Here is my view on my country and Islam, and the bad influence of Saudi Arabia.
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have had deep historical roots in Ethiopia.
If we take Islam, for instance, we could say that Ethiopians have been associated with it from the very beginning of Muslim history.
The much needed protection that the Ethiopians provided to the early followers of the Prophet Muhammed, and their refusal to hand them over to their enemies, as well as the logistical support they made available to the Prophet, occupy a special place in the history of Islam. Moreover, Umm Ayman, the Prophet Muhammad’s wet nurse, Bilal ibn Rabah, the first Muezzin who called Muslims to prayer, Caliph Omar al-Khattab’s mother, as well as Amir ibn al-As, who conquered Egypt in 640 A.D., and Abu Bakra, who led the siege on Taif, and many others, were all Ethiopians.
“I drove from Addis Ababa to Asebe Teferie, a distance of 350 kms (217miles). Where there were only two or three mosques in the past, now, I could see more than one hundred mosques. Then, I returned back and drove from Addis Ababa to Shashimene, a distance of some 250 kms (155 miles), again to see another 130 brand new mosques. At the end of each trip, I made it a point to ask, “ Who built the mosques?” Invariably, the answer was the same – Saudi Arabia. Then he asked me, “what do this people want? What is their secret agenda?” I said to him, “the agenda is no longer secret. Saudi Arabia’s Wahabism is exploiting the poverty of our people and spreading its ugly tentacles to take over Ethiopia.”
However, the question is: who opened the doors of Ethiopia to Wahabism? Who authorized Saudi Arabia to do what it is doing today in Addis Ababa, and in the provinces of Shoa, Wollo, Gondar, Arusi, Wollega, Jimma, Harar, Sidamo, and indeed in the entire south? How much bribe did the Saudis have to pay to the corrupt and criminal authorities, who were brought to power with Saudi finance? What is even more surprising is that they wanted to build a mosque in Axum – a city where hardly any Muslims live. By opening Ethiopia’s doors to Wahabists, the ruling clique in Ethiopia has been collaborating with international terrorists.
Saudi Arabia is governed by an absolute monarchy. It has no constitution. No political parties and trade unions are permitted to function. Public floggings and amputations are common. The subjugation of women in that country is so mind-boggling, that they are not even permitted to drive cars.
In contrast, Ethiopia is a country where a socialist revolution took place, which Saudi Arabia did everything in its power to subvert, abort and destabilize by paying millions of dollars (1974-1991), and where a series of political, cultural, and social revolutions continue to be carried out. There are hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian liberals, democrats, republicans, socialists, constitutional monarchists, social democrats and Marxists, organized in some twenty political parties competing for power. If the Saudi authorities have been wrongly informed by their agents about the reality in Ethiopia, then they should check their facts. Unlike the unfortunate Saudi women, Ethiopian women have always been equal to men. In the past, they served their country as heads of state and government, and even led armies in battle. Today, Ethiopian women serve as air force fighters and bomber pilots, tank commanders, parliamentarians, ambassadors, university professors, medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, journalists, and so on. They compete in world Olympics and win gold or silver medals. We have every intention to intensify the democratization process in our country. Our present economic difficulties, which would surely pass, cannot be exploited by Wahabists to distort and to pervert our cultural values. Saudi Arabia will be strongly advised to keep its hands off Ethiopia. We did not struggle against every conceivable colonialist and imperialist power in the past, and to come thus far, only to succumb to Saudi Arabian Wahabism. That would be an insult to our history and culture. The system that prevails in Saudi Arabia may be good for Saudi Arabia, but not for Ethiopia. We find it offensive to human freedom and dignity. It is absolutely unacceptable to our way of life. Wahabism has no place in our society. The sooner the ruling circles in Saudi Arabia realize this fact and leave us alone, the better.
The Wahabi threat to Ethiopia and to the world should be a matter of serious concern to the international community. Wahabism should not be permitted to play with fire. If the present trend is allowed to continue, it will have serious consequences for international peace and security. It will lead into an endless civil war in the country between Wahabists and Christians, and between Sunnis and Wahabists, and engulf the whole of Africa in turmoil. All this calls for a systematic and thorough investigation.