By Robele Ababya, 20 July 2013
The narcissist political activist and orator (leader?) of the Jawarian ethnic clan trading in the name of the great Oromo Ethiopians told the world that there are 50 million Muslims in Ethiopia of which 80% or 40 million are Muslim Oromos. But the young blood thirsty demagogue with insatiable lust for power did not disclose his source for his wild claim of the numbers.
The fabricator of the divisive statistics has no one to blame but himself for the tragedy of political bankruptcy that is going to haunt him for the rest of his life and bring shame to his alma mater.
Notwithstanding my deep respect for the heroic Ethiopian Muslims for their peaceful and lawful struggle for their constitutional rights, I am bitter about the concocted Jawarian statistics being used to divide Christians and Muslims and poison their relatively harmonious co-existence spanning 1434 years.
I want to disclose that one of my close friends that stood at my wedding as one of the three best men at the celebration was a Muslim from Harar and me an Orthodox Tewahedo Christian from Shoa. We were friends for nearly 50 years when death separated us; and I wept stricken by grief recalling all those years replete with trust, sharing of secrets, rejoicing Christian and Muslim holidays, feasting at each other’s house, chatting in Oromiffa when our mothers were present for none of the duo spoke in Amharic. Interestingly we spoke in Amharic as soon as our Mums engaged in their private conversations.
A striking example which I will never forget! A jet airplane fighter pilot, named Ismael (Captain?), died in an airplane crash. As preparation for his funeral was underway according to the IEAF regulations, his sister produced a will expressing his wish to be buried at the cemetery reserved for IEAF personnel, a site located at the foot of the hill beneath Saint Rufael Church at the top overlooking the city of Debre Zeit and the Air Force Base. The Administrator of the Church declined to give permission on grounds of religion. The matter was brought to the then General Manager of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christian Church. He too was unable to decide. The dispute was finally brought to the Monarch in His capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Emperor Haile Selassie made a historic decision with His immortal remarks rebuking the Church officials. In effect, He ruled that here on earth political expediency is dividing the living. There is no reason that this practice should affect the dead resting in peace. Go and fulfill the wishes of the fallen pilot.
So Ismael was laid to rest at the graveyard beside his fallen friends in the service of their country, Ethiopia.
The enormously resonant rallying revolutionary song “Tenesa Teramed” aired nationwide in 1974 was rooted in the culture of the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force (IEAF) that rebuffed divisive religious or ethnic issues among its members by affectionately embracing the role of unity in diversity.
Ethiopian Demographics relevant to this piece
The following statistics extracted from the CIA Factbook updated in 2013. The CIA follows the Ethiopian Central Statics figures in compiling its information.
Oromo 34.5%, Amara 26.9%, Somalie 6.2%, Tigraway 6.1%, Sidama 4%, Gurage 2.5%, Welaita 2.3%, Hadiya 1.7%, Affar 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, Gedeo 1.3%, other 11.3% (2007 Census).
Oromigna (official regional) 33.8%, Amarigna (Amharic) (official) 29.3%, Somaligna 6.2%, Tigrigna (official regional) 5.9%, Sidamigna 4%, Wolayitigna 2.2%, Guaragigna 2%, Affarigna 1.7%, Hadiyigna 1.7%, Gamogna 1.5%, other 11.7%, English (official) (major foreign language taught in schools), Arabic (official) (1994 census)
Orthodox 43.5%, Muslim 33.9%, Protestant 18.6%, traditional 2.6%, Catholic 0.7%, other 0.7% (2007 Census)
91,195,675 (July 2012 est.).Country comparison to the world: 14
Deductions from the above data
The CIA Factbook estimate (2013) Ethiopian population is estimated at 91, 195, 675. Therefore:-
- The number of Ethiopian Muslims is 30, 915, 334. The 50 million Muslims in Ethiopia which the Jawarians claim, exceed the official number by 19, 192,130
- Orthodox 43.5%, Protestant 18.6%, traditional 2.6%, Catholic 0.7%, other 0.7% (2007 Census) add up to 66.1% or 60,883,145
- The fabricated Jawarian statistics puts the number of Ethiopian Muslims at 50 million, which translates to 54.945% of the entire Ethiopian people, a whopping difference of 21.045% from the official figure of 33.9% on the high side
- 80% Oromo Muslims amount to 40 million – compared to the official estimate of 30,915,334 Muslims of all ethnic groups
Quite an array of numbers incentive for lunatic clan of warriors in the 21st century equipped with Machetes on a Jihadist mission to engender an Islamic Oromia state. These demagogues must be nipped in the bud for as the old adage goes “a stich in time saves nine”. Lo and behold, the nostalgia of Ahmad Gragn’s ruinous adventure is rearing its head in vain, but must be kept in check. I dare say that this generation has a responsibility to do so as descendant of Ethiopis, according to history lesson I was taught in class as a young boy during the Imperial regime.
The ethnic grouping overlooks the overwhelming majority due to mixed marriages. For example, if the mother is an Oromo and the father is an Amhara their child is classified as an Amhara – and vice versa. It is possible that siblings from an Oromo mother can be half-brothers or half-sisters and classified as Amhara or Oromo ethnic group. It would be a catastrophic scenario if such siblings fighting each other if at all the ill-conceived wishes of the myopic Jawarian clan succeed.
Menelik II was born of an Amhara father and an Oromo mother in Shoa, but classified as an Amhara. It is confirmed by written records and anecdotally that Ras Gobana Dacche under the Monarch was a famous Oromo persona who had made significant contribution to the development of modern Ethiopia.
In this digital age, radicalizing intra-religion, inter-religion, intra-ethnic or inter-ethnic division will aggravate the sufferings of the interests of masses living as slaves in abject poverty. What the Ethiopian people now need is a united leadership to bring the ongoing demonstrations to a thunderous climax of peaceful mega-demonstration nationwide to usher in an all-inclusive regime.
Finally, I for one am deeply grateful to my role model Emperor Menilik II and the famous Oromo persona, Ras Gobana under His command, for their foresight in the development of modern Ethiopia, preserving our independence during the era of the scramble for Africa. I pray that any attempt to discredit their legacy is met with vehement rebuff at all costs.
I close this piece with my daily mantra, which is: Demand the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience including Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Bekele Gerba, Reeyot Alemu, Leaders of the Ethiopian Muslims et al!
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!