Sunday September 11/2016 Addis Ababa/Ethiopia
In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficient, Most Merciful
It is clear that our present distressful state owes itself to our long culture of lack of public empowerment, lack of equality & the exercise of equal opportunities and the absence of a participative democratic system. Accordingly, people have gone out to the streets to protest against the government and are paying a lot of sacrifice. Tension has prevailed nationwide.
The protests are results of a prolonged public grievance and they are hardly unanticipated immediate turn of events. The government’s long standing culture of total disregard to public opinion and grievance has expressed itself through the labeling of even peaceful human rights movements as acts of terrorism. The manner in which the government handled the case of the peaceful resistance movement of Ethiopian Muslims is a major witness to this fact. The unjust conviction and sentencing of the committee members and their associates also proves the fact that the law is being used for political ends to suppress dissent. Thus, owing to the suppression of public demands, the prevalence of injustice and the widespread grievance, the people have gone out to the streets to protest against the government.
We believe it is the duty of all citizens, local and abroad, to handle this matter with the utmost caution. The demands of the public should be met so that the hatred and vengeance ridden politics can come to an end and leave its place to a trouble-free environment where rights and liberties are respected, citizens live in harmony and respect, equality and the exercise of equal opportunities are guaranteed, and the rule of law is upheld.
The government needs to understand that the suppression of public demands through the use of force will not work. There is no worldly power that can stop the people, the real source of all political power, from achieving its needs. Carrying out military action against the people is no more a solution. Nor is the public ready to accept false appeasements and hollow attempts as real solutions to its demands. On the contrary, the government should break free from party-centered selfishness and not lose sight of the bigger picture; the well being of the nation. It should strive to fix its reputation in time before it goes down through the pages of history with a guilty conviction. All members of the bureaucracy should play their historic roles to do good to the nation and not strangle it.
Religious leaders and the elderly figures in the country also have the cultural and religious duty to stand with the people and be truthful. They should advice and counsel the government so it listens to the public. They should also work to strengthen public ties. Quite unfortunately, the leaders of the illegal Mejlis (Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council) have been engaged in encouraging the government to take forceful measure against the people. It should be well noted that these individuals and their opinions are not representative of the Muslim community in Ethiopia.
You have been rallying for the last 5 years peacefully to fight against government interference in religious affairs and to protect your religious rights. It is our sincere wish that the Almighty rewards your actions.
Freedom and rights are indeed treasures the public holds dear. Anyone deprived of such treasures should take it upon himself to struggle hard for his equality and the exercise of equal opportunities in the country. We, as human beings, are obliged to seek out our freedom that is also our birth right. Thus, we would like to remind all Ethiopians, both local and abroad, to go hand in hand and attend to their duties in the struggle to secure justice, freedom and equality in the country. As Muslims our Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon Him) taught us and set for us practical examples to stand in unity for the struggle of justice and fairness.
We believe all academicians and activists, both local and abroad, should work day and night to bring about all-encompassing and participative solutions that can pull the country out of the pit of crisis it is diving in. The political elite should also address the issue of public harmony and societal unity in addition to promoting a polity of mercy and forgiveness. We believe it is possible to bring about an end to our hateful and marginal culture of politics once and for all.
We should take extra care to avoid all kinds of hate speech and propaganda that generically labels, characterizes and condemns one specific ethnicity or society for such propaganda endangers our welfare as a nation. All stakeholders should stand guard and play their respective parts to block the way for any destructive and anti-public behavior.
We have no doubts whatsoever that all Ethiopians, famous for their strong brotherly relationship that has endured through the ages despite ethnic and religious differences, will be able to reform the nation into becoming a country of prosperity and freedom. We also would like to express our admiration to all Ethiopians who, in the midst of the recent countrywide protests, stood hand in hand in proving “what concerns one concerns all” in the country despite differences in race and religion. Accordingly, we express our deep sadness in all the sacrifice the people paid in Oromia, Amhara and other regions (both in death and disability). We offer our condolences to their families and friends and all Ethiopians in general.
We ask everyone to be steadfast in prayer so that justice, peace, equality and prosperity can prevail in our motherland.
Dear Lord, we beseech you to make our beloved motherland a country full of freedom, justice, equality and peace. Make Ethiopia stand recognized in the midst of all countries as a sanctuary of material and moral success. Amen!
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