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Hands Off, Dr. Yussuf: We are capable of Dealing with Our Internal Affair. – by Mahmud Saleh

The Muslim world is going through tough time. Decades of failed policies of western countries, and the tight grip repressive regimes applied on their people have now resulted in the mushrooming of terrorist franchises. While

The Muslim world is going through tough time. Decades of failed policies of western countries, and the tight grip repressive regimes applied on their people have now resulted in the mushrooming of terrorist franchises. While global forces have largely pushed our world towards cooperation and interdependence, terrorist masterminds have plunged the Muslim world in chaos and disorder. And at the center of all these mayhem are radical preachers who have monetized their venomous Friday  speeches.

In a blistering Friday sermon uner the title ” Eritrean Muslims: the forgotten cause,”  a Sudanese Sheikh, Dr. AbdulHay Yussuf, called on all Muslims to support Eritrean Muslims.  According to his angry Friday preaching:

– Eritrea is a 70% Muslim nation and has been ruled by Godless, communist, and Baathist leaders.

– Eritrea once was a Muslim nation and was part of the Ottoman Caliphate.

– Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia waged a religious war against Muslim Eritreans.

–  After independence, Eritrean Muslims are fighting against an unbeliever regime, which continues the practices of its predecessors.

– Eritrean Muslims are united to fight the unbeliever regime so that the rule of Islam will return to that part of the world.

– Issayas’ hatred and vindictiveness towards Muslims surpassed his predecessors (Ethiopian rulers).  Issayas (Eritrean president) declared war on Muslims…dried up the sources of Islam, imprisoned Du’at (people who preach and invite to Islam).  He tortured [clergy men]…and forced them out of their country. He violated the honor and dignity of Muslim women under the guise of national service where they are made to marry Christians.

– He fought off Arabic language considering it a foreign language, etcetera, etcetera.

The above are some excerpts from his incensed speech. It is a ranting of an arrogantly ignorant  man, full of bigotry and malice. The preacher made this remarks in connection with the recent protest of Addiae school in Asmara, Eritrea. Eritreans, regardless of their religious affiliations,  are discussing the incident and its significance on the ongoing struggle to bring  democratic change in Eritrea. Hence, the purpose of this article is limited to giving an appropriate reply to the doctor’s erroneous assertions about Eritrea, its people, and history.

Some facts:

Dr. Yussuf volunteered to introduce a “forgotten cause” of Eritrean Muslims to Sudanese audience.  Dr.  Abdulhay Yussuf doesn’t need to introduce Eritrea and Eritreans to Sudanese brothers and sisters. I don’t know about him but the border between the two sisterly countries has never been a barrier separating the two brotherly peoples. Eritreans consider Sudan their second country, and Sudanese brothers and sisters are welcome into Eritrea. Eritrean Muslims and  Christians are well aware and speak highly of Sudanese hospitality. Those who had left Sudan remember it with fondness. They rhyme the song of brotherhood: “Ekhwan…Ekhwan// Eritrea wo Sudan.”

That is speaking of the ordinary people. As far as the religious establishment of Sudan is concerned, Eritrea has occasionally found itself  in the crosshairs of individuals who wish to spread their Islamic politics. In the past, some Sudanese radical Islamists tried to export hatred and confusion across borders. In some places, such as Somalia, they succeeded.  In Eritrea, the story was different. They failed. The first defense line against these fanatics were Eritrean Muslims. In the years that followed the independence of Eritrea, radical zealots launched a campaign that was designed to replicate the experience of Afghan Mujahidin  in Eritrea. They terrorized regions adjacent to the Sudanese border. They headquartered in Sudan and received support from elite radicals that included Hassen Atturabi and his government. Eritrea was lucky to escape the scourge of radicalism. And the primary reason for that was the unity of our people. Is Dr. Yussuf trying to exploit the protest of Addiae School to reinvent the wheel? Is he testing the waters for possibilities of promoting his destructive agenda? Is he calling beaten forces of darkness and barbarity to head for Eritrea?  It is possible. As terrorists lose turfs in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia and other places, it is possible people like Dr. Yussuf to look for other places. Tigrayet speaker say “Itethamel” when they face this type of situation. It simply means watch out; don’t let down your guard. We must not let down our guard. We should stay vigilant in safeguarding our unity.

