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Ethiopian Review’s stand on freedom of speech

Ethiopian Review has been the most tolerant among the Ethiopian media as far as allowing free expression of ideas and views, even though some of the views expressed tend to be full of hatred and insults.

Recently I have been receiving complaints from readers, particularly fellow Muslim Ethiopians, about some comments that are being posted on Ethiopian Review’s comments sections. Indeed some of the comments contain languages that do not belong in a civilized discourse.

Relations between Ethiopia’s two major religions — Christian and Muslim — have been harmonious for centuries. What I am witnessing these days, however, is disconcerting. It is the responsibility of every Ethiopian to make sure that the harmonious relations between Ethiopia’s Christians and Muslims will continue to be a role model to the world.

To this end, I am introducing a new editorial policy: Negative views about the Christian or Muslim religions are prohibited on Ethiopian Review as of today.

The wise Emperor Menelik II said, hager yegara, haimanot yegil. Let’s keep religious views private and focus on how we can help build our Ethiopia, which belongs to all religions and ethnic groups.

Elias Kifle
Editor, Ethiopian Review

75 thoughts on “Ethiopian Review’s stand on freedom of speech

  1. 45# Assta B. Gettu,

    Because some of the minority Christians and some of the majority Muslims were/are bickering in Egypt does not at all mean that, we, the traditionally TOLERANT Christians and Muslims existing in an entirely different physical, historical, cultural, social, spiritual etc. contexts MUST blindly and naively cut and paste an exact extreme photocopy of the Egyptian situation and experiences.

    If you are not such a blind and a negative creature devoid of any empathy and sympathy for your fellow Ethiopians regardless of religion and region, just as a good humanist, you would have reflected in a balanced and cool mind the the type of flagrant exclusions, segregation, racism, dehumanization s, etc. being suffered in their own country for centuries by our dear Ethiopian Muslims and yet continuously exercised caution and the way of coexistence development.


    It is always good that people respect and defend their religion and the faith communities they belong to. That includes you too. At the same time, it is also equally good to respect and even defend the rights of other people to belief and worship their own GOD and defend their own faith communities.

    Even though there are often times some marginal extremist factions in almost most religions, the idea is that all Religions are equally good with regard to the spiritual, psychological, social, as well as well as an all round well-being providers of their faith communities.

    The principle is, “I am ok, You are ok, We are ok” And yet we can keep developing our faith and religions within the limitations and constraints being imposed as well as new possibilities and opportunities being made available by the near and far environments.

    In as much as I am a believer of the Orthodox religion I think that extremism cannot make the Egyptian minority Orthodox to become majority, but mutual respect and mutual understanding may help even differing religions flourish side by side and remove common suspicions, insecurities, mutual threats and mutual hatred and hate propaganda.

    We may all be different in some ways but we are all equal as humans!

  2. Assta,

    You know you can use your excellent writing skills in the same way Vanity Fair’s contributor Alex Shoumatoff (he hails from Russian Orthodox lineage) does. Besides Vanity Fair and New Yorker, there are other magazines who feature great writers. The New Yorker once courted Nega Mezlekia, the Ethio-Canadian novelist, to do what Shoumatoff did for Vanity, but evidently nothing came out of it.

  3. #48,
    How could you be “Anonymous” and at the same time you tell people to spell your name correctly?
    I think you really need to visit a psychiatrist as soon as possible.

  4. Yohannes Ejigu #49,

    Posting an old comment from a hostile person, hostile to open discussion, hostile to freedom of speech, hostile to a genuine faith in Jesus Christ, and, above all, hostile and uncongenial to the Ethiopian people, to their history, culture and tradition will not accomplish anything other than entertaining me, giving me more energy, more talent, more knowledge, more patience to fight my enemies and to demolish their strong holds in my beloved country, Ethiopia. So, what is your point, Mr. Ejigu, who have failed to spell my name correctly, in posting such a one-sided comment that has used the most deceptive and misleading phrases such as “…Christians and Muslims living in harmony side by side with respect and love to one another for many years”? […]

  5. Suturer,

    You are pretentious individual whos duity in this particular forum is reassure Elias encourage and keep the hope alive that Ethiopians remain committed allie to Shabia.The ricky response you gave to TRUTH ,when you say that you oppose some of shabias polices is far from the truth.I never read in your piece of opinion any criticism towards shabia if so-hoew insincere how untrue is your claim.If any thing ,on the contrary, your comments are full of flatery,and back scratching of Elias.If you have hard time acceting my stetment let me freely quote from your own statments.

