Terrorhot

Jag har lite svart att ta sant har seriost. Men tydligen har etiopiens regering nu gatt ut med att Al-Shabaab officiellt har hotat Etiopien och meddelat att ett terrordad kommer att ske eftersom Etiopien inte har dragit tillbaka sina trupper ifran Somaliland.

Orden regeringen anvande i sitt announcement var att de har ”reliable proof” pa att ett terrordad ”will occour”.

Det gigantiska FN och ECA-compound dar jag nu kommer jobba ar ett av de tre troliga malen for terrordad varfor sakerheten nu radikalt ska forbattras. Vilket jag gissar kommer innebara fler man med vapen inne pa omradet.

Ironiskt nog halls en gigantisk internationell konferens har om tio dagar pa temat antiterrorism. Bland annat situationen Somalia ska diskuteras och de bedommer den som ett stort riskmoment pa grund av den stora internationella narvaron.

Aven det faktum att President Kenyatta kommer hit imorgon ar nagot som oroar, tydligen.

Jag har ingen erfarenhet av sadant har men folk sager att det ar forsta gangen regeringen reagerar sahar pa ett terrorhot.

Fragan ar om radslan ar grundad eller overdriven. En vet ju aldrig med statlig media i detta landet.

Jag var pa en forelasning om etiopisk islamsk extremism igar, dar tycks etiopiska staten ha fatt hotet om bakfoten(se nedan inklistrad kursiverad text) och vi kan ju alltid hoppas att sa ar fallet aven nu.

The current development of Islamism and extremism in Ethiopia

There has been a lot of focus on increasingly radicalized Islam movements in Ethiopian media lately. But what is the ground for these rumors about extremists? And who are the extremists inside the country that the Ethiopian government fear?

Terje Ostebo, Assistant Professor at the University of Florida, has been researching Ethiopian Islam for more than twenty years. The following is his picture of the current development.

In media we hear a lot about the Selafis, who are often pointed out as the “bad guys”, the islam extremists or even the potential terrorists. Who are then these Selafis? The ideology Selafism is about keeping Islam pure, worship only God and understanding the Koran literary. There are some inner varieties among the selafists, Ostebo calls them super- respectively supersuperselafists. These are even more conservative. An important part of the Selafi ideology that all the inner varieties have in common is the perception that the best politics is to stay out of politics. That makes the labeling of the Selafis as a threat to national security a paradox according to Ostebo. The Selafists in Ethiopia haven’t made any attempts to interfere with politics. The conclusion he draws is that the blaming of Selafists is completely unsubstantiated.  

Historically the Muslims in Ethiopia have always been marginalized. The traditional Ethiopian identity is the Christian and the Christians are dominating the politics and are most likely (reliable statistics are missing) superior in number. The two major religious groups have coexisted peacefully, but only because the Muslims always “have known their place”, says Ostebo.

There have been some major demonstrations among Ethiopian Muslims in recent years, and these demonstrations might have contributed to the picture of a growing Islam movement. At a closer look though, the demonstrations have been about claiming equal rights for Muslims, not about creating an Islamic Ethiopia. The Christian society has responded the demands of the demonstrators with suspicion. They are not arguing that the demands are unfair but the common belief is that there are international Islamic organizations that support the demonstrations.  Ostebo believes that to be very unlikely.

There are some Ethiopian Muslims moving toward a more conservative tradition, this though does not necessarily mean that they are moving towards extremism or terrorism, Ostebo argues. He also emphasizes that the Ethiopian Muslims seem to support a secularized Ethiopia, presumably because they know that the Christians would outnumber them in a more religious society. This is a fact many people have a hard time believing.

To sum up, according to Ostebo the biggest mistake made by the Ethiopian government is to label an entire religious group as potential terrorists. Specific threats from groups should be taken seriously but to marginalize innocent Muslims by pointing them out as extremists will only create more radical islamists.

Ostebo also mentioned Al-Shabaab, saying they are a threat but what is important to remember is that they are Somali, not Ethiopian. The risk of spill over is very low in his opinion. 

-Miriam Nygren 07-11-13

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Om MiriamNygren

Juriststudent som efter att ha avslutat sina tre forsta ar pa juristprogrammet nu gor praktik pa OHCHR i Addis Abeba.

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