Swimming above the tide
When I saw the t-shirts bearing the Amharic version of 1st Kings 20:9 on Arefe’s Timket photos a week ago, I wanted to ask who the implicit target of the statement was supposed to be. But I was scared. Scared of drawing the wrong answer or the wrong audience. “Gomen BeTena”, I said to myself, and let it pass. This morning, however, I realized things have already gotten out of my plump little hand. That our Ethiopian Muslim brothers over by Negashi – OJ have seen the photos too, and perceived it’s implicit meaning (inspite of the “netela” covering one of them).
Ofcourse, things have been changing ever since USA invaded Iraq and Al-Shebab appeared as a key player in Somalia’s war front. Things that one would like to see more of until one starts asking “why now?!” and tried to view them with relation to other omnious events taking place around the world.
- More girls becoming conservative-Muslims and wearing hajib than they used to.
- Muslim men seeming to replace the Jehovah witnesses that stop you in the street in an attempt to save your soul from eternal damnation.
- Arab investors appearing more interested than ever to invest in our country
- More importantly, the so called “Islamic” militia not seeming to find the Prophet Muhammad (Allahu alayhi wa sallam)’s orders not to harm Ethiopia necessarily binding.
And there are things one hears one wishes one didn’t. About: an “imported radical Islam” in Ethiopia, of terrorist suspects [armed men and women with the intention of establishing an Islamic government in Ethiopia by will or force] being brought to court, of books being written by the same ole ignorant wild-fire-starters (fanatic Orthodox Christians and radical Muslims) attacking and disrespecting one another, resulting in the killing of innocents and the destruction of mosques & churches.
And one wonders if this means that Israeli Ambassador’s statement of a year or so ago has a grain of truth in it. A statement one mocked and jeered back then as a “wishful thinking” on them root-of-all-21st-century-evil-Zionist’s side. About Ethiopia being one of those countries to whom religious war is a clear threat. And one worries.
Then one realizes how there has been many such “mwart”s on our country and people in the past. “Mwart”s that foretold our demise and “woe to us”ed us with horror. “Mwarts” that confidently talked about how we’d all perish when EPRDF’s forces entered Addis, for example. A “Mwart”, complete with biblical “evidence” and the finding of hair threads among the pages of the Book of Zephaniah, that “Badme would be deserted” when Ethiopia went to war with it’s tiny and disruptive neighbor. A “mwart”, as recently as 2005 G.C., telling us how 15,000 of our youth would be sacrificed to bring “Kinjit” to power.
And one fondly remembers how in all these “mwarts”, in all these “eminent” “threats” to our safety as individuals and a nation, Ethiopian Christians and Ethiopian Muslims have stood together. How they knelt infront of their respective Lord, and begged and entreated Him to “Save our country, protect our people”. And one knows, just knows, Muslim/Christian Ethiopians would find a way around this [new threat] too were they to let their instinct, instead of the vicious hate-filled noises outside, guide them [the way Addis Admass’ columnist Yohannes S’e. told it here.
P.S. Yes, he ain’t much of a poet 😉 ].