December 9, 2003 Special Dispatch No. 624

Ethiopian Journalist on the Detrimental Effects of Saudi Arabia's 'Poisonous Wahhabism' on His Country

December 9, 2003
Saudi Arabia, Africa | Special Dispatch No. 624

On September 26, 2003, Ethiopian journalist Alem-Zelalem wrote an extensive article detailing how Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi Islam has corrupted the Islam of his native Ethiopia. The following are excerpts from Zelalem's article: [1]

Ethiopian Islam vs. Saudi Islam

" It should be noted… that the great majority of Ethiopian Muslims are followers of Sunni Islam. Since there is religious tolerance in the country, Ethiopians have managed to escape destructive religious conflicts, which have become prevalent in many parts of the world. Lately, however, there has been a new development in the country, which, unless timely measures are taken to check it, could ultimately be a destabilizing factor in the region. This destabilizing factor, which, next to oil, has become the major export item of Saudi Arabia – is called Wahhabism . As the whole world knows, Saudi Arabia is a fundamentalist state. The type of Islam that it preaches and practices is not [the] Sunni Islam that we have lived with for centuries in Ethiopia, and that has become an integral part of our culture and history, but Wahhabism - a terrorist and violent form of Islam, that is responsible for the slaughter of thousands of innocent lives throughout the world."

Madrassas are Jihad Factories Financed by Saudi Arabia

"Despite this, hundreds of mosques have been built in Ethiopia in the last seven years, with Saudi finance and all the paraphernalia of madrassas - supposedly Muslim religious seminaries… [These] madrassas are brain washing sessions and Jihad factories nurturing potential bin Ladens, where students are taught not to live under 'infidels,' and to hate Christians and Jews as a matter of religious duty. All the Saudi financed Mullahs - the directors of the madrassas are anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Jewish… After the madrassas, innocent Ethiopian kids are taken to various countries in the Middle East for military training, and then return home to participate in the meticulously planned and widely coordinated Jihad. So far, some 5,000 have already been trained… Since such activities have serious implications to the independence, peace, and security of the country, we need to bring an end to it, before it takes deep roots."

'The History of Wahhabism has been a History of Jihad'

" The Saudis claim that Wahhabism is a religion of peace and tolerance. But the truth is, what they say is a ridiculous fiction that is not borne by facts. The history of Wahhabism has been a history of Jihad, plunder, conquest, intolerance and violence. One has only to read the history of Wahhabism and to investigate what its followers like Bin Laden are doing throughout the world. Their cruelty and barbarism, and their lies and hypocrisy, know no bounds… The western world is just waking up to the truth and reality of Wahhabism. But Ethiopians have known it for too long. Nothing has changed, not even their irrationality. But then, one should not expect anything rational from 1,500 princes who multiply from within. Rational things can only be discussed with rational people. Despite what our country had done to save Islam from extinction, our fate became provocation, subversion, terrorism, outright aggression, and economic blockade, as a way of expressing their 'gratitude' to us. Let us note that these horrendous acts of barbarism have all been done against Ethiopia, in violation of the teachings and instructions of the Prophet Muhammad. Yet, they call themselves followers of the Prophet, and 'custodians of the Holy Places of Islam.'"

Ethiopia's Religious Pluralism will Overcome Saudi 'Deceit'

"They wanted to convert us to Wahhabism against our will, and we fiercely resisted them, for which they have never excused us. The Wahhabists know that they will never defeat Ethiopia militarily. Since they recognize that their aggression will be fiercely resisted by the people of Ethiopia, they have now changed their tactics and want to conquer us through deceit, or so they hope, without even firing a single bullet. Mentioning the 1974 mass rally in Addis Ababa might help the Saudis to understand how Ethiopian Muslims and Christians relate with one another. In 1974, thousands of Ethiopian Christians joined their Muslim brothers and sisters in a demonstration in Addis Ababa, demanding equality between the two religions - something which cannot even be conceived in Saudi Arabia, or anywhere in the Arab world. One cannot, for example, imagine Egyptian Muslims demonstrating in the streets of Cairo supporting the rights of the Copts of Egypt, and still less, demanding for equality between Christians and Muslims in that country.

"For Wahhabists, a secular state like Ethiopia that strives to create the conditions where Christians and Muslims live in peace and equality is not acceptable. Why? Because Wahhabism is a religion of power. Its adherents believe that they have a command from Allah to rule the entire world and to lord every nation on earth, and to force the rest of mankind to submit to them. To that end, they use the Jihad to overthrow the system of any non-Muslim country in order to establish Wahhabi authority. Hence, the individual has no right to have a religion of his choice. Because of such a mind set, wherever they are, Wahhabists are at war against non-Wahhabists."

Saudi Arabia Spreads Its 'Poisonous Wahhabism' by Building Mosques

"… Saudi Arabia wants a free ride. It takes advantage of opportunities offered by liberal democratic societies to spread its poisonous Wahhabism in the USA, Europe, Africa, and elsewhere by building mosques…

" One would have hoped that religion was a struggle to win the hearts and minds of individuals, but not for Saudi Arabia. Its religion is an instrument for subversion, penetration, terrorism, domination and colonization. For example, by taking advantage of the unfortunate economic conditions of the downtrodden Ethiopian masses, the Saudi Embassy in Addis Ababa is busy bribing people to convert to Islam. The usual amount that they pay is 5,000 birr, which is some $600.00.

"A friend of mine… told me: 'I drove from Addis Ababa to Asebe Teferie, a distance of 350 kilometers (217 miles). Where there were only two or three mosques in the past, now, I could see more than one hundred mosques. Then, I returned back and drove from Addis Ababa to Shashimene, a distance of some 250 kms (155 miles), again to see another 130 brand new mosques. At the end of each trip, I made it a point to ask, 'Who built the mosques?' Invariably, the answer was the same - Saudi Arabia.'"

Wahhabism Will Lead to Endless War

"… Saudi Arabia is governed by an absolute monarchy. It has no constitution. No political parties and trade unions are permitted to function. Public floggings and amputations are common. The subjugation of women in that country is so mind-boggling, that they are not even permitted to drive cars. More than 2,000 years ago, a Greek scholar named Eratosthenes, who served as a librarian in Alexandria, had calculated the circumference of the earth as being 24,675 miles. He was almost accurate. He missed the actual figure by only 185 miles. Yet, today, in Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, the grand mufti, Sheik Abdel Aziz Bin Baz, the chief jurist who has the authority to issue legal edicts called 'fatwa', could declare in 1990, that 'the earth was not round, but flat…'

"Our present economic difficulties, which will surely pass, cannot be exploited by Wahhabists to distort and to pervert our cultural values… Saudi Arabia will be strongly advised to keep its hands off Ethiopia. We did not struggle against every conceivable colonialist and imperialist power in the past, and to come thus far, only to succumb to Saudi Arabian Wahhabism. That would be an insult to our history and culture. The system that prevails in Saudi Arabia may be good for Saudi Arabia, but not for Ethiopia. We find it offensive to human freedom and dignity. It is absolutely unacceptable to our way of life. Wahhabism has no place in our society. The sooner the ruling circles in Saudi Arabia realize this fact and leave us alone, the better.

"The Wahhabi threat to Ethiopia should be a matter of serious concern to the international community… If the present trend is allowed to continue, it will have serious consequences for international peace and security. It will lead into an endless civil war, in the country, between Wahhabists and Christians, between Sunnis and Wahhabists, and engulf the whole of Africa in turmoil."


[1], September 26, 2003. "Saudi Arabia's Wahhabism and the Threat to Ethiopia's National Security." To read the article in full, please visit .

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