February 1, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan Scholar Council (SSC) issued a ruling today stating that those who signed and endorsed the New Dawn charter are now outside the religion of Islam.
- Secretary General of the Sudan Scholar Council Mohamed Osman Saleh Al-Amin (SUNA)
The Secretary General of the SSC Mohamed Osman Saleh Al-Amin told Sudan official news agency (SUNA) that the document calls for separating religion and the state which contravenes Islamic principles.
Al-Amin said that anyone who does not hold a favorable view to applying Islamic rule or supports separating religion and the state has committed a taboo.
He referenced a verse in the Holy Quran which reads "And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers".
SSC is an informal body comprised of eminent Sudanese Islamic scholars but its views are not binding to the government.
Some of its critics assert that it issues opinions that are favorable to the government while turning a blind eye to issues such as corruption, violations of human rights and repression.
The charter signed in Uganda this month calls for overthrowing the regime dominated by the National Congress Party (NCP), restructuring the state institutions and preventing the exploitation of religion in politics.
There was disagreement however on means to oust the government between the opposition parties and the rebel groups.
Khartoum interpreted the last clause to mean a call for establishing a secular state and has launched a fierce media campaign against it.
Some senior Sudanese officials went as far as threatening to outlaw and ban the opposition parties which signed it unless they dissociate themselves from it.
Some of its signatories including the National Umma Party (NUP), Popular Congress Party (PCP) and Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) later distanced themselves from the charter saying they were rushed into it and expressed reservations on some of its clauses.
Despite this the head of Al-Wasat Islamic party Youssef al-Koda signed the charter in Kampala and issued a joint statement with Malik Agar who chairs the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) .
Al-Koda denounced what he described as NCP’s corruption and exploiting religion to cling to power.