Home | Comment & Analysis    Wednesday 25 April 2012

President Bashir’s dictionary

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By Magdi El Gizouli

April 24, 2012 — Following the lead of President Bashir the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) started using the term hashara, a pun on haraka (movement), when referring to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). President Bashir also suggested tadmeer (destruction) instead of tahreer (liberation) but only hashara caught on. The resemblance with inyenzi (cockroaches), the term used by Hutu extremists to depict their Tutsi enemies in the run up to the 1994 Rwanda massacres, cannot be missed. The President inaugurated the public use of hashara in his victory speech to a company of Sudanese troops in al-Kurmuk, once the stronghold of the SPLM-North in the Blue Nile, on 6 November 2011, granting the observer a glimpse into the combat obscenities of the SAF.

President Bashir popularized the term in two mobilisation speeches preceding the Sudanese army’s reclaim of Heglig, one in the National Congress Party (NCP) headquarters in Khartoum and another in al-Obeid, the capital of Kordofan state, and in two others celebrating the victory on 20 April. In these last events the cheering crowds would not settle for anything less than the hashara. Abd al-Rahman al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, the President’s assistant and son of the National Umma Party (NUP) boss, was booed to silence when he suggested that Sudan and South Sudan would eventually have to cooperate. When the President rose to speak he was welcomed with the cheer kul al-guwa juba juwa – all the force into Juba, a recycle of the battle cry of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) kul al-guwa al-khartoum juwa – all the force into Khartoum, followed by al-shaab yureed tahreer al-janub – the people want the liberation of South [Sudan]. The President said the SAF would proceed to crush the hasharat (pl.) in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile but made no mention of the declaration two days earlier that his plan was now to topple the SPLM regime in Juba. The audience was not satisfied prompting the President to make another of his stage decisions. Sudan’s pipelines will remain closed to South Sudanese oil even if Juba agrees to grant Khartoum the 50% share it enjoyed during the six years interim period of the expired Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), announced an elated Bashir, igniting another round of nationalist orgasms among the crowd.

Emboldened by the President’s sanction individual patriots rehabilitated the words abd (slave) and farkh (a descendant of slaves) for use in the public domain when referring to the South Sudanese. The racial slurs are in themselves not novel; they constitute elements of the ideological baggage of Sudan’s ruling class. Novel however is their unashamed public employment. I came across a salvo of such insults in the comments section of a Youtube recording of a South Sudan Television interview with Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the country’s Minister of Information, in which he asserted that the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) had pulled out of Heglig and was not defeated by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). The Minister ridiculed the victory celebrations in Khartoum saying the Sudanese government was fooling itself and its people.

Followers of Mohamed Abd al-Karim, a particularly zealous Islamist cleric, took things a step further last Saturday. The assailants stormed a compound of the Evangelical Church in the Khartoum suburb al-Jireif, ransacked the buildings and burned Bibles after breaking through a police cordon. Abd al-Karim allegedly incited the attack in a sermon delivered the day before. No casualties were recorded. The popular committee of al-Jireif, a neighbourhood level administrative organ, laid claim to the land occupied by the church a month before. Abd al-Karim, said the pastor of the church, told worshippers in the mosque where he preaches nearby to go and seize what is theirs. The Undersecretary of the Ministry for Religious Endowments, Hamid Yusif, paid a visit to the church the next day and in an address to its congregation, a mix of South Sudanese, Sudanese from the Nuba Mountains, Eritreans and Ethiopians, promised an investigation into the incident. The Ministry, he said, “condemns this attack and considers it an extremist act born out of individual religious opinion”, an opinion he described as “false and misguided”.

The “misguided” opinion Mr Undersecretary is certainly not individual; it is propagated daily by al-Intibaha, ubiquitous among the NCP high priests, sanctioned by the state, and has long become the working ideology of an urban mob.

The author is a fellow of the Rift Valley Institute. He publishes regular opinion articles and analyses at his blog Still Sudan. He can be reached at m.elgizouli@gmail.com



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  • 25 April 2012 06:07, by Akol Liai Mager

    Thanks Mr Magdi for putting together the NIF’ Junta leader dictionary. Criminal Al-Bashir and his group have rights to do what is deemed to them. But what is so absurd here is the backing of Arab and Muslim world to these genocidal and ICC wanted NIF’ leaders. Only remarks from Terry Jones about Kura’an sparked months of demonstrations in Arab and Muslim world, but the mass killing of innocent...

    • 25 April 2012 07:16, by Akol Liai Mager

      the mass killing of innocent people in the South, Darfur, Nuba Mts and Blue Nile by NIF leaders and their supporters has not only passed uncondamned, but praised and supported by both Arab league, individual Arab countries and Islamic Conference. This stand clearly shows that Muslims’ world only accommodate no more than themselves. Imagine, what would have happened if it was in Juba where.....

      • 25 April 2012 07:20, by Akol Liai Mager

        imagine what would have happened in the Arab and Muslim’s worlds if it was in Juba where the Southerners are the ones to burn a Mosque and Kura’an? I will leave this question to be answered by others.

  • 25 April 2012 17:04, by acuil deng

    Natzi Germany used to dehumanize the Jewish people by calling them names. The Islamic regime of Iran called the Israelis (sons of monkeys and pigs), and the NCP called SPLA which is the heart of South Sudan (insects and cockeroaches). Now is the time for the ( Alliance of the Priphery) between Israel and South Sudan.

    • 26 April 2012 06:07, by acuil deng

      While the Jewish people had suffered from holocaust and anti-semitism at the hands of Hitler’s Natzi party, our people are suffering genocide and racism at the hands of Al Bashir’s national congress party, same ideologies at different times by different leaders. It’s true that history repeats itself.

  • 25 April 2012 22:58, by Elijah B. Elkan

    Mr. Gizouli,

    I am not here to minimize your article it’s well write to point. However, I have problem with fake Arab indoctrination of this religion called Islam. Islamic leader use this religion as a tool to hate and kill those who do not be-live in their ideologies. As for his victory speech, he’s nothing but lair and masochist. Where did christian burn down a mosque.



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