Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 20 April 2006

Sudan’s Turabi is now becoming a real thinker

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Alfred Taban, The Khartoum Monitor

April 19, 2006 — Hassan Abdallah Al Turabi, Sudan’s top Islamic ideologue is now becoming a real thinker as opposed to his previous static ideas and we congratulate him for that. He is now expanding his interpretation of Islam, drawing his views closer to Sudan’s mainstream view of Islam.

The way Islam has been delivered to us gives us the idea that this is the religion most restrictive of women rights and activities. But then Sudanese men and women have lived together, farmed together, eaten together and even defended their tribes together since time immemorial.

Some extremist Islamic practices brought what we see as segregation and belittling of women. Now Turabi is refuting this interpretation of Islam as, in his words, "textual and static." During prayers women have been segregated to the back rows and they have not been allowed to lead prayers. But now Turabi is saying women who are more learned in the Koran than men, and many of them are, should be allowed to lead prayers. Women, he said, can sit side by side with men during prayers, only they should not be touching one another so as not to arouse sexual desires and distract people from devotion.

Dr Al Turabi goes further to say this idea of equating two women’s testimonies (in court) to that of one man is unfair and a way of exploiting women. He said a woman’s testimony is as valid as that of a man, if not more reliable in some instances and made a very logical example of the unfairness of equating two PhD or Masters holding women to one illiterate man.

On the hijab (the Islamic veil), Turabi said it is only intended to cover the chest of a woman and not the entire body in a degrading way as is being practised today.

He said Muslim women can marry Christians or Jews as they wish and preventing Muslim women from marrying men of other religions is misguided and backward.

Regarding alcohol, Turabi says drinking alcohol is not a crime, unless it turns into a hostile act. He also said those northern Sudanese who died in the war in southern Sudan cannot be considered martyrs.

As non Muslims, these pronouncements are extremely important for us. It shows first and foremost that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is working. Turabi’s un-extremist views, if implemented, will truly lead us to national unity.

Regarding the anti-Turabi sentiments, I say the man is only exercising his full rights to freedom of expression as stipulated by the CPA. Alcohol is a commodity that non Muslims consume at any time. However, when someone who consumes alcohol misbehaves, he is penalized. This, we believe, is the correct way of dealing with alcohol. But in Sharia’s Islamic law that is now in force in northern Sudan, consumption, transportation and even possession of alcohol is punishable. This is what Turabi is now saying is wrong. His interpretation of the Koran is closer to our way of life and this is the only way in which this country can be kept as one.

A martyr is somebody who dies for his religion or country. Northern Sudanese who went to the south went there as defenders of the regime not of the country. They were not even defending Islam because the war in the south was not a religious war. Islam has never been under threat in the south. How could adventurers such as these be called martyrs? It is the southerners who died in their own part of the country defending themselves against aggression who are martyrs, so Turabi is correct.

Religions should be encouraging mixed marriages. Many of our Muslim brothers have not been encouraging that. They are thus encouraging segregation and inequality.

African women are proud of their hair and that is why it is plaited very nicely in and in various ways. Wearing hijab denies our women the chance to display their beauty.

Allowing women to pray in front of the queue gives every Sudanese the feeling of equality.

We encourage Turabi to go ahead with his thinking as that is the kind of thinking the majority of the Sudanese people identify with.



The views expressed in the 'Comment and Analysis' section are solely the opinions of the writers. The veracity of any claims made are the responsibility of the author not Sudan Tribune.

If you want to submit an opinion piece or an analysis please email it to comment@sudantribune.com

Sudan Tribune reserves the right to edit articles before publication. Please include your full name, relevant personal information and political affiliations.
Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


What Makes an Uprising? 2021-09-03 17:29:45 By: Dr Lam Akol* In an undated article, Hon. Atem Garang de Kuek discussed what was required for an uprising in South Sudan to succeed as did three uprisings in the recent history of Sudan (...)

Is IGAD partly responsible for current confusion in South Sudan? 2021-08-21 09:41:17 By Bol Khan In April 2016, Radio Tamazuj posted and answered questions about the fainting Security arrangements or demilitarization of the capital, Juba as stipulated in 2015's signed ARCSS and (...)

South Sudan People Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) is to create warlords 2021-08-19 11:06:28 By Steve Paterno In South Sudan, where just about everyone has access to guns (tons of them), and almost every ambitious politician is a potential warlord, any slight destabilization of the (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Statemeny bu Hala al-Karib to UN Security Council on women conditions in Sudan 2021-09-15 11:59:16 Statement by Ms Hala Al-Karib to the UN Security Council 14 September 2021 Madam President, Excellencies, My name is Hala Al-Karib and I am the Regional Director of the Strategic Initiative (...)

Joint Communiqué on the visit of H.E. the Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan to Juba 2021-08-23 11:23:26 19 – 21 August 2021 His Excellency Dr Abdallah Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan and Chairperson of IGAD, accompanied by Ministers of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Trade, (...)

S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2021 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.