aweliya public rally were mostly the residents of Addis Ababa. However, there people were coming from towns around Addis Ababa (especially from towns in West Shewa Zone of Oromia regional state such as Burayu and Holeta). On March 9/2012, representatives of different communities who brought the petitions they collected from the residents of their respective areas also participated in the public rally. Through all rallies, women make a high share (estimated to be from 30-40 of the participants). The rally was continued until March 23/2012 when the provisional committee convinced the public to pray the “jum’a” Salah (prayer) in their local “masjids” and undertake the awareness creating activities at grass-root level. 1.2 The coordination The Aweliya movement had no especially assigned coordinating body. Through all rallies, a group of volunteers make the arrangements to host the participants. They run the security activists, provide water to make ablutions (wudu’), prepare banners and posters to be put on the walls of the buildings of the Aweliya compound etc.. The calling of rally was done through phone calling, sms service, man to man calling, the social clubs, facebook etc… 1.3 Events As it is said elsewhere in this article, the Aweliya rallies were targeted to denounce the illegitimate “Majlis’” which was trying to indoctrinate the Muslims with the Ahbash ideology forcefully. This was expressed trough different events that have been undertaken on the rally. To mention few of them; a. Prominent preachers and scholars (such as Ustaz Yasin Nuru, Ustaz Abubeker Ahmed, Ustaz Badru Hussein, Adem Kamil, Ahmedin Jebel etc…) brief the public on the illegitimacy of the “Majlis”, the deviance of Ahbash, the constitutional right of the Muslims, history of Ethiopian Muslims etc… b. Talented young people present beautiful poems to the public c. Prominent personalities like Rayyaa Abbaa Mecca make “Manzuma” on the rally d. Many other similar events The participants usually start to gather at Aweliya around 10:30 A.M (in local time) and the program begins at 11:30. At the midday (12:30 P.M.-1:00 P.M.), Jum’a prayer would be performed. After that, the second session of rally takes place and it lasts until 3:30 P.M. (the time of “Asr” prayer) 2. The Provisional Committee In part one of this article, I mentioned that the huge crowd of the Muslims who gathered at Aweliya elected a committee of 18 people on January 27/2012. This committee has rearranged itself by retaining only half of the members elected at Aweliya and adding some new members from the elderly people, the “ulama” and the contemporary scholars. The new arrangements done in the committee was approved by the public on the “Aweliya rally” of February 3/2012. The newly established committee started its activity by recollecting the petition in new form (since the former petition paper doesn’t bear the full list of members of the committee). About 100,000 people petitioned on the spot. The petitioning process was also dispatched to other regions and in total, more than 1,000,000 people gave their support to the committee. Since its formation, the committee has undertaken many useful activities. Some of them are listed below • Through different media channels, it briefed the Ethiopian mass on the current uprising • It conducts special