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Monday, October 31, 2011

Shar'ia advances as Sudan's constitution is rewritten

WORTHYNEWS

Sudanese leader Omer Hassan Al-Bashir is rewriting his country's constitution in order to implement shar'ia (Islamic) law.

"This new law is going to affect a significant number of Christians who live in places like Khartoum," said Jonathan Rach, International Christian Concern's North Africa specialist. "There are still a significant number of Christians in Sudan ... If Al-Bashir introduces this shar'ia law and if he's going to go ahead and adopt an entirely Islamic constitution, Christians and other non-Muslims who live in Sudan will be treated like second-class citizens; they will be dhimmis and they will not have full rights in the freedom of religion."

Racho said Al-Bashir's move towards shar'ia shows that the government of Sudan hasn't learned anything from its recent loss of the South.

"The government of Sudan should realize that the reason the South seceded ... was because of the shar'ia law, and now they're repeating the same mistake."

"Bashir has always embraced shar'ia as good government," said Global Response Network Founder and President Tom Zurowski. "Shar'ia has been the very ethos of Bashir and the North for a long, long time. People on the ground in the South have known this right along (that) the Islamization of Sudan has been the goal of Bashir's government for years."

Zurowski said al-Bashir is now facing the realities of having a new Christian neighbor while having to deal with its other African Islamic countries.

"If Bashir wants the backing of neighboring Arab nations, he must fully embrace shar'ia, or be seen as a weak leader among other Arab countries," he said. "His ego and arrogance will not allow for that."

South Sudan's independence took a major portion of Sudan's oil revenues, so Al-Bashir is now facing a new economic reality. The Sudan Tribune reported Al-Bashir told government officials that spending reductions are now a priority so as to relieve mounting economic pressures, but Racho is asking the international community to put even more pressure on Sudan to ensure safety for its Christians.

"We (ICC) want the international community to put pressure on Sudan," he said. "One of the important things about Sudan is its reliance on the international community. We also want the American Christian community to know that the secession of the South doesn't end the plight of Christians, so they should continue to advocate on behalf of the Christians in Sudan."

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