Signs of Ethiopian Muslims activism against government’s meddling in their religious affairs became evident when they took their campaign online in May. As their online activism grows offline, members of Ethiopian Federal Police have started using force against the protesters.
According to local activists Facebook page Dimtsachin Yisema (Let Our Voice Be Heard) physical violence, which includes transgressing sacred places in their mosques, was used against them. An Ethiopian Muslim campaigner and writer Merim Bint Islam posts on her Facebook page with a note:
This is how brutal beatings were done on our brother, yesterday in Awuliya.
Addis News Updates @AddisFocus #Ethiopia'n regime's forces unshamefully confiscated over a hundred animals (oxen) from a Mesjid in Addis which was ready for sadaqa.#Islam
The YouTube video below shows Ethiopian Muslim protestors in April 2012:
Though the actions of the police were reportedly brutal, activists on Facebook page are incessantly advising their fellow Muslims to keep their calm. Ethiopian Muslims Facebook page shared Ahmedin Jebel’s note which reads [amh]:
ሕዝበ ሙስሊም ሆይ! ሰላማዊና ሕገ መንግሥታዊ መብት የማስከበር እንቅስቃሴያችን ከተጀመረበት ጊዜያት ጀምሮ ላለፉት ስድስት ወራት በሚቻለን ሁሉ ሁከት እንዳይነሳ ጥረናል፡፡ ምክንያቱም ሁከት መነሳቱ መቼም ቢሆን ለኛ አይጠቅመንምና፡፡ የተለያዩ አካላት ሁከት ዉስጥ አስገብተውን ሂደታችንን ለማደናቀፍ የሚቻላቸውን ሁሉ ሞክረዋል፡፡ እየሞከሩም ነው፡፡ መንግሥትም ይሁን የትኛውም ወገን ቢተናኮሰን፣ ቢተኩስ፣ ቢያስር፣ መስጂዶች ቢደፈሩም ምላሻችን የችኮላና ህጋዊ ካልሆነ፣ ይበልጥ አላማቸውን የሚያሳካና ሕዝበ ሙስሊሙን ለአደጋ የሚያጋልጥ ከሆነ ለኛ ዉድቀት እንጂ ድል አይደለም፡፡
Meanwhile, Abiye Teklemariam wrote on Facebook:
Activists claim gov't underlings may deliberately stage a fake violent demo. near the AU headquarters to blame it on Muslim protesters.
Political and religious situation in Ethiopia look uncertain as rumors about whereabouts and health of the Prime Minster Meles Zenawi circulate and Muslim protests gain momentum.
Islam is the second-most widely practiced religion in Ethiopia after Christianity.