briefing programs at different masjids • It created a link between the Muslims at home and the Diaspora and different regions in the country • It presented the demand of the Muslim society to concerned officials and other authorities As it was the only delegates that are given a mandate to discuss the issue of the Muslims with the government, it was appointed to meet the minister of Federal Affairs and other officials on Monday March 5/2012. The three questions requested by the Muslim mass were: 1. The “Majlis” delegates leaders should be assigned by a free election of the Muslim 2. The “Majlis” should stop the enforcement of Ahbash ideology on Muslims 3. The “Aweliya Institute” should be administered by a board of Directors assigned by the Muslim society The two parties (the committee and the Federal Affairs Minister) discussed the issue for more than 4 hours. And at last, the minister gave a vague answer and said “All the three questions are answered”. However, from what the speakers of the Minister of Federal Affairs said on the media, everybody became aware that the Minister is pro-Majlis and pro-Ahbash. None of the three requests were answered correctly. The event marked a new stage in the struggle of Muslim Ethiopian. The people intensified their “Anti-Majlis” and “Anti-Ahbash” struggle wherever they are. Muslim in all regions joined the struggle in mass. 3. The Media and Press The struggle was also intensified on the media and the press. Radio Bilal, Radio Nejashi and BBN (Badr News Network) continue to be the source of news and propagation for the Ethiopian Muslims. VOA has also broadcasted many programs on the issue of the Muslims (however, it was not free as presumed by many). From among the free Muslim press, the Salafiyya newspaper strengthened its action in the struggle from time to time and it remained a leading champion of the current affairs. And the monthly magazines called “Ye Muslimoch Guday” and “Al-Islam” became chief source of detail information on secrets of Al-Ahbash and the corrupt Majlis. On the other hand, from non-Muslim press, “Fetih” newspaper became a new source of true information on the Ahbashism campaign. Muslim writers such as Isaac Eshetu, Akmel Negash and Yusuf Getachew presented colorful articles on the newspaper. Further, prominent persons like Professor Mesfin Woldemariam speak on the side of Ethiopian Muslims. “Addis Admass Newspaper” also tried to address the struggle of the Muslims in some ways. What is very remarkable in these two months was the worse stance of “Al-Quds” newspaper which became a voice of “Ahbash” and the corrupt “Majlis”. The paper turned 180 degrees against its former stance. It boldly disseminates full lies in most of its pages. It classified those who rally at Aweliya as terrorists. However, the number of its readers sharply decreased from the beginning of February onwards. On the other hand, private newspapers like “Sendeq” and “Reporter” became the chief propagators of the “Majlis” led Ahbashism campaign. Dr Shiferaw, the Federal Affairs Minister, and Ato Redwan Hussein, Head of Addis Ababa Office of EPRDF, were among the chief propaganda machines of the Majlis led Ahbashim campaign. Radio Fana was also the main voice of the Majlis and its Ahbashism campaign. On one occasion, Radio Fana Invited the Freely elected provisional committee members and the Majlis President, Ahmedin Abdullahi, to discuss the current issue. But when the program was aired, the Muslims learned that the journalist of “Radio Fana” did a big censorship on the interview it held with the provisional committee members. 