    Suture says:
    “Now let us be honest in here.
    There are no medias, be it Ethiopians or Eritreans web medias that are as free as Ethiopian-review. Truth, you claim that you are Eritrean, so do I, but is there any web that one can post anything he/she likes in Eritrean web, unless one is one”-

    Suture says:
    “Ethiopians has never united strongly as of 1998-2000 yet it was a failed union. Sometimes I feel bad for Elias, because he really, I mean he REALLY LOVE his country deeply. I profoundly believe that no one want to see a developed and peaceful Ethiopia as much as Elias. But I am afraid his vision is not shared by many so called Ethiopian intellectuals.”

    Aka suture you are amazing person to me.

    The point is this whether you agree or not,for me and millions of Ethiopians Melese and Isayas are ‘two sides of the same coin”.I hold this to be true and no amount of argument will change my view.

  6. Lo lo lo, #38 I have never found any woyane agents that supports Sheabia, it just shows how ignorant you are. Any way it will not make me woyanne just because looser people like yourself, who thinks with his ass libeled me so.

  7. every one of you are wrong. You should understand that there are forces that work hard to creat a mess in ethiopia. They pretend to be Ethiopians and leave comment. They try to fit the psychology of an Ethipian and they say things but they are not Ethiopians. They are dangerous. Dont be fools.

  8. Well, Figo, I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t find it necessary the need to explain the issue that I am concern or disagree with the Eritrean gove. First of all, Elias’ Topice was not about Sheabia it was about “freedom of speech” but you jumped into it. Secondly, one of my opinions you repost is not from this issue, yet that issue was also nothing to do about sheabia. The last time I had checked it was about “New opportunity for Ethiopian opposition parties.” , therefore, there were nothing there about sheabia for me to talk about Sheabia. Third I am free and logical thinker not a follower, therefore I maintain my concern, but remember logically, when we start counting numbers, we start with 1 not with 2. So I wouldn’t want you to second guess who is my #1; who I believe is the cancer of our regime and need to be eradicate: it is Woyanne. I and you may not agree on this issue but I am sure I can relate with many Ethiopians. One thing I can tell you for sure is that Eritreans and the government for Eritrea have NO ILL WISH toward the Ethiopian people. What Eritreans really want is that to work together with Ethiopians for common principle: for greater economy, mutual cooperation… But I am persuading that as long as TPLF is in power, peace will be impossible. That is why I strongly support the Eritrean government, and I hope that TPDM,EPPF, ONL,ONLF and other farces will united their armies and destroy Woyane once for all and create a government that works for all Ethiopians and form a good relationship with its neighbors. . Having said this I am not claiming the Eritrean government is freed of faults. Don’t all governments have faults? Yet, I maintain my concern, and I hope the Eritrean government will change some of its policy.
    I am sorry to say this but the people who can’t distinguish Sheabia from TPLF, well; candidly speaking they don’t concern me at all, because they are really living in fantasy world. They will not do anything; they’re just simply blowing-out hot air off their mouth. Of course, some of them are with a wicked agenda. they are TPLF supporters toying around with the Ethiopian people’s emotion, intending to sow division among Ethiopians, and hoping to create skepticism on those who supporting and willing to support to the Ethiopian freedom fighters: which happens those fighters have a good working relationship with the Eritrean government.
    Now, Figo, you can say anything you want about Isaias, it is free world; plus he is a human being he can make/has mistakes. But the truth is he is nothing like that baldheaded little monster, Meles. Plus if he has faults it has nothing to do with Ethiopia.
    Allow me to correct something; I praised, I’m not back-scratching Elias for what he is doing for his country and for he understood the dilemma our regime is facing and for he is able to differentiated the real threat from imaginary threat. Therefore, encouragement I believe is one of the right things to do. And call me naïve, but I humbly believe that I throw my encouragement, if you could call it encouragement, to the right person. (You must know that I have never claimed in any of my opinions as an Ethiopian. That is why I call Ethiopian review is the freest media for all Eritreans and Ethiopians. Correct me if I am wrong but I have not seen any media that posts opinions that criticize them. You should also know that whenever I contribute an opinion, I have never vilified the Ethiopian people.) Anyway, Elias may not need my encouragement as he is courageous man, yet if I witness encouraging things he does, I will praise him for that. Speaking of courageous, since you already mentioned that you will be fighting Sheabia and MLLT until your last breath, are you in field courageously fighting or waiting the right time to do it? Which I am afraid it might not come.
    When I said Ethiopians were united 1998-2000 is nothing far from the truth. You were united for one purpose: not because you like MLLT but, the MLLT leader, the rat face Meles along with his gangs promised you access to the sea outlet, fed you wrong information and you felt for it and you were united. (Mind you, Eritrea never refused sea access to Ethiopia.) Anyway, although it was too late, people, well with exception of you and your afro-mentioned, started to understand the motive of the gangs. I am sure you saw the catastrophic effect on your side. I could go on and on with this issue but I don’t see the benefit of it. But I am sure you were fulltime supporter of the gangs and you were probably vigorously participated in throwing out of over 70 thousands Eritrean origins in dehumanizing ways from Ethiopia. But I can tell you this, we, Eritreans, are forgiving people, so we pardon you for what you did because we know you were deceived. Wait, I take that back. Not you were deceived but some of you are still deluded by Meles’e propaganda until this days. May God have mercy on you.

