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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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I wish to register my profuse thanks to my main supervisor Professor Dr. Risto Marjomaa at the University of Helsinki, Finland. His vision, advice and profes- sional comments on the progress of the dissertation were very beneficial. I am also extremely indebted to thank my external examiner and opponent, Professor Dr. Anne Storch of Cologne University, Germany for her positive com- ments. At the same category, I feel indebted also to my co-supervisor, Professor Dr. Axel Fleisch at the Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki. On different sessions, Fleisch has been helpful. I appreciate the friendship and professional collaboration of my colleagues at the Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki, especially Aleksi Järvelä, Miika Pölkki, Janne Mattlia, Maria Pakkala, Erika Sandman, MariaY- ilmazkurtdag and Maria Colliander. Their stable encouragements, while sitting and interpreting the research data in the office at the University of Helsinki were indeed, remedial to stress of working burdens. I thank my brother Professor Dr. Jok M. Jok of the Loyal Marymount Univer- sity, Los Angeles, USA for his honest support. Jok bought for me the relevant books which were used as secondary literature for the study. I must offer my thanks to Professor Dr. Juhani Koponen and Docent, Dr. Pertti Multanen of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Helsinki. Both have been very supportive, in terms of references and the search for the related theories to the research main question(s). In terms of research fieldwork in Africa, my...

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