4. The Internet The internet continued to be one tool of marching against the forced Ahbashism campaign. Here, the most frequent site of informing and awakening the “ummah” was facebook. The Muslim youth loudly shout about their rejection of the forced Ahbashism campaign. They participated in the discussions conducted in different facebook groups. From among these groups, the most frequented one are “Anti-Ahbash Group”, the “Ethio-Islamic Art and Da’wa Group”, the “Wake Up Against Political Ahbashism” group and “The Fezekir Center” group. On the other hand the facebook youth created a new page called “Dimtsachin Yisema” (Please hear our Voice!!”) Which became the most effective facebook source of information on the over-all Anti-Ahbashism struggle in Ethiopia. The websites owned by Ethiopian Muslims also highly contributed in informing and awakening the “Ummah”. These include www.badrethiopia.org, www.ethioislamicart.com, www.bilaltube.com (which host mainly videos), www.aweliya.com, etc. Read more
  • nege 27/7/2012 be Ethiopia Wqetawi guday lay be Dubai talaq sebseba endal tenegere

    Nege J:umua be U.A.E yeminoru Ethiopian muslimoch ethiopia wust Muslimoch lay betekesetew talak ye mengist chekona ena gife betemeleket talak wuyiyit indemidereg Billal Tube yanaegagerachew yesebisebaw teriwoch gelisewal , bezihm lay akilew indegelesut ye akuwam megelecha endemisetu yitebekal. ye Billal tube zegabim sibisebaw lay bemegegnet mulu zegebawun yakeribal inshaallah.   Read more
  • ‎**** ግልጽ ደብዳቤ ለሳሞራ ዩኑስ ****

    ይድረስ ለኢትዮጵያ ኢታማዦር ሹም ሳሞራ ዩኑስ በመጀመሪያ የማክበር ሰላምታዬን እያቀረብኩኝ ለጤናዎ አንደምን አሉ እላለሁኝ። በመቀጠልም እርሶ እና የትግል ጓዶ ጫካ በመግባት የታገላችሁለት አንዱ አላማ የእምነት ነጻነት ለማረጋገጥ ነበር። ይህንን የእምነት ነጻነት ለማስከበር እነ ቀሽ ገብሬን የመሳሰሉ ከ60,000 በላይ ሰራዊት መስዕዋት ሆነዋል። ዳሩ ግን አሁን እየፈጸማችሁት የለው ነገር ከታገላችሁለት አላማ ውጪ ነው እንዲያውም በተቃራኒው ነው።
    ወደ ዋናው ቁም ነገር ስገባ እርሶ በከባድ ሃላፊነት ቦታ ላይ የሚገኙ ሙስሊም የጦር አዛዥ ኖት ፤ በተለይም በአሁኑ ሰአት የኢትዮጵያ ፖለቲካ ባልተረጋጋበት ሁኔታ ላይ ከባድ ተጽዕኖ ማሳደር የሚችሉ ባለስልጣን ኖት። እንደሚታወቀው በአሁኑ ሰዐት እኛ የኢትዮጵያ ሙስሊሞች መብታችን ተገፎ ብሎም በእስር እየተሰቃየን እና እየተገደልን እንደምንገኝ የአደባባይ ሚስጥር ነው። በተለይም ሙስሊሙ ማህበረሰብ የሚተማመኒባቸው ኡለሞች፣ ዱአቶች፣ ባለሃብቶች እና ሙህሮች በእስር ክፉኛ እየማቀቁ ይገኛሉ።
    በጣም የሚያሳዝነኝ እርሶ የህን ኢስላምን ከኢትዮጵያ የማጥፋት ዘመቻን ዝም ብለው ማየቶ ነው። እንዴት ሙስሊም ሙስሊም ላይ ይጨክናል፤ በኢትዮጵያ ሙስሊም ታሪክ ውስጥ ታሪክ ሲወቅሶ የሚኖር ጥቁር ነጥብ አያሳረፉ መሆኖትን አይዘንጉት። ሳስቦት እርሶ አሁን በዕድሜዮት መባቻ ላይ ነው የሚገኙት፤ ታድያ እንዴት ሰው ከአላህ መጋናኛው በቀረበ ሰዐት ለአላህ ዲን(ኢስላም) ጠላት ይሆናል ነገ አላህ ፊት ለኢስላም ምን ሰራሁ ሊሉ ነው? 
    እኔ ግን አሁን አንድ ነገር ልምከርዎ ፤ እስከ ዛሬ ለኢስላም አንድ የሚታይ ነገር አንዳልሰሩ ግልጽ ነው። ነገር ግን አሁን ሙስሊሙ ኡማ በተቸገረበት ቀውጢ ሰዐት ታሪክ በኩራት ሲዘክሮ የሚኖር ነገር መስራት ይችላሉ ይኸውም እየተደረገብን ያለውን ግፍ በመቃወም እንዲቆም የበኩሎን ጥረት ማድረግ ይችላሉ። አለበለዚያ ግን ነገ ማንም ሰው በማይበደልበት የቂያም ቀን 40 ሚልዮን ህዝብ ይፋረዶታል። በመጨረሻ አላህ ቅኑን ጎዳና እንዲመሮት አለምነዋለሁኝ። 
    ከሰላምታ ጋር
    መህዲ ማይልስ
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  • አሳዛኝ የግፍ ዜና>እህታችን ፍርዶስ በ ዶ/ር ሽፈራዉ የድህንነት ሀይሎች በደርሰባት የ ኤሌክትሪክ ሾክ እና ድብደባ ከዚህ አልም በ ሞት ተለየች

