Ethiopian Muslims Decry Ahbashism Campaign

April 22, 2012

Source OnIslam Staff

Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian Muslims have taken to the streets to protest the government’s oppression on their community and interference in their religious affairs.

Ethiopian Muslims Decry Ahbashism Campaign

“This is the first time I see Ethiopian Muslims united against their common enemy,” Temam Mohammed, one of the protestors, said.

“The ‘Majlis’ leaders thought they can impose their evil policy on us by using force,” he said, referring to the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs.

Thousands of Muslims protested across the capital Addis Ababa following the Friday prayers to protest the government oppression of their community.

Chanting “We want our rights” and Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest), the protestors condemn government restrictions on their community.

Protestors say the government is spearheading a campaign in collaboration with the Majlis to indoctrinate Muslims with the ideology of a sect called “Ahbash”.

The government of Ethiopian Premier Meles Zenawi has put the Ahbas in charge of the religious affairs of Ethiopia’s Muslims.

Muslims say the government move was in violation of the constitution, which prevents the government interference in religious affairs.

Muslims also accuse the Ahbash of launching an “indoctrination program” in predominantly Muslim areas, forcing people to attend “religious training” camps or risk police interrogation and possible arrest.

“They thought they can draw a line between “Sufi” and “Salafi” and fulfill the interest of Ahbash which is a deviant business motivated sect seeking to expand its empire by dividing the people,” Mohammed said.

“But we were fast enough to know their hidden agenda and strengthened the brotherly bond among the Muslim society. That is why you see this large mass coming here to demand its right.”

Founded by Ethiopian-Lebanese scholar Sheikh Abdullah al-Harari, Ahbash is seen by the West as a “friendly alternative” to Wahabi ideology, which the West sees as extreme and militant.

Muslims say Ahbash imams are being brought over from Lebanon to fill the Majlis and teach Ethiopians that “Wahabis” are non-Muslims.

Silenced Muslims

The government, however, insists it was not interfering in the religious affairs of Ethiopian Muslims.

“We have no right to intervene in the churches and mosques,” Premier Zenai told the parliament last week.

“We didn’t impose Ahbash ideology on the mass. All what is happening is done by the leaders of Islamic Affairs council themselves.

“What we did was only teaching about our constitution. We did that because it was our duty,” he said.

Zenawi also defended mass arrests of Muslims, saying it was part of efforts to combat extremism in the country.

“All those arrested by the security agents are part of the ‘Salafi’ school which approves that at least some ‘Salafis’ want to topple the state forcefully,” he said.

“We know them and we follow up them. However, this doesn’t mean all Salafis are Al-Qaeda members.”

But Muslim religious leaders see Zenawi’s statements as a tactic to silence them.

“Our request is purely about freedom of religion. We didn’t ask political power,” Muslim scholars said.
“He didn’t address any one of the three points we requested. But he tried to show us his wisdom about “Sufi” and “Salafi” and terrorized us by bringing a nightmare of ‘Al-Qaeda’ to our country. He did so because he wants to keep us away from raising similar questions in the future.”

20 Responses to Ethiopian Muslims Decry Ahbashism Campaign

  1. Cristian Ali

    April 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Etiopiawi malet Zeru ena haimanotu and yehone hezb New . Lemesale Telahun Gebreselase Tulu yemibal sew awekalehu yelegu sem Zeineb Telahun New yehesew Amara ,Tegre ,oromo , New malet new yezer gendu .keslam haymanot teketai kehonechew mistu Ayenadiss Tahir yetewlwdechew Leg malet nech zeineb. Zare bestemecheresha yene hezb man endehone ena mekefafel yemifelegew mengest enj erasun betemelekete ers bers lemebalat endeleloch hageroch malete new felagot endelelew beandenet komo demesun eyasema New yehem kebzu hageroch yeteschale amelekaket endalaen yameleketal.

    Etiopia le etiopianoch Bertu

  2. gregoryduris

    April 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    It’s in reality a great and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. kemulew

    April 25, 2012 at 6:26 am

    now almost every one knows TPLF/EPRDF(woyane) ethinicity divide and rule policy. i think now meles wish to implement by religion.

  4. Wa islamah

    April 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Thank for your just andsincere comment.

  5. Samrawit Haile

    April 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm


  6. Wa islamah

    April 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Same old story. Islam is being targeted all over the world. But it the first time to hear christianity getiing targeted too. What is eprdf doing? For whose gain? Why? Who is behind it? I think it is high time we cooperated and threw the dictatorship. Please join us on “ethiopian muslims and christians lets build ethiopia together” on facebook.

  7. Wa islamah

    April 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Thankyou for the just and mature comment

  8. woyane buster

    April 23, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Tigre people lib front are trying to split the moslems along ethnic lines to weaken and destroy our legitimate demand for freedom and justice. whether we are oromo, amhara ,somali or guraghie we are united and will stand for our rights to the end. woyane is scared because we are united.

  9. remove the woyane gujile

    April 23, 2012 at 5:48 am

    All Ethiopians should take a lesson from our muslim brothers and sisters. Rise up and confront the ethno-fascist woyane. THERE IS no DVISION IN ISLAM. AMHARA, OROMO, GURAGHIE, SOMALI, AFAR etc all rising up together despite the efforts of the ethnicist and fascist woyane to divide moslems.

    the christians are sitting back and watching while the woyane are burning down monasteries and wiping out 1000s of years of history. what a shame.

  10. Selamawt Solomon

    April 23, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Its the same TPLF Apartheid Policy to divide and Conquer all at any cost be it ethnic ,languge or religion

  11. mifta

    April 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    TARIK ERASUN DEGAMA similarities between PM Meles and Atse Yohannes: Atse yohannes worked for the Superpower (British at that time), Meles works for the contemporary Superpower (USA); Atse Yohannes fought against his rival (Atse Tewodros) cooperating with the British. Meles also imprisoned some of his rivals (tamrat, siye, etc); Atse yohannes fought against Mehadists in Sudan to help out the British when the british army was under severe attack; Meles has been fighting the Somalis in Somalia to alleviate and maintain America’s regional superpower; Atse yohannes fought against Islam & Muslims mainly and some Christians (tsega, qibat, 2 ledet and 3 ledet); Meles is fighting againt Islam and still dangerous against some orthodox; Atse Yohannes chose “kara ” for christians and Meles chose ‘ahbash’ for Muslims; During both atse Yohannes and Meles regimes high displacement of people and poverty (a lot of ethiopians are expelled out of the country and internal displacement); Both regimes fully exercise dictatorship. They cut Ethiopia into pieces like slices of bread based on their interests. They strengthen their relationship to foreigners than Ethiopians

  12. Ahmu

    April 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Even the feudal Emperor did not interfere in Muslim religion. He was a sage who proclaimed: Hager yegara new, Hayimanot yegil New. Any wise government should respect the internal democracy and autonomy of both Christian and Muslim organizations. Iterference in churches and mosques is madness. TPLF/EPRDF are showing off their power. Arrogance leads to ignorance and stupidity. They get nothing from this arrogance. They are actually burning the room in which they are sleeping. Only the near and far imperialist enemies of Ethiopia will benefit from this type of situation. May God/Allah protect and save the people of Ethiopia from the insanity of its rulers. May He bring back some sanity, if not fairness, to the rulers of Ethiopia.

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