There are over 60,000 mosques in Ethiopia: Shimeles Kemal

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By De Birhan
11 Feb 2013

Shimelis Kemal, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Government Communications Affairs Office had an interview with a Diaspora based Ethiopian chat room. During the interview he mentioned that  there are over 60,000 mosques in Ethiopia (over 250 in Addis Abeba), most built during the current regime’s reign,and also “the rights and freedom of Ethiopian Muslims has been respected and protected” under the incumbent regime. He gave responses to questions posed by the chat room participants such as the arrested Ethiopian Muslims Arbitration Committee members, the recent ETV documentary called “Jehadawi Harekat”,  imprisoned Ethiopian journalists, power of member parties within the ruling Front (EPRDF), religious freedom,  ESAT and other issues. 

Shimeles Kemal

Some of the highlights of his interview are tweeted below:

  • Asked why ETV failed to transmit #AFCON2013 legally-#ShimelesKemal just passed it around the bush without a difinitive statement.
  • On Ethiopian Muslims protest and ETV doctry- he said there is no problem between Ethiopian Muslims and the regime but between some media and people vs the regime #ShimelesKemal
  • #ShimelesKemal Ethiopian Muslims protest was there before the ‘Arab Springs’ with a different color and the arrest wasn’t to avoid the ‘Spring’.
  • #ShimelesKemal says vacancy within the Mejlis was going to be used by ‘these elements’ to oppose/topple the Regime but failed.
  • #ShimelesKemal also said over 7.5 Muslims already chose their Mejlis leaders – so the case is closed.
  • #ShimelesKemal says the case of the arrested Arbitration Committee members is NOT ‘pending in Court’ – it is yet at an investigation stage, thus nothing illegal has been done.
  • #ShimelesKemal said the role of Regime’s is stopping the propaganda of the ‘suspects’, teaching and pacifying the people- so was the aim of the documentary transmitted on ETV before the trail.
  • #ShimelesKemal said Injunction on the documentary was given by the  Judge without Prosecutor’s knowledge. The next day, Prosecutors appealed and the High Court revoked the injunction.
  • ” ‘#Reeyot yetebalech setyo’ yetasecherechew be shiber sera enji be metasfua adelem.” #ShimelesKemal 
  • #ShimelisKemal said there are over 60,000 mosques in #Ethiopia now. All the rights, religious freedom of Ethiopian Muslims are respected and protected today.
  • #ShimelisKemal Only under this regime did Ethiopian Muslims enjoy full right, religious freedom and political empowerment. 
  • #ShimelisKemal said this Regime doesn’t torture but humanely practices the law and is even popular for pardoning. 
To listen to the full interview here at De Birhan, click play below