Short Replies To The Doctor:

  1. “Eritrea is 70% Muslim nation,” Wrong.  Although there is no recent census, Eritrea is home to Muslims and Christians, composed of nine linguistic groups. Muslims make up half of the population. Religion is only one identifying factor. Other than religion, more threads connect Eritrean social groups. Religion has never been a dividing factor in our history. Eritreans fought and fell in one trench. The secret of winning their independence against odds lies in their unity. British Military Administration and Emperor Haile Selassie tried to play religious cards, but the impact was minimal. Their religious schemes did not split Eritreans.
  2. “Eritrea was a Muslim part of the Ottoman Caliphate.” Wrong. Eritrea assumed its current political map with the advent of Italian colony (1890). The Ottoman rule was limited to the Eritrean lowlands which historically was inhabited by majority Muslim population.  The highland (Christian,  half of Eritrea’s population) remained under different polity. Ottoman Turkey tried to expand its occupation beyond the lowlands but met resistance. Clashes continued between Ottoman Turks and rulers of the highlands but Turkey could not place a total claim over the entire area of today’s Eritrea.

It is obvious. If Dr. Yussuf really intended to make a constructive Friday Kutba on Eritrean Muslims, he would do a minimum preparation on Eritrean history. But it seems he was not interested in a constructive dialogue. He was in for the day with the usual attitude of poisoning the minds of naive followers and with the intent of declaring war on Eritrean unity and sovereignty.

  1. Were Eritreans entangled with Ethiopian rulers in a religious war? No.  Eritrean revolution was a national struggle against occupation and subjugation. The mere fact that it had begun in the lowlands does not make it a Muslim rebellion. Geography did not affect its substance; it was an inclusive revolution. And it did not take time for the Highlanders to join it. Of course, Haile Selassie and his predecessors set up Ethiopia in world stage as a Christian oasis;  he characterized Eritrean liberation movement as an Islamist venture instigated by the Arabs. The purpose of such an effort was to weaken Eritrean  revolution by sowing suspicions and divisions among Eritreans. He also wanted to stimulate the old Abyssinian, anti-Arab sentiments.

For the first decade of the struggle, the liberation fighters depended entirely on the support of the lowlanders for food, logistics, human resource, and intelligence gathering.   By late 1960s, the armed struggle became visible. The Ethiopian ruler, Emperor Haile Selassie, announced a state of emergency to crush the fledgling revolution by drying up the source of its strength. The plan was to force the lowlanders to concentration camps so that the Imperial administration would deprive the liberation fighters of the sustenance the population was giving them. It was famously called ” To kill the fish, drain out the sea.”

Most of the villagers refused. In retaliation, Ethiopia declared scorched earth policy, wiping out  villages in the lowlands, killing thousands of innocent people, looting and pillaging livestock and properties. In 1967, the first wave of Eritrean refugees, by some estimates close to 75,000, crossed to the Sudan.  It was an open killing season where Ethiopian army had the order to murder innocent people in cold blood. I’m a survivor of those atrocities. It was a brutal reprisal. However, It was not a religious war. Eritrean revolution never was a religious rebellion.  Christian compatriots, including Isssayas,  were members of the liberation army that Emperor Haile Selassie targeted. Many brave Christian liberation fighters fell beside their Muslim comrades defending a prominently Muslim population.

If Eritrean revolution began in the highlands and made its bases among the Christian community, Emperor Haile Selassie would not have a softer heart for those Christians. Their fate would be similar to their Muslim compatriots. In fact, that was the case when the revolution grew and spread to the highlands.

There is this biased narration of Western and Arab scholars that surmises Ethiopia was/is a Christian country. The misconception is partly due to Ethiopian rulers’

Strategy to gain the support and blessing of Western aid. Nevertheless, Ethiopia is 1/3 Muslim, and if Emperor Haile Selassie were to wage a religious war against Muslims and their prophet (PBUH), it would be logical for him to start the cleaning-up of Muslims from Ethiopia. Haile Selassie cared only for one thing: his power.

For instance, Haile Selassie did not hesitate to massacre Christian uprising in 1943 in the region of Tigray. A rebellion known as the first wayane was crushed by the Emperor using British airforce. Thousand died in the process. Therefore, framing Ethiopian campaigns of destruction as a crusade against Muslims and their prophet is wrong. It implies Eritrean revolution was a Muslim movement. Eritrean Revolution encompassed all sectors of society. It was a struggle for a national cause, which would include Muslims and Christians.

