Thursday, December 30, 2010

‘Cushitization’ vs ‘Semitization’ of Ethiopia: A very dangerous dichotomy

By Gumaa Guddaa

I read the article by Fayyis Oromia with some sense of disbelief. (“Read Here”)

The dichotomy between Cushitic and Sematic Ethiopia is naïve at best and malicious at worst. The enemies of the Oromo struggle have been doing their best to misrepresent the Oromo quest for independence as anti-Semitic movement and have actually succeeded to some degree. I do not think it is up to an Oromo to assist this by falsely claiming that the Oromo should struggle to re-Cushitize Ethiopia unless one has completely lost his marbles.

It is true the Oromo belong to the Cushitic speaking group. It is also true that the Tigre and Amhara belong to the Semitic speaking group. However, let it be known that this dichotomy is not the cause of the Oromo struggle. In fact, I have never read or heard this being the basis of the struggle over the past 40 years. It did not appear in our discourse because it is a taboo subject but there is no logic to it. Let us be clear that this sort of fantasy has no place in the Oromo world view. It is totally alien to our thinking the reason why we struggle that it is difficult to recognize.

The Semitic speaking Tigre and Amhara elite have rallied most western Ethiophile academia and scholars to campaign against us due to this misguided misapprehension. I am speechless that Mr Fayyis Oromia is either unaware of this fact or actively engaged in justifying the myth that already exits. To appear intellectual without being one has this sort of danger. To pretend to be a thinker without thinking is diabolical.

It appears that the Shanee ideologues are shaken to the core by the clear articulation of the objective and vision of the Oromo struggle for freedom by Mr Galassa Dilbo in his recent interview with an Oromo journalist Mr Jalil. (“Listen Here”)

Mr Fayyis Oromia suggests that the Asmara Group should struggle for re-Cushitization of Ethiopia. In the past he argued they should democratize Ethiopia. What is unclear is that whether re-Cushitization is ethnic cleansing or not. It certainly borders on racism.

Mr Fayyis also mixes dangerous cocktail of religious and racial differences in proposing the basis for his suggestion for his idea. He tries to suggest Waaqaa religion will counter Judaism and Orthodox Christianity. Waaqaa religion is the minority religion in Oromia itself let alone Ethiopia. The Oromo people are by and large followers of the two main religions of Christianity and Islam, in almost estimated equal proportion. He stated that these two religions are being liberalised by the Cushitic influence. Mr Fayyis says nothing about the Semitic version of these religions. Are they not liberal too?

In the past Mr Fayyis had forcefully argued that globalization has changed our world and no need for talking about differences. Therefore, I do not think we can take him seriously at all.

What is amazing is that Mr Fayyis claims the Abyssinian position is antithesis. However, his position is rather antithesis to the Oromo position. The Oromo rightfully lay claim to Oromia. Fayyis claims not only the whole of Ethiopia but Sudan, Egypt and Kenya. Totally absurd concept. His proposal is simply so far fetched and impractical not worthy of spending time on discussing.

Mr Fayyis Oromia’s article is difficult to follow. It is all over the place. On the one hand he suggests that the struggle should be two against one. Well, it has been two against one so far. The two Sematic speaking Tigre and Amhara against the one Cushitic speaking Oromo. He fails to understand that the former two have successfully already Semitized Ethiopia over the past 150 year. Mr Fayyis suggests that the combination of Oromo and Amhara will Cushitize Ethiopia. He did not say if he considers anyone out of power automatically turns to be Cushitic. The two Sematic speaking will benefit forming alliance rather than allowing themselves being split by the Cushitic speaking Oromo, wouldn’t they?

Like Mr. Fayyis Oromia appear to think Cushitic centric history is truth his Abyssinian counter parts also unshakably believe what he calls myth as historical and religious facts. He asserts “…getting rid of the myths like the rhetoric about the Solomonic dynasty and the fiction about ‘Ze Negede-Yihuda’ …” will be a solution. An impossible task. At any rate no business of the Oromo. People should respect the culture and history of others, be it fact or fiction, unless you are a racist.

The incontrovertible historical fact is that a country called Oromia was annexed by another country called Abyssinia. This has nothing to do with Semitization or Cushitization. The Oromo struggle is a national liberation struggle to regain the lost sovereignty of Oromia. Any self-respecting Oromo will respect people with Semitic heritage as well as those with Cushitic heritage equally.

I would like to think Mr Fayyis Oromia’s views are his. I am equally curious if the Asmara Group (A.K.A Shanee, the Daawud Ibsaa Group) will now be going to talk about re-Cushitization for the next decade. I pray not.

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