    አሳዛኝ የግፍ ዜና ኢናሊላሂወኢና ኢለይሂ ራጂኡን በሴት ሙስሊሞች ላይ የሚደረሰዉ ግፍና መከራ እንደቀጠለ ነዉ:: ይህም የግፍ ዜና ምንጮቻችን እንደዘገቡልን እናቀርበዎል:: ጉዳዩ እንደሚከተለዉ ነዉ በቅርቡ የፌደራል ጉዳዮች ከየክፍለ ከተማዉ የተመረጡ ሰዎችን በመጥራ ስብሰባ አካሂዶ ነበር:: በዚህም ስብሰባ ላይ ከኮልፌ ክ/ከተማ ሶስት ሰዎች የተሳተፍ ሲሆን ሁለት ወንድ እና አንዲት ሴት ይገኙበታል:: በዚህ ስብሰባ ላይ የኮልፌ ክ/ከተማ ነዎሪ የሆነችዉ ፍርዶስ የተባለች እህታችን ትገኝበት ነበር:: በስብሰባዉ ላይ የፌደራል ጉዳዮች ሚኒስቴር ሚኒስትር ዶ/ር ሽፈራዉ ተገኝተዉ ስብሰባዉን አካሂደዉ እንደነበር ምንጮች ገልፀዎል:: በስብሰባዉም ላይ ዶ/ር ሽፈራዉ እጅግ አፀያፊና ድንበር ያለፍ ንግግሮችን በህዝበ ሙስሊሙ በተመረጡት ኮሚቴዎች ላይ በመናገራቸዉ ይህንን የሰዉየዉን ዘለፉና ስም ማጥፉት መሸከም እና መታገስ ያቃታት እህታችን ፍርዶስ ዶ/ር ሽፈራዉ ለተናገረዉ ንግግር እልህ በተሞላበት ቃል ተቃዉሞአን በመግለፅ "ዶ/ር ሽፈራዉ ሴት የሴት ልጅ ነህ" በማለት የስብሰባ አዳራሹን ጥላ ወታለች:: ከአዳራሹ ወታ ወደግል መኪናዎ(የመኪናዎ ስም ቶዬታ ቪትዝ ነዉ) በማምራት ወደ መጣችበት ለመሄድ እንቅስቃሴ ስትጀምር በሁለት ላንድክሩዘር መኪና ደህንነቶች ተከትለዉ ያስቆሟትና አፍነዉ እሷንም መኪናዎንም ይዘዎት የሰወራሉ:: ከዚ ቡሀላ ነበር እህታችን ፍርዶስ ላይ ይህንን ኢ ሰብአዊ ድርጊት የፈፀሙባት:: እህታችን ፍርዶስን ያለምንም እርህራሄ በኤሌክትሪክ ሾክ አቃጠሏት:: ወድያዉኑ እህታችን መናገርም መንቀሳቀስም አቆመች::ይህንን ኢ ሰብአዊ ድርጊት ከፈፀሙባት ቡሀላ መኪናዎን እና እሷን መኗሪያ ቤቷ በር ላይ ጥለዎት ሄዱ::ቤተሰቧ እጅግ በመደናገጥ ልጃቸዉን ለመታደግ ጥረታቸዉን ተያያዙት:: የፍርዶስ አባት የልጁን ሂወት ለመታደግ ለህክምና በፍጥነት ወደ ዉጪ ሀገር (ሳኡዲ አረቢያ) ይዟት ይሄዳል:: ነገር ግን በኤሌክትሪክ ሾክ ከጥቅም ዉጪ ባደረጉዎት ደህንነቶች ምክንያት የአላህ ዉሳኔ ሆነና ፍርዶስ ለህክምና በሄደችበት ይህንን መራራ ስቃይ ተገላግላ ወደ አኼራ ነጎደች:: ኢና ሊላሂ ወኢና ኢለይሂ ራጂኡን! ይህ ሁላ ግፍ ሳይበቃ ይህንን የፈፀሙትን ግፍ እንዳይሰማባቸዉ ለማድረግ ወላጅ እናቷን አፍነዉ ወስደዉ እስካሁን ድረስ እናቷ የደረሱበት አልታወቀም:: እንደምታስታዉሱት በቅርቡም በአንዲት የጃዕፈር መስጂድ ጀምአ አባል በሆነች እህታችን ላይ ተመሳሳይ አፈና አካሂደዉ አንድም ሰዉነቷን ሳያስቀሩ እራሷን ስታ እስክትወድቅ ድረስ በመደብደብ አዉራ መንገድ ላይ ጥለዎት ሄደዉ እስካሁን አልጋ ላይ እንደሆነች የሚታወስ ነዉ:: ኧረ ያ አላህ መከራችን ይብቃቹ በለን:: በሙስሊሞች ላይ የሚደርሰዉን ግፍና መከራ ላልሰሙት እናሰማ! ሁሌም በዳይ እንደበደለ አይቀርም! የእጁን ያገኛል ኢንሻላህ! ይህንን ጉዳይ እስከመጨረሻዉ በመከታተል የተደረሰበትን እናሳዉቃለን:: እስከዛዉ ይህንን የመንግስት አካላት እየፈፀሙ ያሉትን ግፍና በደል ላልሰሙት በማሰማት እና እህታችንንም አላህ ጀነት እንዲያስገባልን በዱአ እንለምነዉ:: Read more
  • Ethiopian Muslim American protest the Ethiopian government’s attack on religious freedom

    Ethiopian Muslim American protest the Ethiopian government’s attack on religious freedom in Ethiopia at a Washington DC march earlier this year. Many of the protesters learned about the repression in Ethiopia from Badr Communications news reporting. File photo. An Ethiopian man returned to his village to die peacefully; kidney dialysis cleanings were expensive – some cost an average person’s monthly salary – and the three required for a full recovery were too expensive. But they stepped in: the man’s brother appeared on TV and a stream of money poured in – from PalTalk, from their radio, from the cable show – and the treatments were paid for. Such is the work of Bilal Communications, an Islamic communication network based in Washington’s First Hijrah masjid that has woven together a web of support for Ethiopian Muslims, working behind the curtains to pull in news from Ethiopia and fan it out to Ethiopian Muslims around the world. Operating through 24 journalists based in Ethiopia, the Muslim network is Ethiopia’s first to jump into a world where muddy citizen journalism and traditional reporting spearhead social change. “We’re really a community,” Zenith Mohammed, the organization’s support group chairperson who joined in its early days, said. Its three projects, Bilal Radio - the nation’s first Islamic online radio - the Bilal Show - its cable interfaith dialogue show - and its Paltalk platform, EthioMuslim Interfaith Dialogue for Justice, have created a Bilal world, spanning across nearly a dozen countries and serving up social, civil rights, Islamic dawah news and discussion. Established in 2010, the network is a lifeline for Muslim Ethiopians caught under an oppressive republican government