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Conflict of National Identity in Sudan


Kuel Jok

This study addresses the contemporary conflict of national identity in Sudan between the adherents of Islamic nationalism and those of customary secularism. The former urge the adoption of a national constitution that derives its civil and criminal laws from the Sharia, and want Arabic as the language of instruction in national institutions. The latter demand the adoption of secular laws, derived from the set of customary laws, and equal opportunities for all African languages beside Arabic and English. In the past, the adherents of Islamic nationalism imposed the Islamic-Arab model. In reaction, secularists resorted to violence; the Islamists declared Jihad against the secularists and adopted a racial war, which has caused a humanitarian disaster. The main primary material of this research is based on a survey conducted among 500 students of five universities in Sudan. Besides, the study considers the diverse theoretical models for the formation of a nation-state, where diversity is not discouraged, but states apply laws to promote religious and ethnic diversities within one territorial state.


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6 Violence of Ideologies


Risto Marjomaa asks why has war been pursued and why does it crucially con- tinue to persist at present to haunt our societies around the world?864 Generally, what engenders detrimental violence to break out among people in political and social institutions is not uniform. Every political and cultural institution has its different ideological discourses of violence. For Clausewitz “war is a continua- tion of politics by other means”.865 And others claim that “violence is a midwife of history”.866 It is an instrument which oppressed and exploited classes adopt in confronting an oppressive and exploiting class of power. Thus, the oppressed and exploited classes apply it to rectify such a situation through change, but a unique “change that comes through the barrel of a gun”.867 The students interviewed for this study think that there are ideological com- plexities which cause the long and repetitive civil wars in Sudan.868 Such opin- ions can be found in answers to the question “Do you think the exclusion of the South has a link with the past civil wars between the South and the North, and if you think so, what about the current violence within the North as in Darfur, how do you evaluate it?” Some students argue that: “The civil war of the indige- nous African Muslims, Christians, and Animists from Darfur, Nuba Mountains, Ingessana Hills and Beja against the ruling elite Muslim Arabs in power is caused by political and economic marginalisation, under the autocratic military system that...

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