The Indian Ocean Newsletter N°1332 12/05/2012
The Prime Minister is upsetting a large number of Muslims through the excesses of his campaign against Wahhabism.
There is a risk of strong tension throughout the country as worshipers leave the mosques on 11 May. There could be demonstrations, comparable with the one in Addis Ababa on 4 May which gathered a crowd of several thousand.
This movement is protesting against the government's Ahbashism campaign that uses Lebanese Muslim clerics to fight against Ethiopian preachers considered too close to Wahhabism (ION 1329). However, these reactions were fuelled by the brutal repression, resulting in deaths, of other demonstrations last week in the town of Assasa.
The government, for its part, is arguing that it is only campaigning against preachers who have links to the al Qaeda terrorist movement. On 4 May it expelled two of them from Arab countries who were allegedly calling for jihad in front of the Anwar grand mosque in Addis Ababa.
Many Muslims place little credence on this story, which is too convenient for the government, looking much as if it has been devised specifically to confirm the administration's line. In the run up to May 11, the State media portrayed future demonstrations as actions manipulated by the opposition.
Meles Zenawi takes on Wahhabism
The Indian Ocean Newsletter Nº1329 - 24/03/2012
With the active support of the Minister for Federal Affairs, Shiferaw Teklemariam, the Ethiopian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (or Majlis) has launched an ideological attack on the spread of Wahhabism, a fundamentalist form of Islam based on the Saudi model, among Ethiopian Muslims. (...) [188 words] [€5]