By Mahlet Fasil @MahletFasil
Addis Abeba – Protests erupted during salat prayers in different mosques across Addis Abeba today after many schools in the city prevented students from holding prayers and other activities on school premises. Students wearing school uniforms and many followers were seen at the protests, a source told Addis Standard.
Abdul Bakar, a student who was at Anwar Mosque told Addis Standard by phone that some of the protestors who showcased different banners were arrested by Addis Abeba police. “None of us did anything wrong. We just want the government to stop interfering in religious matters.”
He continued, “ We are here protesting the Addis Abeba education bureau’s statement prohibiting religious activities in school compounds. We will continue protesting until our demands are met.”
Addis Standard reached out to the public relations head of Addis Abeba police commission, Commander Fasika Fenta who explained that he was attending a meeting and that he doesn’t have information on that matter.
Addis Abeba City Education Bureau reported two days ago that the city’s education bureau officials and school principals discussed that the issue of activities in some schools under the guise of religion was observed and that the practice violates the governing students. It was also raised in the discussion that some students tend to engage in religious activities on campus and political agendas were being brought to schools.
Reports emerged this week showing that many schools were preventing Muslim students both from observing prayer practices in the ongoing holy month of Ramadan and in some instances, keeping the students out of classes as a response.
This resulted in frustrations among the Muslim community. “The question of who and what was behind the campaign to keep students out of school due to the prayers that started during the holy month of Ramadan in many schools has become a question for many of us, ”Prominent Muslim scholar, Ustaz Abubeker Ahmed said. AS