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Conflict of National Identity in Sudan

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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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Abd Al-Rahim, Muddathir “Arabism, Africanism, and Self-identification in the Sudan”, in Dunstan M Wai (ed.) (1973). The Southern Sudan the Problem of National Integration. African Rights (1995). Facing Genocide: The Nuba of Sudan, London: African Rights Publication. Alexander, C. Jaffery (1987). Sociological Theory since 1945, London: Columbia University Press. Alier, Abel (1990). Southern Sudan: Too Many Agreements Dishonored, Read- ing: Ithaca Press. Alier, Abel “The Southern Sudan Question” in Dunstan M Wai (ed.) (1973). The Southern Sudan the Problem of National Integration, London: Frank Cass. Alier, Abel “What is the Solution to the Constant Conflict in Sudan?” In Martin Doornbos, et al. (eds.) (1992). Beyond Conflict in the Horn. The Prospect for Peace, Recovery, &Development in Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, & Sudan, The Hague: Institute for Social Sciences. Al-Shahi, Ahmed “The Distinctiveness of the Shaiqqyyia Tribe of Northern Sudan: Complexity and Continuity” in Herve Bleuchot Hopwood (ed.) (1991). Sudan History, Identity, Ideology, Oxford: Ithaca Press. Anderson, Benedict (1991). Imagine Communities Reflections on Origins and Spread of Nationalism (rev. ed.), London: Verso. Anderson, G Norman (1993). Sudan in Crisis, the Failure of Democracy, Gaines- ville: University Press of Florida. Ankumah, Evelyn A (1996). The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights Practice and Procedures, Hague: Kluwer. An-Na’im, Abdullahi Ahmed (ed.) (1993). Proselytization and Communal Self- Determination in Africa, New York: Maryknoll. An-Na’im, Abdullahi Ahmed “Competing Claims to Religious Freedom and Communal Self-Determination in Africa”, in Abdullahi Ahmed An’Naim (ed.) (1993). Proselytization and Communal Self-Determination in Africa, New York: Maryknoll. 278 An-Na’im, Abdullahi Ahmed...

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