  9. Ass.ta. b gintu #50


    You wrote: “ባሕታዊ=ብቸኗ from the Geez verb ተባሕተወ=ብቸኗ ሆነ.”

    “ብቸኗ” አይደለም “ብቸኛ” ነው:: አቶ ፈረንጅ አምላኩ መቼ ነው አማርኛችንን አስተካክለህ የምትጽፈው? መላጣህ ላይ ቀንድ ስታበቅል? አማርኛህን አስተካክለህ ሳትጽፍ ለቅኝ ገዢዎች ቋንቋ ጥብቅና ልትቆም ትሞክራለህ:: ተራ! ያንተ እውቀት “ቂጥ ገልቦ ክንብንብ” ነው::

  10. Assta Be gettu, #56

    After all these, are you still of the same opinion trying to vertically polarize and divide people along religion line? You may not get what you want because most of ER guests know your motive and to whom you are working for. What a wicked person you are?
    I may use a proper word to express my comment on your # 56 but the only way you understand is a slur language.
    Insulting and degrading others will not make you better unless you are a dumb head and an Ass hole like your screen name implies.
    It is the worst blunder by any standard to use such humiliating language to abuse the religion that is worshiped by 1/5th of the worlds’
    population. It is an insult made by a pin head like you and an attack on
    the dignity of the Muslim population who share this world with the rest of us. What I can understand from your explosive and unrefined comments is that you are a very sick person internally you dislike any one, and you are a kind of person who is full of animosity, hostility and anger towards any one who got a different view than yours. Such kind of sickness is coming from internally disturbed people who hates themselves and hates others for no apparent reason.
    I am not expecting you to fight such deep rooted animosity and strong dislike for others while you are suffering the worst disease of its kind that makes you at odd with yourself.
    Instead of sitting and sow such hatred and brag about your Christianity, go to a church and do what Christians are doing. Pray so God will guide you and will give wisdom to start loving and start living with others peacefully.
    If you are what you are cordoning yourself and hiding behind your screen name, working for woyane to invoke and thrust a wedge or instigate hate
    among the Ethiopian people, stop it! Most of know who you are besides, it is an old tactic and I urge you at the name of the Ethiopian people to stop such satanic act of yours. I know if you are an Ethiopian, I mean not only by birth but by integrity, moral fiber and character, you will not utter such destructive, unfair, and impolite words to others. Unless you are paid to do so no Ethiopian is uttering such rude and expolsive propaganda. Shame on you!
    If you are not blessed or lucky enough to do a good thing, you have to refrain doing what you are paid to do and look for another descent job that will make you happy and peaceful with yourself. What kind of unrefined mentality and conscience that you got?
    You are claimimg to be YE KOLO TEMARI ( YE KEBERO BAHTAWI) a Liar!
    For Gods’ sake do not insult religions, languages and people or sector, or tribes with such a foul language of yours and do not say things hiding behind your screen name that you will not dare to say it in person.If you do not have the guts to say it in public infront of people do not say it from your hiding place like osama.
    If you keep on doing this, it will show more than anything else
