Thousands of revolutionary soldiers (the Fighters) paid with their life to bring about Eritrean independence and overthrow the brutal Ethiopian dictator.
Eritreans are mindful of this high price paid by so many. For the government and its supporters, this high price the martyrs paid is where thy get their confidence and their courage. To those that are bitterly opposed to the government, from the same price they draw indignation and zeal. Often, the argument boils down to, “Is this what our martyrs died for?!” versus, “This is what our martyrs died for.”
It is honorable that martyrs risked their life for what they believed was the right thing, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13), but what if I disagree with some of the martyrs’ opinions? or their cause or methods? Am I disrespecting them?
I would imagine many of my fellow Eritreans answer yes and almost everyone would be irritated (if not outright offended). The mere suggestion of disagreeing with the opinions that the martyrs held or criticizing their choices, even at a theoretical level, is too much for a lot of Eritreans I know.
I believe it is OK to disagree and hold different opinions to those held by the martyrs. This is not because I think the price paid was too little but because I believe freedom of thought and opinion are priceless and cannot be bought by any price.
Even if you have not paid as high a price for your opinion that does not mean they are less worthy. I believe anyone trying to devalue ideas and opinions based on what price has or has not been paid is wrong. Ideas, opinions, and beliefs (political or otherwise) should be evaluated on their own merit. And anyone who thinks a price has been paid to take away my basic human rights is wrong.