that has made practicing traditional Islam a challenge for the country’s 34 percent Muslims population. Hiding behind the Al-Ahbash, an Islamic movement based in Lebanon that falls outside fundamental Islamic teachings, the government has begun importing Al-Ahbash Muslim scholars to impose their interpretation of Islam on the Muslim of Ethiopia by revamping Muslim school curricula, removed Arabic studies, and restricted women from wearing hijab and men from growing beards. With a media clenched tightly by the government, awareness of these civil rights violations went beyond the public eye. “We needed to touch base with these Ethiopian Muslims more than ever,” Mohammed said. “We needed to find a voice for the voiceless.” Its first pioneering project in October 2009 – purchasing a shortwave radio frequency based in Ethiopia - quickly ended as financial burdens of over $17,000 a month put pressure on their pockets and as the government – wary of Ethiopian Muslims not affiliated with the Al-Ahbash sect and fearful of the possibility of an Al-Qaeda sown-movement - began to intercept their lines. However, in 2010, the group sprang back up, using the benefit of the Internet and headquarters outside of Ethiopia to curb the possibility of government interference. The Paltalk platform began as an interfaith dialogue chat room and continues to bridge understanding between Ethiopia’s Christian majority and Muslims, drawing Ethiopian scholars, daees, and politicians into hour-long discussions. On the heels of its success, Bilal Radio, an internet radio which presents weekly news, was quickly followed by it’s cable show which airs one hour every week. Since then the network has assumed the role of not only voicing Ethiopian Muslims civil rights violations, but also providing a platform for topics as varied as interfaith dialogue, discussions on marriage, and health treatment options. All of its transmissions are in Amharic, Ethiopia’s official language. In And Out A team of 24 journalists based in Ethiopia is at the heart of this communication web. Some with no experience and others with 30, these journalists collect reports on the ground and launch them to Ethiopian Broadcast Systems in the U.S. With the speed and immediacy of the Internet, the group has been able to expose key events in the nation. In the Christian holy city of Axum – a land where Muslims emigrants once sought safe harbor during the Prophet’s (Sallallahu ‘alyhi wa salaam) time - Muslims cannot be buried. Their bodies must be carried 10-20 kilometers to burial grounds outside the city. “You’re born there, raised there, but you can’t die there,” Mohammed said. The past few Fridays, over 30,000 Ethiopian Muslims have gathered for Jumu’ah to protest the Al-Ahbash’s tightening role over the school system. “It’s not like how it used to be. They’re sending out these stories from their smart phones. It’s liberating. We don’t have to go through censorship or harassment. The layman can contribute. It’s something of its own,” board chairperson Najib Mohammed said. Viewed in the backdrop of a new age of social media, Bilal Communication’s programs echo the driving role of the Internet in the Arab Spring. But for Najib, the only parallel between Bilal and the Arab Spring is the use of technology, illustrating a key point about Bilal: it is first and foremost a platform for social and civil rights discussion. “We don’t dwell in politics. That’s what’s keeping us going,” Mohammed said. Just A Voice? Despite avoiding politics, Bilal Communications has become more than a news aggregator, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is. It blurs the space between citizen journalism and professional reporting - its news is a blend of news from the ground and from professional journalists – and it gives Ethiopian Muslims a voice and monetary support, with the hope that its investments will reap fruits for the community. It has sponsored needy college students that would have otherwise left the school system, began a Hifzh program for countryside orphans to spread the Quran, sponsored 20 ‘Ulama who have abandoned spreading the true message of Islam in order to beg for money, and it has raised awareness of kidney dialysis. Many dialysis patients without the means to purchase the life saving equipment have their hopes pinned on donors plugged into the Bilal network. “It’s really supporting the whole country – Muslims and Christians,” Mohammed said. Given how spread out Bilal Communications is, it is difficult to determine how many people watch and listen to their shows; however, organizers estimate the numbers reach thousands. Bilal Radio averages a thousand hits per day. A Look Back – And Ahead The days of its lost radio frequency, however, have not gone past the group yet. The network still walks shaky grounds in a country where the state controls most broadcasting outlets, including the sole national TV network, and where private stations are closely monitored - a kind of legislative arsenal that has eroded “the democratic space and freedom of expression,” said media rights group Reporters Without Borders in 2012. The government owns the sole ISP, “allowing it to censor when and where it sees fit”, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported in 2011. “They’re watching us,” Mohammed said, “We’re afraid they can shut us down if they want.” The government’s hawk-eye, however, has taken a backseat, since Bilal network’s funding from a variety of sources, covering topics that bridge understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims, and operating on the Internet prevents the Ethiopian government from letting down a hard hammer. Financing – the main cause of the lost radio frequency – is a day-to-day worry. Bilal Communications has expenses of $14,000 a month and has now launched a campaign to raise funds. Its first fundraiser in the Washington DC area will be on April 8th at Clarion Hotel, 6400 Oxen Road, Oxenhill, Md. from 4 – 10 p.m. “If we can get 12 communities around the world to cover each month, we’ll cover finances for the entire year,” Mohammed said, “For a community this big, we can afford that.” As far as the ever-changing world of journalism is concerned, the question mark is even bigger, Mohammed said. “It’s really hard to tell what will happen next. There may be peaceful revolution everywhere – not just in Ethiopia. Technology is advancing fast,” he said, “We can too.” ------------------------------------------------ For more information on Bilal Communications, visit: http://www.bilalcommunication.com/bci/. Read more

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