Daily Archives: 13 March, 2013

Counter Extremism with Freedom in Ethiopia

By Juhdi Jasser

[Georgtown Journal] From Somalian anarchy to Eritrean and Sudanese tyranny and civil strife, the Horn of Africa has long been a turbulent region. A notable exception has been the nation of Ethiopia.That might be changing.

From December 15 through December 19 of last year, I was in Addis Ababa heading a delegation from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). We met with a wide range of people, from the American ambassador to Ethiopian government officials, religious leaders and nongovernmental human rights and interfaith representatives.

Prior to our trip, we had seen reports about violations against Muslims, especially since July 2011. This was when the Addis Ababa government first sought to change how Islam was practiced in Ethiopia and began to punish those resisting its new policy. Our findings confirmed the assaults on religious liberty and their negative impact—both as a human rights issue and a potential security matter.