Enough!! Kefa Ya Sheikna

Dr. Abdulhay Yussuf:  enough of hateful preaching. The Middle East is in turmoil because of this kind of preaching.  Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Somalia, and other countries are suffering as a result of the terrorist acts of young men who got duped by hateful preaching. While the world continues advancing in science and technology, sadly, the Muslim world has plunged in darkness and confusion. This is because the likes of Dr. Yussuf have found a free ride in the minds of young Muslims. Instead of cultivating inventions and peaceful- co-existence, preachers like this lunatic Sheikh are producing fanatics who have no respect for human life. They did not spare their own Muslim communities let along the world. They perfected the worst forms of torture including burning human beings alive, beheading innocent civilians, enslaving captured populations that don’t adhere to their version of “Islam”.

Zealot preachers like Dr. Yussuf sent the naives to their death along the way blowing up  innocent lives. Dr. Yussuf is on record revering Osama Bin Laden. His  speech was nothing but declaring war. The Muslim world is plagued with poisonous  preachers who act as if they master the destiny of humanity. They dragged Muslim societies towards backwardness while fattening their pockets. They have been able to do only one thing: create terrorist minds and organizations that come in different names and franchises: ISIS, Alqaeda,  Boko Haram, Alshabab, etc. And now, Dr.Yussuf wants to export his fanatic ideas to Eritrea!?

I have bad news for you, doctor. It was tried before you but did not work.

So, why don’t you start from Sudan? Have you thought about helping Sudanese Muslims who have been terrorized in Darfur? Have you considered condemning the racist Janjaweed who torched Darfurian villages? You know, your government has been accused of genocide. So, how could you try to liberate Eritrean Muslims before even tackling your own Muslims’ problem? Alas, what else could a deranged mind produce? But please hands off Eritrea.

Finally, you spoke of the imprisonments of Muslim scholars. Well, Christian leaders did not fare better either. The regime in Asmara has harassed Christian institutions too. As I write this piece, the regime ordered Christian students to take off religious symbols. Dr. Yussuf must be living in an isolated bubble. Otherwise, the world is talking about Eritrea’s human right situation. My friend , we have a regime that has been abusing Eritreans regardless of their faith. Bringing a lasting solution will take an inclusive and concerted endeavor by all Eritreans. We have done it in the past; we will do it this time too.

Sure, Eritrea is going through tough time, but it is not because of religious discrimination. It is a political problem. There are Eritrean forces which are trying to coordinate their efforts to accelerate the fight for democracy. Unlike the story Dr. YUssuf told his congregation, Christians and Muslims alike are condemning the heavy-handedness of the government in suppressing the people’s protest. I am pleased and feel proud to tell Dr. Yussuf that our Christian compatriots stood with their Muslim brothers and sisters in demanding answers from the government. Dr. Yussuf’s fanatic ranting could not shake Eritrean unity. We refuse to break up and split. We rise and fall together. We will take care of our internal political problems. Hands off, please.



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Review overview
  • Muoss November 8, 2017

     Mahmud Salh, I don’t know how to thank you for this fruitful article. You said it all. We should not let forigners take advantage of this accident to create chaos in our country wether they are Christians or Muslims. This idiot shiek were no where to be found when Eritreans needed help in Sudan. This is a crocodile tears.

  • stefanos temolso November 8, 2017

    Anyone wether from inside the country or outside tries to create a gab or a crack between the two brotherly people will only be hopelessly exhausted. Eritrean Christians or Moslems are ardent nationalists and not fundamentalist Christians or extremist Moslems. Of course as in any nation there are a few who may have negative attitudes and incorrect orientation about current politics or a biased thinking. Had the Eritrean people been like the Somalis or Iraqis or Lebanese Eritrea would have been a different country now. Eritreans in general are not violent and are tired of violence, instability insecurity, lack of peace and progress. So, they need peace and tranquility above everything else. At such a crucial time, if someone would come and ask them to wage a war they would never listen to him. So, I warn anyone who has such an evil propaganda or agenda like the evil Sudanese pseudo doctor to keep away from these beloved people. There maybe people who may think lowly of the Eritrean people for not removing the brutal dictator by violent means, but I stand with the Eritrean people.because violence breeds. Isayas could be removed peacefully or killed by a single bullet, no need for bloodshed or civil war. But I prefer that he is brought in a legal court and penalized for his crimes.

