Three Reasons Why We Should Give the Benefit of the Doubt to Jawar Mohammed

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6 Responses

  1. Ittu Aba Farda says:

    Good Speed for this persistent young man. He has a work cut out for him to bring back a huge herd lined up behind to humane senses. Leadership, assumed or gained thru propagating, comes with huge responsibility. The recent savage mob behavior should not have happened under the watch of such self proclaimed leaders. Such abhorrent acts are not confined to one area or location but they are all over the map. It shows messages from such leaders were either not clear enough or totally misconstrued. That is because the propagation was conducted so carelessly that the youth thought every person with a Tigrayan heritage was that ‘repressive’ Woyane and every Amhara is that ‘Neftegna’ who knows nothing but evicting Oromos. Condemnation without understandable elaboration was hatching wholesale accusation. That was why I was not comfortable when I heard for the first in the 1970’s the term ‘Neftegna’ as a rallying cry by protesters. I was complaining about using the terms such as ‘Woyane’ and ‘TPLF’. We should never remain amiss of the fact that there are thousands and possibly millions among us who do not possess the needed ingenuity to look through what we write or comes out of our mouths. These intellectually challenged elements are always ready to take our words at their values. The targets should have been individuals who were responsible. We should never forget the fact that there is always a crowd of people in or behind any organization or a regime. A crowd always comes with diverse interests. Again, we have to be extremely careful in our choice of words. The carelessness in using the term ‘neftegna’ had led to massacre in the most brutal way of poor farmers in early 1990’s and the wanton use of terms like ‘Woyane’ and ‘TPLF’ in inciting the youth has led to the killings of totally innocent ‘dreamers’ in the most savage ways. That culture of being a firebrand from the demonic Marxist/Leninist ideology that managed to piggybag on many of our intellectuals since the 1960’s has shown its dividends since 1974 and it clearly shows not done yet. Names of groups and organization have been used as ‘justification’ to kill innocent citizens. We have to be careful in our choice of words from our position of authority or leadership roles. Our words should be those that will lift up the positive energy of our followers but not arouse them in uncontrollable rage. Again, let’s use uplifting words or use words to uplift the oppressed and the marginalized and let’s not use those words to incite same people into raging mobs. Our targets should always be the leaders, the ideologues, who are often in the top echelons of the group or organizations. Otherwise, we are going to run into this trap of holding an entire group of people just as guilty as those who gave the orders to shoot and kill/maim or send peaceful protesters to torture chambers and filthy jails.

  2. Tesfaye says:

    He also had to say these on his facebook:
    1) Hallo USSR!
    2) Perestroika = Glasnost = ?, whereupon a commentator asked: ‘Please explain?’. Jawar answered ‘No, I won’t explain, as even the very thought of it scares me!’

    Quite faire, I believe.

  3. Tesfaye says:

    He also had to say these on his facebook:
    1) Hallo USSR!
    2) Perestroika = Glasnost = ?, whereupon a commentator asked: ‘Please explain?’. Jawar answered ‘No, I won’t explain, as even the very thought of it scares me!’

    Quite faire, I believe.

  4. Tesfaye says:

    He also had to say these on his facebook:
    1) Hallo USSR!
    2) Perestroika = Glasnost = ?, whereupon a commentator asked: ‘Please explain?’. Jawar answered ‘No, I won’t explain, as even the very thought of it scares me!’

    Quite fair, I believe.

  5. Mulu Geta says:

    I would like to congratulate Gizaw for clearly outlining why he thinks Jowar should be given the benefit of the doubt in the current political atmosphere in Ethiopia. However, the three reasons (peacemaker, taking risk and having will and power) he outlines don’t hold water for a careful observer. In the below, I argue why Ethiopia can’t play game with fire by giving chance to a self promoting lunatic.
    First, I can’t find a single instance in his role over the last 10 years that he has promoted peace. Even at the time when he thinks ‘Oromo’ is in control (his own description), we don’t see any peacemaking rhetoric from him. He is telling people on his right and left that he has a government in waiting (he calls it Queero gov’t) in case the Abiy government doesn’t adhere to his and OMN’s prescriptions. He has stated unequivocally that he has the power to get rid of the government in two weeks time. Such bravado is not peacemaking rather it is dangerous.
    Second, the argument about taking risk is also weak. What good arguments are there to say that he has taken any risk to himself or his family? This guy lives in the US and he is a US citizen. He keeps himself and family in a safe place while he is asking the Oromo youth to be his vigilante. I wonder how Gizaw would describe the taken by those who gave their life and future career for causes that they believed and dismantled the dergue dictatorship from Ethiopia? To me, Jowar is an opportunist who is being used by a team of hypocrites who found a way to succumb to power by using his media and collusion with outside forces (Egypt, UAE, etc). Look at what is going on in places that he visiting – mayhem and death.
    Third, I don’t think he has real power. I think that he has perceived power that he is projecting through his media and his supporters and some people seem to take it at face value. It is absurd to think that Jowar has power or leverage that can change the power dynamics in the country. If he does, I submit that I must have a very wrong understanding of the power dynamics of Ethiopian politics.

  6. Koki Abesolome says:

    Excellent piece!

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