Northern Sudanese and Bashir’s Call for Jihad:
Time for Southerners to Think Aloud
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Al Bashir declaring Jihad once again on the infidels is a clear indication that the National Congress Party is back to the old ways. The lamb hooves are off and here goes the hungry wolf howling and biting. Sadly, but not surprisingly, after two years of what I personally see as a faked brotherhood between the North and the South, NCP has not changed.
When Turabi and Co. introduced Jihad at the dawn of ELInqaz, they meant a Holy War against the people of
as a whole, not SPLA.
They, as anyone with a single cell of brain, knew very well that the Popular Defense 45-day training – which was mostly spent in reciting Qur’anic verses and day dreaming about the beautiful girls of
– was not enough to equip them to fight chickens, leave alone veracious troops like SPLA. So, the Popular Defense forces cowardly avoided a real combat- a real face off in a battlefield - with SPLA, and, instead, they muscled up against the war-torn, unarmed, and unprotected civilians of
wars were mainly wars where they burned down villages without any consideration to human lives. In every false victory that they shamelessly claimed, an innocent South Sudanese soul was lost,
a child was orphaned, a woman was widowed, a family was uprooted and broken apart, a young girl was raped, a baby’s beautiful smile was replaced with tears of insecurity and hunger,
an entire family was wiped off the face of history …... This is what Jihad meant according to the encyclopedia of the National Islamic Front.
It meant stealing the natural wealth of the South to fill their own pockets and to keep funding their ill- devilish agenda against our people.
Today, by declaring Jihad again, Bashir is opening up wounds that have not yet stopped bleeding within our people, the South Sudanese. Wounds that many, until a recent past, believe will never heal, but, at least, their pain will be numbed by the promising Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the hope for a New Sudan. Alas, the dream is being cut short. The light at the end of the tunnel is dwindling away, and once again, South Sudanese kids will be robbed of their childhood. South Sudanese mothers will once more see their sons off to war, and South Sudanese women will wear black mourning the brutal killing of a dear husband, a father, a brother or a beloved child.
Once again, vultures will feast on the dead bodies of our brothers and sisters – they will hover over the starved waiting for the first victim to fall. For we are a people doomed to live in misery; misery that is not of our own choice, misery that is not of our own making. We are destined to live in misery because Bashir and his likes are tirelessly pushing the wheels of destruction and despair our way. How painful! How unfair!
We all know that the call for Jihad is chilling and worrisome given the history and religious makeup of the Northern Sudanese communities where Fanatic Shieks and Imams run the scene because their words are considered by many as orders from Allah. With an amazing grip on their people believes and minds, the huge influence these religious figures have cannot be underestimated.
Needless to mention, especially since NCP’s infamous intermingling with Islam, who recruits these shieks and whose words do they speak. Consequently, with the exception of a very few Northern elites, who have their backs against the wall as a result of their progressive views and refusal to adhere to the teachings of traditional Islam, the majority of Muslim North is more likely to join any call for Jihad
to purify the land of Islam (Sudan)
from the infidels (Southerners).
When it comes to Arabism and Islamism, Northerners will, in a blink of an eye, sever ties with the South. This is the unspoken-about common knowledge that Southerners ignore in good faith to give peace a chance and to make “unity” attractive. Yes, it’s a well known secret that we ignore in good faith for it’s only the unwise who throw away a history as full of deceptions as ours; we are not.
The truth of the matter is, contrary to what they would want us to believe, the problem of Southern Sudan is not a problem between Khartoum and Juba - GONU and GOSS - NCP and SPLM - Bashir and Kiir, as much as it’s the problem of the North Mentality that is fostered by Arab culture and Islam which makes the non-Arab Abid (Slaves) and the non-Muslims Ahl El Zima (second class citizens who are never on equal footings with Muslims). Bashir, as Abboud, Nimeri, Dahab, and Mahdi before him, belongs to the same School of Thought so will his successors,
and so will the problem of
continue to prevail.
It’s the establishment of this School of Thought that makes Northern citizens as guilty as their governments. They are the force that nurtures the Arab/Islam identity and mentality, and they are the environment that molds the personalities and believes of those who eventually make it to power in
Northern citizens play a great role in widening the gap between the North and the South by their intolerance and persistent rejection of everything that is Southern.
