Talk to Ethiopian Christians in the West. Ask them about their fears. Not fears or memories of this or that regime, of Mengistu and the Derg, or complaints about Zenawi, but fears about Islam. Many may be hesitant at first, thinking perhaps you might be a Muslim or a supporter of Muslims, but if you forthrightly declare your own views, see what you are told in return, what a torrent may follow.
The demographic conquest of the last redoubt of Christianity, the famous Christian Kingdom of Ethiopia, so famous that when the inhabitants of Western Christendom, under constant Muslim attack, with raids up and down the coasts of Europe as far as Ireland and on one occasion, even as far as Iceland, sought and found a comforting myth of the powerful Christian king, beyond the lands of Islam, who would help the Christians of Europe fight the menace of Islam. At first this mythical kingdom of Prester John was located in Asia, in distant India, but later became identified in the minds of many in Europe with Ethiopia as the new Kingdom of Prester John.
Here is how one blogger at an Addis Ababa site expresses his fears:
I have been traveling & working in Ethiopia for several years now. There have been many changes. While the politics of Meles may be brought into question. Any situation beats the DERG and I would say the current status, though far from perfect beats an Islamic state any day. Ethiopia faces the loss of a developing democracy to the enemies of freedom and liberty.
Where Islam is the minority they are as lambs, where they are equal in power they are like a fox, when Islam is the majority they are as wolves.
What's going on is not merely political or philosophical, it is a war of ideology. The sovereignty of Ethiopia is at stake. Shore up her borders and then tackle the internal issues, as a parlimentary democracythere is less freedom in an Islamic-fascist state. Just visit Somalia or Eritrea."
This absurd argument can be found in a piece that appeared in a Houston paper, of which an excerpt is given below:
There are several reasons why aligning with Ethiopia on Somalia would be a bad idea that might even jeopardize the current coalition and undermine the long-term objectives of the war against global terrorism.
First, such partnership with a nation that portrays itself as "a Christian" nation against a Muslim neighbor, which is a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Arab League, and based on little and tainted information, would give the war a religious color, thereby undermining President Bush's core message right from the start: that the war is against terrorism, not against Islam.
Historically, Ethiopia viewed itself as a "Christian island surrounded by a Muslim sea." As a result, Islam has historically been perceived as a major threat to this country, and Ethiopian Muslims, though they constitute at least half of the population, have had an invisible presence in the country. A former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia wrote: 'Islam in Ethiopia has confined itself entirely to the spiritual realm. It has shown no interest in politics, though it is keenly aware that it comprises at least half the population and probably more.'
Furthermore, Ethiopia's unshakable image in the eyes of the world is that of a Christian nation. The recent U.S. Department of State classification of all the main Horn of Africa nations in the region, except Ethiopia, as either predominantly Arab or Muslim, also reinforces that image. Apparently, this has nothing to do with being "predominantly Arab or Muslim."The transparent argument here is that Christians are not allowed to help fellow Christians lest the war be perceived, as it is declared to be by the Muslims in Somalia and by all the non-Somali Muslims who will help them, as a war between Muslims and Christians.
About one thing the writer is correct: there are many Muslims in Ethiopia, and its Christian character is threatened by the missionary efforts, and the usual overbreeding by Muslims. That is another problem, and it is a problem that needs to be recognized and not ignored but dealt with, because it is in the interests of the entire non-Muslim world that Ethiopia remain a Christian country and not succumb to Islam. And whatever that takes:including the transfer of some Muslims into Somaliashould be considered.