Sudan abolishes 30 years of Islamic law by separating religion and state

The development comes several days after the government agreed on a peace deal with a coalition of insurgent groups in the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) in Juba, South Sudan.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. (EPA)

Sudan’s transitional government has agreed to a deal with rebel groups that ends 30 years of rule under Islamic law and with Islam as the official religion in the African-Arab state.

Sudanese Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok and Abdelaziz al-Hilu, a commander of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM–N) rebel group, signed a memorandum in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday adopted the principle.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (R) and rebel leader Abdelaziz al-Hilu (L).

“The state shall not institute an official religion,” says the agreement. “No citizen shall be discriminated against based on their religion. For Sudan to become a democratic nation where all citizens’ rights are enshrined, the constitution should be formed on the principle of ‘separation of state and religion,’ in the absence of which the basic right to self-determination must be respected.”

The development comes several days after the government agreed on a peace deal with a coalition of insurgent groups in the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) in Juba, South Sudan.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok (M) and the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, (left), after signing the agreement that ends the official status of the Islamic religion. (Twitter/Memri Spanish)

The agreement’s final signing will be scheduled next month when it is also hoped that the conflicts in the Darfur region and other parts of the country could also end.

The steps taken by the Sudanese government are the latest attempts to do away with three decades of Islamic law, which was implemented under the rule of Omar Al-Bashir. He was expelled by the military last April following months of anti-government protests in the capital Khartoum.

Omar al-Bashir served as the seventh President of Sudan from 1989 to 2019, when he was deposed in a coup d’état. (Getty Images)

An interim constitution, which excluded any reference to the Shari’ah as the primary source of the law in Sudan, was signed last August.

It has been reported that, among other reforms, the US has conditioned Sudan’s removal from the list on its normalization of diplomatic ties with Israel. Despite opposition to normalization, it was revealed last month that Israel’s Mossad chief met with a top Sudanese official in the UAE.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) greets with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok (L) in Khartoum on August 25, 2020. (AFP)

While human rights campaigners have welcomed the reforms, the Epoch Times reports that Islamist parties have publicly criticized them in the country, including the Popular Congress Party (PCP).

“It’s clear that this government that is obeying the West, is going for full secularisation of the country, which is against our values and religion,” insisted the PCP.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • MEANS ISLAM IS NOT COMPLETE RELIGION AND DOES NOT PROVIDE how to run GOVT. no need to follow PROPHET MUHAMMAD and Quran instruction. then why called Muslims go to hell??? it’s our fault that we couldn’t follow the simple instruction of Islam. Islam is the simple, beautiful, and complete religion use for any field of life

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