Islam, the Nature of Peace and State Society Relations in Contemporary Ethiopia; Implications for National Integration

Mohammed Yimer


An attempt has been made to assess the nature of peace, religion and society in Ethiopia, to examine the conflict emerging trends in the post 1991 Ethiopia and its implications for national integration and to identify the underlying causes, actors, and consequences of the conflict. Adopting ethnographic design, the study could secure substantial data through, key informant interview and focus group discussions with key stakeholders. Apart from this, the study was substantiated by critical document analysis. The study indicated that an official policy change has been observed in terms of interference, dichotomization and accusations for alleged radicalizing activities of Ethiopian Muslims. While this is considered as eroding the basic features and foundations of the constitution, it has its own implication on the ideology of secular state model .Although the policy of containing Islam has been started earlier, the regime has moved to replace, shape, and educate the ordinary Muslims along with the ideology of anew sect imported from Lebanon with the intention of curbing perceived extremism in Ethiopia. The study further revealed that the recent confrontation between the state and the Muslim community commenced since 2011 has put a repercussion on three interrelated issues. The growing interference of the government in religious affairs,  the violation of the ever secular constitution thereof and  the deterioration of the state and the Muslim community relations, which will have a great implication on the longstanding agenda of the state to create one political and economic community.

Keywords: Islam, Ethiopian Muslims, Post 1991 era, Terrorism, EPRDF, state -society relations

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