Abiy’s Ecclesiastical Political Doctrine and its Ramifications: Mixing Politics and Religion – An Explosive Cocktail
Guddisaa Mul’ataa, December 28, 2019
The Case of Burning Mosques In Amhara State And The Political Fallout: Religious Institutions Must Be Off-Limits
The recent burning of Mosques in Amhara state thereby cheering the heinous act is reprehensible and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Religious institutions should be respected, protected and must be off-limits under any circumstance. The assimilationist doctrine and politics of domination promoted by PM Abiy Ahmed, and his fundamentalist Orthodox exclusivist preacher Deacon Daniel’s provocations inevitably lead to such destructive and ultimately unmanageable outcomes. The burning of the Mosques is the continuation of politics by other means.
Using religion as a means for political end is not only immoral and wrong; it is suicidal. Combination of religion and politics in this era can only end in a combustive mixture that leaves no one out; it burns away all including the arsonist.
Problems Inherent in Abyssinian Body Politics:
In the Ethiopian polity, religion and politics are symbiotic. They are inseparable domains of government. The Ethiopian empire is sustained keeping both in tune. The only time the influence of religion subsided was during the 17 years of the DERG rule. The TPLF reintroduced the Church as a political tool. Abiy Ahmed as A monarchist is even overplaying it. Following the reintroduction of monarchy, prominent representatives of the Orthodox church as the custodian of the throne enjoy their highest representation in the palace, and act as the chief political advisers of the prime minister, aka the king. This constellation projects not only political power, but also religious dominance. This assemblage poses a serious threat to the rest that provokes resistance and generates conflict. To avert the escalation of conflict, the solution has to begin with the separation of religion and state.
Disengaging Religion from Politics:
The combustive mixture of politics and religion has begun exploding with the burning of the Mosques. If this wildfire is not stopped urgently, the rage will consume everyone. The remedy must begin with the separation of religion and politics and transitioning to a SECULAR STATE: Not conferring any privilege or favor for one particular religion. Working for a lasting solution must begin here.
Ultimately, a peaceful coexistence in the region will be possible only by solving the inherent political problems in the empire.
As a matter of fact, the burning of the Mosques can’t be seen in isolation. It is part and parcel of the ongoing systematic rhetorical and physical attack waged by Abiy’s government and its diehard Nafxanya associates against the rest.
The Case of Oromo Students in Amhara State:
Tens of thousands of Oromo students assigned to Amhara state universities are literally under siege. Many have been killed and wounded. The rest want to escape alive but there is no one, neither the federal government nor Oromiyaa state reaching for their rescue. Subject to sustained verbal harassment and physical attacks, it is unthinkable for them to follow their studies.
Removing from their Home State, detaching from their social base, putting them in such a hostile atmosphere at their early age isn’t providing them with a conducive learning environment. Playing politics with the lives of tens of thousands of young girls and boys is criminal, inhuman, and immoral act. Given the situation, the priority must be the safety of the students. Therefore, they must be taken back to their Home State as a matter of urgency.
The Case of Oromo Orthodox Church:
Oromo clerics have been negotiating for a long time with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church administration to establish regional structure that meets the distinct features of Oromiyaa. This generated a host of opposition not only from within the church, but also from the general Amhara elites. This is the case because the Orthodox Church has been the absolute domain of Amhara elite and an instrument of their political dominance. Decentralization unavoidably loosens their long-standing absolute monopoly over the administration of the church and its resources. For the Amhara elite, the Church is the Center from which they project absolute power: Political, economic, linguistic and social. Abandoning their absolute control of the church in effect means ending their supremacy. They are ferociously and adamantly fighting to maintain the status quo and are engaged in an all-out war against not only the clergy, but anything and everything Oromo.
In summary, the problems rocking the Ethiopian empire are multidimensional. The solution demands a comprehensive approach. Still, the root cause is political. Therefore, a lasting solution can be attained ONLY by resolving the principal contradiction inherent in the formation of the empire, i.e. The National Question.