Weekly Press Columns Digest

Weekly Press Columns Digest


KHARTOUM (Sudanow)—In a column that was published on Aljareedah daily newspaper of Sunday, satiric columnist Al-Fatih Jabrah wrote about Islamist Ibrahim al-Sanousy sardonically portraying him as the patron or godfather of Islam.

"Take care of Islam," Jabrah ironically quoted Sanousy as advising a group of his Islamist colleagues when he was arrested and taken to Cooper Prison last week for involvement in the military coup detat of the Islamists in 1989, apparently fearing that some unfortunate calamity might occur to the faith.

No such fear for Islam was expressed by Mohammad the Prophet (PBUH) or anyone of the caliphs before their death and no calamity was inflicted on Islam, said the columnist, adding that such an apprehension was not even displayed by the great Ottoman ruler Suleiman al-Qanouny who expanded the Turkish Muslim empire deep into Europe and North Africa, while Sanousy is only a member of the Sudanese Islamic Movement that inflicted torture, death, apprehension, rape and all sorts of suffering on the Sudanese people while the Islamists enjoyed all sorts of pleasure and robbed the country's resources.

 When he returns from prison and upon climbing down from the car, Sanousy would appear worried and ask the Islamists, saying: "I hope nothing has happened to Islam," Jabrah guessed.



Only the director of his office was present in the courtroom when aging  deposed President Omar al-Beshir had the two-year reformatory verdict was announced by the judge on December 14 as his relatives and supporters were driven out for disturbance inside the courtroom, noted Lina Yagoub in a column published by Al-Sudani daily newspaper of Monday.

The spectators made the disturbance as they anticipated a graver verdict against Beshir because the judge at the outset of announcing the sentence mentioned the unforgettable memory of Majdy Mahjoub who was executed by Beshir regime in December 1989 for possessing dollars left over by his deceased father, a prominent businessman, in the home safe, said Lina, adding that Majdy was not a currency speculator.

 The columnist remarked that, although symptoms of age were obvious on his face, Beshir appeared composed and smiling when the judge read the verdict on which Beshir declined to give an opinion, only saying: "No Comment."

The verdict, dealt to a person of over 70 years of age, was a precedent in the Sudan judiciary, and for Beshir, with about 50 years in the military service, it will be psychologically painful to be placed in a correctional facility for rehabilitation, she said.



The lethal cancer disease, according to news reports, has alarmingly spread in the Sudan with about a thousand cases reported at the treatment hospital every day, wrote Nazik Yusuf al-Agib in a column that was published by Akhir Lahza daily newspaper of Tuesday.

Despite its remarkable advancement, science has not yet reached the exact reason for this ruthless disease that damages the cells of the body, but, with God's mercy, it can be treated in its early stages and for this reason the person has to immediately report any tumor to check whether it is malignant or benign, Nazik advised.             

She said the Ministry of Health should conduct an intensive campaign of awareness to urge people into reporting any suspected symptoms, particularly the women who have to carry out routine medical examination for the spreading breast cancer.

The Ministry of Health should conduct a free medical examination as a way for fighting this deadly disease which the columnist said could also be curbed by having safe food and by improving sanitation and environmental health in collective efforts.



The deposed Ingas regime controlled the institutions of the state not only with its military-security grip, although this was the oppression machine that that regime operated throughout its existence in power, but its full control of the trade unions was the actual element of the security hold of the extinct regime, said Shamail al-Nour in a column published by Altayyar daily newspaper of Wednesday.

The Ingas, moreover, imposed an empowerment policy with which it drained the state's institutions of qualified and opposed personnel and replaced them with elements of its own organization, a policy that further tightened its grip on the state, Shamail said.

A recently issued resolution for removal of the policy of empowerment necessitates sequestration of the real estates and all assets registered in the name of the Ingas trade unions for establishment of new independent trade unions, the columnist added.

She went on to say that the new trade unions would be responsible for guarding the December Revolution the success for which the people have paid dearly.  

The responsibility of establishing the independent trade unions rests with the Sudanese Professionals' Association (SPA) whose image has now waned after effectively leading the Revolution and assisting in formation of the Transitional Authority, Shamail said.

She added that the SPA is by nature a trade unionist body and after formation of the Transitional Authority, it has to fully engage itself in setting up trade unions to replace those of the Ingas regime.



Writing in Alwatan daily newspaper of Saturday, Ismail Sherif said the central government in Khartoum, since the country's independence in 1956, has been confronting domestic armed conflicts that made it rely on the military-security option on which it spent heavily at the expense of development, health and education issues.

Sherif said for this reason, the present transitional authority placed the achievement of peace at the top of its priorities in compliance with the December Revolution mottoes of Freedom, Peace and Justice and for checking the economic hemorrhage that has continued since the independence for achievement of a balanced development and provision of health and education services.

However, the columnist said the people are expecting announcement and fulfillment of economic programmes by the transitional Authority for easing the living strains which triggered the Revolution and they would revolt once again if the Authority has failed to fulfill its pledges.

He was commenting on a recent speech by an official of the Freedom and Change Forces group, the sponsor of the Revolution, in a public meeting, in which he said a reshuffle would be made for replacing number of the ministers if the economic crisis aggravated.



Osman Mirghani, publisher and editor of “Alttayyar” wrote:

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (Al-Hilu) has issued a statement denying it had rescinded its claim for a secular state, saying ignoring this matter will consequently put the ongoing peace negotiations in Juba on the track for the right to self-determination, the doorway to the cession of the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile from Sudan, as did Southern Sudan.

Of course the word ”secularism” is enough to ignite a wide political controversy that transcends the political elite to the popular bases and, may be, divide the Sudanese society into two currents: opponents and proponents of this call for secularism. Then, secularism will become a sacred shrine on whose doorstep blood will be spilt.

Frankly speaking, the Sudanese political landscape is praying at the niche of terminology, circling around it, muttering it like a dervish absorbed in a Sufi dance, as noted by our big man Mansour Khalid, God help him in his long stay in hospital in London.

My advice to the Government’s chief negotiator is to accept the secularization of the state and also its synonyms like “the separation of religion from the state”. At that time we will be left with the direct legal and technical description of this terminology.

What is required for Sudan to become a “secular” state?

For Sure we are  not required to go to the United Nations and enlist Sudan among secular states, for the simple reason that such a list is non-existent.

Well..let us become a “secular state”,  take an example of a “secular state”  and copy those same criteria of a secular state here. Let that state be the US. Then the question: what do we need to become a secular state like the US? The inevitable answer is to copy the legal principles of the American Constitution that made the US a secular state!!! Then why do we waste our time. Lt’s copy the American Constitution to the letter!!!,

The American Constitution has referred to “religion” in the First Amendment or what is known as the “Bill of Rights.”

Says the Constitutional text: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

In other words religions and the freedom to practice them in America (the symbol of secularism) is guarded by the Constitution.

 In 1955 the Congress added the expression “In God We Trust” on the banknotes. The next year the Congress generalized the expression to become the motto of the state.

In other words, the precise technical interpretation of “secular” has nothing to do with religion in any way. It never develops into legal rules that ban anyone from exercising his/her religious freedoms.

The same applies to the expression: ‘separation of religion from the state’. It is just a historical principle dictated by the church (as an institution) upon rule and authority. But it never touches upon religion in terms of faith or practice. Even the oath of office taken by the American president is  in fact, a religious practice. It says: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Don’t waste your time drowning in these terminologies.




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