    that you are a very weak person, a coward and hypocrat at the same time. So Ass Ta B Ge ttu, you have to be courageous, brave and straightforward person. Do not hide and throw up your vile words in front of the world.
    Come upfront to the light and be courteous, bold polite and push forward what ever idea you believed in. Those things that attacks without being seen are snakes and their likes. And do not be like one as it is a cursed animal.

  11. Lafiw or leflafiew #62,

    How many times do I have to tell you that my Amharic is as bad as your brains? I am glad you saved my time from correcting your English: you know you cannot express yourself in English so you wrote your view in a broken Amharic. I advise you to learn English so that you may help your self by washing some dishes in someone’s house, or may be in my house.

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say in the Amharic word; however, don’t forget to wash your stinky ass before you go to worship your idol.

  12. Please, Elias Kifle, don’t muzzle our mouths! Don’t say “hush” to us! Many Ethiopians left their country because of the lack of freedom of speech in that country.

    If any discussion about any religion is verboten on Ethiopian Review, then the symmetry of freedom of speech we all deem precious, valuable, and indispensible is unstable. We all know how many people die in the name of satanic religion, and how come a web site like the Ethiopian Review that believes in a free speech and in a free expression of thought ignores the deaths of millions of innocent people? I believe religious discussion can at least minimize the slaughter of men and women because of their religious views on something they don’t believe.

    We in the west condemn the Chinese, the North Koreans, the Saudis, the Cubans and the Ethiopians under the Woyanne government because these people do not have freedom of speech; in this case, what is the difference between a Chinese person and Assta B. Gettu, who is not allowed on the Ethiopian Review to express his views about any religion, satanic or Orthodox or Catholic? Abuse of freedom of speech is when a person physically attacks another person who has totally disqualified the attacker’s religion and made it a mockery to the world.

    I am entreating Elias Kifle not to enervate the efficacy of freedom of speech, and let every person express his/her views about anything without attacking someone physically or without burning his house or breaking his car. Let us enjoy the Ethiopian Review, using our freedom of speech without abusing it.

  13. “Immaculate English writer” Ass#64 and 66

    As far as you’re making mistake/s, I’ll correct you. And I’ll fix you. I’ll reveal you arrogance and lunacy. You are such a low life NEEDY. I won’t leave you alone.


    You wrote: “and indispensible is unstable”

    FIX: ” . . .indispensable. . .” Alright boy?!

  14. Lebaw or lafiew or leflafiew #67

    Debug your own bull first before you lurch to rectify someone’s flub, Mr. imp.

    Here is your ignorance: “And I’ll fix you. I’ll reveal you arrogance and lunacy.”

    Let me bring you to the world of proper English writing:

    You should write: I’ll reveal your arrogance….”

    You have refused to listen to my advice that English is for the educated people, not for the person like you, kvetch.

