Facilitated by Network of Ethiopian Muslims NEME, Ethiopian Muslim organizations, leaders , activists , associations, thinkers and scholars all over the world had a teleconference on the census data and its implications. The conference was a unique one, as the participants tried to be as much candid as possible and let aside the so called political correctness.The conference was transmitted Live to a large audiences on palktak who had their chance to participate on the conference.
The discussion , in general, continued for about 7 hrs and it would be far beyond this article to convey it. Leaving aside to other mass media the details let us share the core points and the uniqueness of the conference and the discussion.
As there was an absolute consensus ,no time was spent on discussing of the corruptness of the census data at all. For Ethiopian muslims they lived it for along time, even they had a time were their very existence was denied. However, a detail was given on how things were developing for the latest census data, which Muslims had some hope of reversing the denial tradition, including under and above ground actors from insiders.
Muslims organization felt that they were let down by the government. That is after they had a land mark journey which they raised several muslim issues directly with the prime minster, which included the census data. A Badr member and one of the top leaders who led the journey expressed this as the "last one of a chain of our demands that we got it slapped on our face", despite the promise. "we have been doing this for the sake of our country and the love that we have for it. We know that the country will never prosper as long as the majority who are Muslims are oppressed."He stressed .
The conference and the discussion was far beyond pointing fingers which Muslims usually do to get a temporary relief to their pain.In fact Muslims focused on self criticisms and self evaluation. They asked their failure to have any kind of impact of what so ever on the ground. " What would you bring if they were to claim Muslims as 2%?", one activist asked. A hot debate and discussion followed this reality, to get deeper and touch the reality.
Many found it to be things deeper than simple numbers and far beyond the existing regime. History and experience was briefly visited including the changes the country has seen wih regime changes. " There are variables and static or invariable parts of policies", a thinker and a scholar explained. "Policies regarding muslims issues are among the fixed ,unchanging part of the policies", he continued. He warned that some muslims should not be deluded by the variables, and should not expect that a solution by changing a prime minister or individuals, but within inside.
All participants have come to a conclusion that to shake the invariables and bring justice and coexistence based on mutual respect, muslims should show their existence in reality, regardless of what the paper says. There was an understanding that blame lies on muslims themselves, not on christian elites and media who organized themselves to their own objective no matter how narrow and greedy their target might be.
"Good News! Good News!" it was that amazing person once again. Everybody who is dismayed by what is going on was surprised to hear him saying this at a time muslims thought that the good news are far beyond their imagination.
"You might be surprised that I see a good news at statistical data which slaughtered millions of muslism! That apparently is not a good news, but nothing is new about this. The good news is that a record number of Ethiopian muslims are gathring and patiently discussed this single issue for a record length of time. For the first time I see muslims feeling the pain and expressing their readiness to bring a change. I am optimistic that change is coming and that is the GOOD NEWS.!!!"
Of the how to react a short ,a medium and a long run actions were proposed. They include legal, political and social activities to increase the awareness and expose how flawed the census data is, but in scientific and and organized way.