September 5, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The commission for the rights non-Muslim (CNMR) defended their request for introducing a series of amendments that exempt non-Muslims from restrictions imposed on civil liberties in the capital.
Those restrictions include a curfew on holding private parties after 11 p.m. but he Muslim Scholars Authority (MSA), which is the state-controlled clergy whose duty is to issue Fatwas (religious edicts) slammed the proposals saying it is a pretext “for spreading chaos and immorality”.
The CNMR spokesperson Mohamed Abdel-Rahman Al-Omda responded saying that it has not asked for the abolishment or abrogation of the Islamic Shari’a law or imposing secularism saying this is beyond its jurisdiction.
Al-Omda said in a statement carried by Sudan official news agency (SUNA) that CNMR requested changes to few clauses of the Public Order law that it believed jeopardize the rights of non-Muslims.
The statement mentioned Article 1/7 to extend the curfew for Christians wedding parties and festivals till 12.00 midnight instead of 11.00 pm.
Furthermore Article 21 and 24 which deals with closing down shops during Friday prayers and Ramadan are also part of the proposed changes submitted to exempt Christians.
The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) is campaigning heavily to convince Southerners to vote for unity in the 2011 referendum scheduled for next January.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has demanded in the past that Islamic law be abrogated if there was to be any chance for preserving the unity of the country.
However, the Islamic backed NCP said that Sharia’a law is red line that cannot be touched under any circumstances.