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We regret and object to the Sudan’s transitional government that decided to end 30 years of rule under Islamic law and to delete Islam as the official state religion.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and a leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM–N), Abdelaziz Al-Hilu, signed the accord to shift Sudan away from Islam on Thursday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

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

This is unbecoming of an Islamic state to victimize Islam under the pretext of a peace deal with a coalition of rebel groups in the Sudan Revolutionary Front in Juba, South Sudan. 

We recognize the conflict in the Darfur region and other parts of the country must be resolved, but  to do away with three decades of Shari’ah law is uncceptable. 

We question what is the motivation to drive Sudan away from Islam? Is Sudan submitting to the trap of the Islamophobic agenda of the west ?

The people’s protest against the former President  Omar Al-Bashir was because of his dictatorial rule. He abused the people’s mandate . So, detaching Sudan’s constitution from Islam is not going to resolve the political crisis.

The interim constitution, which excluded any reference to the Shari’ah as the primary source of the law in Sudan  signed last August is most regretable. The reform needed is the implementation of the syariah, not to abundant it.

Do not allow Sudan to be the Trojan horse to dispell Islam and to become a tool to promote secularism.

The claim that because of this decision, Sudan is emerging from international isolation is misleading. 

US, who listed Sudan in the list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1993, with sanctions imposed until 2017, cannot be a reason  to shun away the syariah.

It is unfortunate that the Sudan authorities have submitted itself to the dictate of the US.

It has been reported that, among other reforms, the US has conditioned Sudan’s removal from the list on its normalisation of diplomatic ties with Israel. 

Despite opposition to normalisation, it was revealed last month that Israel’s Mossad chief met with a top Sudanese official in the UAE.

We foresee that the government’s decision to redirect Sudan towards full secularisation of the country, is a huge mistake. It is against the values and religion of the Sudanese people.Secular rule for an Islamic nation will bound to fail.

We call the government of Sudan to rethink its position on the decision to sideline Islam and advoid the country from been exploited by the west and to serve the interest of the west.

Islam is the only way out of the crisis that Sudan is in. The main issue is to ensure the implementation of Islam  be done in the most intelligent, strategic and progressive way.

Islam cannot be blaimed for the failure of Sudan’s administration. It is in fact the other way round. It is the administration that has failed the implementation of Islam through abuse of power.

Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid
President Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations.

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