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Kiir tells clerics to refrain from politicising religion

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August 21, 2011 (JUBA) - Salva Kiir, president of newly independent South Sudan has called on clerics to help government address the challenges facing new the nation but warned them to keep away from politicising religion.

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South Sudan president Salva Kiir

The president made the remarks while addressing South Sudan Muslims on 20 August during a Ramadan Breakfast organised at the Presidential Guest House in the capital Juba.

He also urged clerics to refrain from "practicing religious corruption".

Kiir said his party, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), has a vision of religion freedom.

The president also chided the Akhir Lahza newspaper based in Khartoum for what he said was false information against his family.

The newspaper claimed that a son from his fourth wife, allegedly called John Salva Kiir, had converted to Islam from Christianity before South Sudan become an independent on July 9th. Kiir said he neither has a fourth wife nor a son called John.

The chairperson of South Sudan’s Muslim Council Atahir Bior narrated challenges and problems facing the Muslim Community in the Africa’s 54th country and called on clerics from various religious backgrounds to preach peace and justice instead of preaching politics.

“As religious leaders we should only be preaching about love and peace. We should not mix politics with religion.” said Bior. He said that women and children are the people who suffer the most from political instability.

Bior said that women and children have enormous prospects to bring about political and economic development in the new nation. The cleric further explained that maintaining peace and justice for all in the society is a responsibility that should be shouldered by all people in the society.

Using political chaos in Sudan’s western region of Darfur as illustration, Bior said women and young girls were the most vulnerable ones because there are so many cases of rape incidents that the south should take as a living example to improve the conditions in the country.

South Sudan, whose population are predominantly either Christian or have traditional African beliefs split from the Islamic dominated North Sudan last month.

The split was the culmination of a six year long peace deal that ended decades of civil war. One of the triggers for Sudan’s second North-South civil war was Khartoum’s enforcement of Islamic Shari’a Law across the whole of Sudan.

South Sudan’s secular constitution contrasts with the Islamic law which continues to rule North Sudan.

SPLM officials asserted that Khartoum’s refusal to drop Shari’a Law and adopt a secular constitution was one of the reasons why South Sudan chose to opt for separation in January’s self determination referendum.

(ST)

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  • 22 August 2011 06:28, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

    In a country where there is Islam together with Christianity, division is very common.

    It is going to be the second civil war root cause in South Sudan in the future as Khartoum will use it as a means of destabilizing the State of South Sudan.

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    • 22 August 2011 06:30, by Quol Quot

      This issue is less important than the crisis that is facing Lou Nuer in Jonglei, we thought you would say a word about it.

      repondre message

  • 22 August 2011 06:47, by Akol Liai Mager

    There might be no problems for Christianity and other Religions followers to refrain from politicising their faith.

    But I doubt for Islam. This is because Politics, Violence and denial of others’rights is in the DNA of Islam.

    Muslim men do not want a head of State to be a non-Muslim whether the non-Muslims are the majority or not. Muslim men do not want a woman taking the highest positioon in the Country such as Prime Minister, Chief Justice and President.

    Muslim religion legalises the killing of non-Muslims and those Muslims who may disagree with the Imams.

    For these few reasons I have just mentioned, there will be Muslim bombers on South Sudan Streets if the Parliament and government of South Sudan are pushing for the gender equity system in the South for 50%-50% and non-involvement of religion in politics.

    Separating Islam from politics is just like separating a disolved sugar from the water.

    But if the Muslims in Southern Sudan accept freedom of worshipping and separation Islam from the state/politic, then that’s the end of Islam in the South. This is because without politics, power, violence and denial of others’rights the teaching of Islam will never go as wanted by the founder.

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  • 22 August 2011 07:01, by Aleu

    Atahir Bior.
    ,
    You guys should tell him that, there will be separation between Churches and government and there is a freedom of religio. We see no reason of blocking someone’s faith to practic their belief however, the Sharia law is not acceptable in South Sudan. Bribery people in exchange of religion as Arab people use it in Old Sudan is not going to happen in South Sudan. Remember Southerners Sudanese people are really tired about Islam agendas and those in South Sudan must take good advice but faliure to do so is risk because we have had lost nearly 3 million lives in Sudan and the cause was Islamic agendas.

    This guys Atahir must be aware the religion issue is not needed in South Sudan. There were Nubian Muslims and they have never complain about religon issue and they were very friendly with others brothers Southern Sudanese christinas in the SPLA/SPLM. Bior must understand that, Southern Sudanese do not want extermely radicalization Muslim in South Sudan.

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  • 23 August 2011 11:05, by Ker.

    this is true, religious leaders have an important role to play in the nation building

    repondre message

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