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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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Appendix 1 Questionnaire Please, answer the below questions by circling and writing on your choice. You can write in English and Arabic at the given spaces. You can also use extra paper sheet(s), if the given space is not enough for your answers. You are free to skip the question that you do not want to answer as well as remaining anonymous. 1. Your Background a. Name b. Racial/ ethnic/tribal group i. Arab from ethnic/tribal group ii. African from Ethnic/tribal group c. Gender i. Male ii. Female 2. Region. a. Your regional background i. Far North ii. South Sudan iii. Darfur (west Sudan) iv. Nuba Mountains (west Sudan) v. East Sudan vi. Centre (El-Gezira) or Khartoum b. How did the east, west, far north and centre become the Northern Sudan Region in exclusion of the South and what does the name of your region 302 mean in your native language and do you experience any difficulty in articulating it? c. 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 Sudan as in Darfur, how do you evaluate it? d. Have you ever experienced any form of discrimination in any region of Sudan, if so please explain? 303 e. How do you want a national identity of these regions to be defined in a national constitution of Sudan and under what system suits Sudan...

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