President Omar al-Bashir still insists on going ahead with plans to adopt an entirely Islamic constitution in Sudan. He had earlier said that Sudan would adopt an Islamic constitution if the South seceded. But many southerners had hoped he would not go ahead.
Addressing students in Khartoum, he said the official religion would be Islam and that Islamic law would be the constitutional source of future legislation.
According to Bashir, 98 percent of the Sudanese population are Muslims, and the new constitution should reflect this.
Under the comprehensive peace agreement signed between north and south, Sudan’s constitution recognizes “the cultural and social diversity of the Sudanese people”.
But many southerners say they no longer feel welcome in the north since the two separated in July.
Reacting to the plan, the General Secretary of the Sudan Council of Churches, Reverend Ramadan Chan Liol, said Sudan must recognize religious diversity. He added that it should explicitly protect the non-muslim minority in the north.
Liol added that the Sudanese census does not ask citizens to state their religion, and that he was surprised to hear Bashir claim that 98 per cent of the population are Muslims.