  • k.tewolde November 8, 2017

    Half of Asmara’s residents and merchants were of Islam faith,they shaped that city, to name few Gonafir,Setaye,families of aboy Quismallah,Ata Yassin….I can go on and on, prominent pioneers,politicians,scholars and businessmen some intermarried with their christian counterparts,we grew up together,played together,grieved together,overjoyed together,we went to their homes for counseling to resolve family issues peacefully,the children grew up and we went to fight against out occupiers together.That is where the Eritrean nationhood was molded,how do you fit agaazian into this national consciousness?incompatible,repulsive,repellent.Like Fitsum said Eritrea is for Eritreans and Asmara will shine again by the people who graced it once – Muslims and Christians together.

  • Dawit November 8, 2017

    Al-Azhar University in Cairo – Egypt is one of the production lines or conveyor belts for the production of muslim terrorists and criminals. The muslims illegal immigrant mercenaries who used to reside in Eritrea (as refugees) went to Al-Azhar Cairo – Egypt to reaffirm and re-pledge their eternal loyalty to the savage evil Arab supremacy and domination. By doing so, these evil muslim mercenaries brought bereavement, grief, destruction, bloodshed, mayhem and sadness to the indigenous Eritrean Christian highland population. This evil muslim act has nothing to do with love of freedom and democracy at all. How can someone who considers monster Mohammed to be the “perfect human being” or “al Insan Al Kami” rebel against dictatorship? Monster, peadophille and slave trader Mohammed was a crafty, sly and the ultimite dictator. Does anyone really think that evil Islam is like any other peaceful religion focused on spirituality and philosophy? Absolutely NOT. It is an idelogical and political evil program; a blue-print for barbarian Arab chauvinism and supremacy. The muslim refugees/illegal immigrant mercenaries of the lowland rebelled because they hated the very idea of a Christian King “Haileslassie” ruling over them. This is as per the commandments of the evil Qur’an. Well, they have also got a powerful Christian King Isaias Afewerki only tigrigna speaking but ruling over them and will always be ruled by our strong Christian Habesha rulers and their savage Arab slave masters are NOT going to help them out in their usual evil jihadi missions or to come to power in Eritrea. Our great fathers used to say rightly the snake should always be under your feet and never facing you as it is so poisonous like the untrustworthy vicious muslim snakes.

    • k.tewolde November 8, 2017

      Dawit ,christian radicalism at its best,are you wearing a vest behind the computer? why is your current christian King wiping out an entire people who bear name like yours? or are you dyslexic.You must have just finished being anointed by an agaazi monk to unleash this cyber offensive.Gee Weez!

      • Dawit November 9, 2017

        As a diQala lifelong barbaric evil Islamic ELF mendef stooge and whore mouth, you would not understand my comment but if you are really having great pain or difficulty in swallowing or digesting my “pure beautiful and original Agazian” comment then I suggest a glass of your diQala camel’s piss will help you to wash it down your stinking diQala throat. Your usual pathetic and amateur twisting facts is not going to serve your barbaric evil ELF mendef Islamic purposes. Get lost to your Arabs desert foxes holes.

    • Follower Of Prophet Mohammed November 9, 2017

      +Dawit You’ll soon see how regretfully will end up being under the feet of the Followers of the Greatest Person Ever Walked On The Face Of This Planet – Prophet Mohammed ! and then they will set you free – as their prophet did to his loser enemies.

  • Aman November 8, 2017

    Waw what an article it is an antidote for all the evil statements coming from the wicked ones. Thanks for your wise words and prompt response. Proud to have brothers like you.

