Dear Brothers & Sisters in Islam:
As you all are aware of, Ethiopia ? the land of the First Hijrah ? has been going through some rough times in the last four decades.
The last 3 years have been especially rough for the peace-loving Ethiopian Muslims who have been stricken with trials and tribulations in the hands of the current autocratic Ethiopian government. Over the course of this period, the minority government has subjected our Brothers and Sisters to religious oppression, arbitrary arrests, torture, incarceration and killings that are unrivaled in recent memories. The government not only unduly took away the Muslim community?s right to freely worship according to the Sunnah of Nabi ul-Allah (Sallallahu 'alyhi wa sallam), they also imported the unorthodox Al-Ahbashi ideology and imposed it on the Ethiopian Muslim Community thus interfering in their religious affairs in contravention to the country?s Constitution.
In an earnest attempt to seek redress and stop the government from interfering in their religious affairs, the Ethiopian Muslim Community gathered and elected an Arbitration Committee to negotiate with the tyrants who have been ruling the country with iron fist for the last 22 years. Unfortunately, the tyrants were not moved and convinced. As a result, about two years ago they arrested all the members of the Arbitration Committee and charged them with trumped-up charges of ?treason, terrorism, and attempting to impose the Sharia law in the country.? The Arbitration Committee Members are still languishing in prison and being subjected to a vast number of forms of inhumane treatment with no relief in sight. Not only have several thousands of peaceful protesters been arrested since, many hundreds have also lost their lives as a result.
Today, the scale of the oppression has widened. Muslim students have been banned from practicing congregational prayers (Jama?ah salah) on college campuses. Several hundred Hijab wearing Sisters have been expelled from colleges and universities across the country just because they refused to comply with ?No Hijab? rules. Thousands of these brave students have been arrested for standing their ground and are facing miscellaneous trumped up charges in kangaroo courts across the country that serve only the twisted political agenda of the government.
In addition, peaceful coexistence, the hallmark of Ethiopian Muslims and Christians for the last 14 centuries is being eroded as a result of the deliberate policies of the Ethiopian government, which unfortunately is the darling of the West despite its well-documented aversion to religious freedom and democracy.
Today, the majority of the masaajid in Ethiopia are under the control of government cadres who masquerade as true Muslims, and more are falling day by day into their hands. As a result, it is becoming very difficult to be a Muslim in Ethiopia. Nonetheless, the brave Ethiopian Muslims have continued waging their peaceful struggle that they started 3 years ago to regain their God given freedom to believe, with a relentless determination not to give up hope. However, they need your help. Every bit helps, as they say. We, their Brothers and Sisters in Diaspora, are asking you to remember them in your daily prayers. Please, make Du?a for our Brothers and Sisters in Islam in this blessed month of Ramadan so Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala may ease their burden and bring them justice and freedom once again.
We thank you for all your help.
-- A Message from the Ethiopian Muslim Community in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area