  15. Assta Gintu

    I’ve told you several times – I don’t care about colonialists’ language. But this time I’d like to thank you – for real. Because the error you fixed talks about YOU!! I was mistaken and my mistake distorted the idea I was transmitting about YOU. But you fixed it so that everybody will know that I’m talking about YOU and “your arrogance”!! If I were you, I’d not fixed it. But you are different and you like to teach people even to the extent of revealing “your arrogance”. You’re my man now!!

  16. I am one of those who complained and wrote to Elias about some dangerous elements that are working day and night to divide the Ethiopian people along religious lines. The most notorious hate preacher has been this person called, “Assta B. Gettu”. Once again, this person showed up on this forum and accused Elias of accepting threatening demands from Ethiopian Muslims. Well, I am a Muslim Ethiopian and my email to Elias did not include any threatening demands. As shown and evidenced on this forum alone, this individual, “Assta B. Gettu” is very misguided, and is totally rejected by the overwhelming majority. As to this individual’s bragging of being able to write good English, that is off the topic and is completely irrelevant to the real issue. I commend Elias for his decisive action of announcing a new editorial policy. I also appreciate and thank most commentators above includingYohannes Ejigu, Hama Tuma, and Lemlem Aberra for their uncompromising stand against extremism in general and this “Assta” , person in particular. We Ethiopians should continue to stand together against extremism and condeme all dangerous elements including Assta whose preachings undermine the stability of our society.

  17. To Assta:

    It appears that when this person called Assta realized that his hateful and wicked positions have been rejected, he needlessly started talking about writing skills of others. Instead of addressing the concern of many people with respect to his prejudice and bigotry toward Muslims, he ridiculously pointed minor errors of other writers and blew them out of proportions. Such a reaction by him is nothing but a sign of arrogance resulting from being marginalized in ideas or issues. In response to comments from “Lafiw”, Assta stated:

    “How many times do I have to tell you that my Amharic is as bad as your brains? I am glad you saved my time from correcting your English: you know you cannot express yourself in English so you wrote your view in a broken Amharic. I advise you to learn English so that you may help your self by washing some dishes in someone’s house, or may be in my house.

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say in the Amharic word; however, don’t forget to wash your stinky ass before you go to worship your idol”.

    Addressing to Elias (comment # 66), Assta also stated:

    “Please, Elias Kifle, don’t muzzle our mouths! Don’t say “hush” to us! Many Ethiopians left their country because of the lack of freedom of speech in that country”.

    Clearly, the comment addressed to Lafiw is nonsense and worthless that would only prove a trouble immaturity. In fact, such rubbish remarks should not even be posted. We are not talking about English language profeciency here. Instead, We are talking about the need to stop unnecessary religious polarization, which has been advocated by this Assta man. Even if one takes Assta’s claim into account, Assta’s English is not that of Shakespere’s either. Certainly, Assta is not a better writer as he claims he is. With regard to Assta’s comment directed to Elias, one does not have to be a Rocket Scientist to figure out that responsible use of Freedom of Speech is something, and uttering absolute nonsense is quite another thing.

  18. ASSTA #68

    You call youself “educated”! LOL! You are far from that. Your indicated that learning English language is a prerequisite to be educated. Needless to say that such patently wrong idea of yours by itself is a proof that you are uneducated and clear moron.

  19. Dear Elias, Chief Editor,

    On my screen, I see what many times I observe, i.e. “Your Comment is awaiting moderation.” Whenever I see this statement continuously, I know the comment is not going to be posted. If this is the case, what is the purpose of showing on the screen a comment that has already been rejected?

  20. i agree with u 100per ..but there is something that you guys dont understand. an interfaith dialouge among religions is something very common in all part of the world it has been creating awernes to the vast majority out there but sadly we are not taking adantage of it. so instead of writing about a sertain religion out of despite the common and different issues of their religion should be discussed

  21. Hi! I know this is sort of off-topic however I needed to ask. Does building a well-established blog like yours require a massive amount work? I am completely new to writing a blog however I do write in my diary everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

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