  • Lula November 9, 2017

    Few years back we were begging the Arab Shieks and their servants to speak up and rally against their own many Arab regimes and the Embassies in the Europe and North America that were incarcerating the Christian Eritrean refugees in the Arab world and those who were being kidnapped by the savage Arab Bedouins and the Arab Rashyadas and snatched their body organs, all the way from Kessela – Gadarif to Libya and Egypt-Sinai, as many Christian Eritreans were sold to Arab slavery and many were beheaded by the Islamist State ISIS dogs but only few and dedicated Eritreans, such as Assenna, Aba Mussie, Dr Alganesh and the Erena network worked hard, Many Arabs and their servants would not even post on their websites the suffering of Eritrean chirstians. And now, these Jihadi Arab Shieks are trying to declare a Jihadi Muslim Fatwa on Christian Eritreans? Who would be surprised?
    Eritreans and the Horn of Africans have a lot of bad memories for centuries about the the evil of the Ottoman-Turk Caliphates, the invasion of the Arab Egyptian and the Jihadi interference of the Islamist ideologue by the likes of Turabis to understand well their parochial Islamist destructive minds and devilish motivations.
    This retarded Arab Shiek and his likes only revealed what the Arab Islamists and their slaves have in store in their evil fanatic minds against the christian Eritreans who had survived in this part of the Horn of Africa for millennia while the Arabs were burning languages, heritage and identity all over in the Middle East and Northern Africa, that includes the destruction in Yemen, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.. .

  • TesfaldetAbraha November 9, 2017

    ሎሚ ገሪሙኒ ዋላ አሰና ንፖሎቲካ ኢሉ ፖስት ይግበሩ እቶም ኮመንት ዝገበርኩም ተሐጉሰልኩም ብምቅዋምኩም ንኹላትኩም ነመስግን ኩሉ አንቢበዮ ኩሉ ዝቃወም ነዚ ሽኽ ብጣዕሚ ጽቡቅ ምናልባሽ አማኒኤል ክሐርቅ ይኽእል ይኽውን ምስዚ ዘለዎ ዝምድና ምስ ወያነ ንሱ ይድግፎ ይኸውን እቶም ኮመንት ዝገበርኩም ጹቡቅ ገርኩም

  • nadia suleiman November 9, 2017

    Dr yusu kaka
    Clean your dirt first before venturing to help us. Allow the women in your country to wear the close they want to, to uncover their face as they wish, drive cars if they want, to mary who ever they want and get 50% if divorsed for all these are their rights that no one should violate. Stand against crimes committed and being committed against darfurians. We have a sovereign country, i hope you understand what that means since u are a PhD, unless it is from university of isis. In a nut shell, keep ur mouth shut otherwise we will shut it for u.

  • Lula November 9, 2017

    Show me a single Arab and Islamic nation ruled by the Sharia Islam that has become a democratic nation? Is it Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Libya ? or, is it our next door land of the Jebelis — the Arab Republic of Yemen?
    There is absolutely none ever in history! Therefore, the Arab Muslim Sheik in question and his likes are all worthless and waste of time. He should clean his own stink few times a day before he opens his stinky mouth on the gallant Christian Eritreans who have never burned their own languages, identity and heritage for millennia.

    • kokhob November 9, 2017

      Lula, I couldn’t agree more and you’ve put it all beautifully and correctly.
      The evil ghedli generation of the cancerous muslims and the terefmeref riffraffat remnant criminal losers type that congregate in Cairo, Khartoum felt a threat to their evil alien colonial aspirations, and the evil Arab identity that necessarily goes with it! Lets hope these rootless muslim mercenaries and their terefmeref riffraffat goHafat at last burn themselves instead of jut burning our Eritrean text book languages, identities just to replace them with evil alien Arabic shit.

  • Meretse November 9, 2017

    ሓደ ጋሻ ሰብኣይ ንሓደ ወዲ ዓዲ ሕቶ ምስ ኣቅረብሉ ዝረከብዎ ምላሽ –
    ኣንታ ወደይ እዚ ዓድስ ግናይቲ ዶ ኣሎውዎ?
    መልሲ እወ ኣሎውዎ — ግና ገነይቲ ከኣ ኣሎውዎ ።
    My dear, do you have any evil people in your village?
    Yes we do but we also have people who could take care of them.
    As long as we are all for it ( mean unity) no one will have room to make a dent.
    Let us stick to the hot issue now // purging later

    • kokhob November 9, 2017

      Meretse waTa villager, without your evil village “Kirar & Kebero”, you’ve lost/put us off your miwidas street collection job! Why don’t you try your old church “mezmur” for a change!!!!
      But make sure it is not one of your old evil islam.awate website’s jihadists taliban murderers allah woAkber shitty! At least, with your savage taliban terrorists you won’t be needing your special waTa instrument but would definitely need swords and bombs for beheading and killing innocent people (mostly poor Christians).
      And why didn’t you stick with your awate criminal shefatu bandits and terrorist muslim murderers then???? Did they actually dump and kick you out for being a useless waTa villager just barking with his old outdated boring village poems/miwidasat?