30 June 2012 [ESAT]
Ethiopian Muslims gathered at the Grand Anwar Mosque in Addis Ababa for a weekly Friday prayer yet again requested the government to respect their right of worship and refrain from interfering in their religious affairs. The weekly protest has been going for several months now. The protest was started in opposition to an Islamic government council-Mejlis- that followers of the faith believed are handpicked by the government and are there to do political job for the government. The central rallying cry of their protest is ‘Let Us Be Heard!’. Mosques all over the country are doing their own protests and similar demands every Friday during their weekly prayers.
In Yesterday’s prayer session believers in their hundreds of thousands chanted various slogans among others ‘Mejlis doesn’t represent us!’, ‘the promised election of Islamic leaders can only take place at the mosques!’; and ‘The country’s constitution should be respected!”.
The government has agreed to dissolve the current Mejlis and hold another eection to elect new leaders. However activists say they decision to hold the election at local government administrations -the Kebeles- is a deliberate plan to yet again install government political hacks in the name of free election. Instead they are demanding that the election has to be held at local mosques.
In related news Ethiopian Muslims living in Sweden, Stockholm have come out in large numbers to show their solidarity with Ethiopian Muslims’ popular demand back home. In a protest rally they organized on 29th June, Ethiopians and Swedish Ethiopian have demanded the Ethiopian government to listen to the Muslims’ legitimate demand to practice their religion without interference.
The leader of the protest rally reiterated how Ethiopia is a house of both Abrahamic faiths. He recounted how Ethiopia was chosen to as place of refugee when Moslems wer
e persecuted in their own country.
Christian Ethiopian have also participated in the rallys in show of support for the Muslims ‘cause.