Ideally, we need to rethink our relationship with the North in its entirety – Government and people. As we condemn Bashir and his government, it is high time South Sudanese people rejected being called “brothers” by their Northern counterparts. It’s high time we analyzed their behaviors so that we can hold them accountable to their un-forgiven atrocities in the South (N. Government) as well as their mistreatment and segregation in the North (Northern Citizens). Brotherhood cannot define a relationship that is not built on love, mutual respect, and, most importantly, equality, transparency and honesty – the least that could be said about brotherhood.
We are not brothers! We are two different people, two different histories, two different cultures, two different experiences, two different pasts and, definitely, two different futures. We have nothing in common, not the languages we speak, not the gods we worship. The only thing we have in common so far is the country we both, in a very ironic way, belong to; this ‘one million square miles’ land called the
. This is what we have in common.
That’s the North-South status quo that needs to be acknowledged and addressed before we talk about being brothers.
Before we open the doors of who’s the eldest versus the younger brother? Different statuses, different roles! Who’s the legitimate son and who came carried on his mother’s shoulders? Different statuses and different roles! Who has the right to lead and who should follow? Again, different statuses and different roles! We cannot be brothers without defining the parameters of this brotherhood, without dissecting its nature and attributes. Without understanding why is it easy to call us brothers but seemingly impossible to treat us as such!
How can we be brothers? Under what context are we brothers? What does the North know about their brother, the South. What do Mohamed and Fatima know about the history and cultural heritage of Lado and Achol apart from the fact that they are Junubeen (including all the conations this word may carry)? What do they know about our connection to the
? What do they know about our struggle?
They know nothing about us. As we speak, there are Northern Sudanese who believe that Southerners live on trees and that they are cannibals, not exaggerating! They say in plain Arabic: Junubeen Byaklo EL Nas (Southerners eat human beings). They are ignorant about the basics of
, how can they know or understand “Muskilat El Junub” the problem of
that has been irking Southerners for decodes. How can they understand what do Southerners want?
If they treat us like dogs, shouldn’t we learn to bite back?
Why do we welcome them with open arms when they say ‘Kulana Ikwan’ while they stand aloof when their governments open fire on their innocent brothers? They never questioned the legitimacy of Jihad but joined the Popular Defense in thousands and made (Fi Sahad El Fida) the most rated show in Sudan TV history despite the fact that it was hate propaganda against the people of
Northerners have always been living in disconnect to our issues, the only thing that they choose to know about us is what fits the Arab-Muslim presentation and depiction of what South Sudan is historically, geographically and even anthropologically. They should not call us brothers; brotherhood cannot define a relationship that’s built on deception.
Until the Arab-Muslim Northerners undergo a radical change in their ideology, they should not call us brothers.
Until they thoroughly understand the multiculturalism that characterizes
and acknowledge Southerners as equal citizens with equal rights and equal responsibilities, they should not be allowed to call us brothers.
Until they admit that we are equal citizens not according to the Qur’an but according to what History says about us, Southerners, in the land of our ancestors, the
! History that was there – that was written - long before Mohamed made it to
. Isn’t it even more ironic that Islam should define who we are and determine what we get as Sudanese? We should never allow them to call us brothers until they acknowledge that we, Junubeen, are nothing else but Sudanese!
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Only then will the likes of Bashir diminish and only then will we embrace each other like real brothers do. But until that impossible time comes, Northern citizens are as guilty as their governments in all the tragedies that befell Southern Sudanese; it’s high time we demanded an explanation to their passive stand.
When this wind passes, Al Bashir’s “slip of the tongue” should not pass nor should it be filed away in the folder of the ‘unforgotten history’. The leader who has no concern about the impact of his words on the already, as President Kiir rightly put it, staggering and drunken CPA cannot not be trusted to safeguard the CPA.
The leader who has no regards to the sentiments of the people (Southerners) he calls his own in such critical moments, will show zero regards when he guarantees that the last casted vote that determines the future of
is in the box of unity. What will prevent Bashir from calling for Jihad in a United Sudan?
After declaring the Holy War, what’s left of the ‘let’s make unity attractive’. On what basis, what logic, what understanding should Southerners convince themselves, or should anyone convince us, that the time left is enough to trust NCP so that we give up the only chance that we have for real freedom come twenty eleven. Let’s ponder over Bashir’s words day and night, let’s think aloud about our future – the future of generations to come - for we will go down in history as the contemporaries who
made or broke
into two pieces.
Thanks for your time
Lily A. Akol