ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA): Two mosques have been burned down in northeastern Ethiopia, in a suspected campaign to encourage inter-faith conflict, the regional state Islamic Affairs Supreme Council said Monday.
The mosques were torched yesterday, in Este, South Gondar, in Amhara state, the country’s second-most populous region, the council said in a statement.
“The act is a deliberate move by those who want to use religion to wreak havoc in the country,” the Amhara Media Agency quoted Council Secretary General Sheikh Mohammed Hassan as saying.
The agency quoted him as saying that it was a brazen act that deliberately tried to pit followers of Islam against Christians and vice versa.
Police are reportedly investigating the blazes.
The fires happened after Muslims using scrap paper to decorate a tent inadvertently used scraps showing the Virgin Mary, reportedly drawing Christian anger, said Mohammed.
This is not the first time that mosques have been burnt in Ethiopia.
A huge fire broke out at the Anwar Mosque in Addis Ababa in the early morning of June 28, 2018 burning the mosque to the ground.
In January 2011, a fire engulfed Tebarek Mosque and the house of the Imam at the heart of the capital Addis Ababa in an area called Mexico. The fire destroyed part of the mosque that was used by women’s, the house of the Imam as well as all the books the Imam use with his student’s also many unpublished scripts written by the .
in 2009, in the area called Shiro Meda and Hana Mariam, Mosques were burned down in the capital Addis Ababa. Moreover eight Mosques were burnt down few weeks earlier in Gurage zone.
It was the 10th such attack since last two years
About a third of Ethiopians are Muslim, with most of the rest practicing various forms of Christianity.
[Photo of Al-Nejashi Mosque. Located in the town of Wukro, 790 kilometers (over 490 miles) north of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Al-Nejashi is said to be the first mosque in Africa. It is named after King Nejashi, who hosted companions of the Prophet who escaped persecution in Makkah. Photo by AA]