Daily Archives: 11 November, 2012

How To End Government Intolerance Of Islam In Ethiopia

By Alemayehu Fentaw Weldemariam

 The current Ethiopian constitution provides for freedom of religion and requires the separation of state and religion. However the Muslim community in Ethiopia has been, for more than a year now, holding protests at mosques around the country against what is perceived as government interference in religious affairs. The protesters are demanding that the current members of the Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (Majlis) be replaced by elected representatives and that elections for Majlis representatives be held in mosques rather than in the Kebeles. Some members of the Muslim community accuse the Ethiopian Government of controlling the Majlis and sponsoring the propagation of Al-Ahbash, a little known sect of Islam. The Ethiopian Government, on the other hand, accuses the protesters of being led by extremists who want to establish an Islamic state in place of the current secular multination federation.