بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The 28th Sudan and South Sudan Conference
Religious Compact between Islam and Christianity
Presented by: Imam Alsadig Almahdi
Chairperson, My brothers and sisters, my sons and daughters,
Good morning to you all.
When we, who view ourselves as the political representatives of the Peoples of Sudan, who charted a Roadmap through “the Paris Declaration” and “the Sudan Call” and other new fronts like Gowt and Ghad, got notice of this conference, we decided to come in force to congratulate Ms. Maria Peter and her colleagues for the excellent work they are doing for the cause of Sudan sustainable continuously for 28 years, and involving hundreds of Sudanese and concerned Europeans. So cheers for them.
I am going to address the issue of violence and to define elements of a compact between Islamic and Christian countries and communities. Please follow my ten relevant points:
- Several factors have transformed planet earth into a global village. They are:
- The Communications’ Revolution has tied all parts of the world into a Global network.
- The Knowledge revolution has made knowledge available at the tip of the finger.
- The powerful satellite media created a universal public opinion.
- The interconnection between peoples created a common health concern.
- The population explosion calls for a universal demographic policy.
- The limited natural resources necessitate a preservation approach.
- The common environment necessitates a common preservation policy.
- The emergence of a Global Market Economy dictates a new approach.
- Security considerations have become Global.
- In different degrees populations have become cosmopolitan, for example, America’s WASP identity, has given way to a rainbow reality.
- Although human beings are biologically homogeneous being one species, they are culturally heterogeneous. Therefore, the proximity of globalization exposed socio-cultural differences, and provoked fundamentalism in all Religious faiths. The University of Chicago commissioned a team to study this phenomenon. In 1988, they issued a six- volume report, which authenticated the rise of fundamentalism in all world Religions.
During the eighties of last century, it was observed that Globalization has created a bigger gap between the haves and have-nots.
A North South Dialogue headed by Willy Brant, documented the phenomenon, and called for a New world economic order. Michael Owen said: “there is no act in the field of social engineering more daring than America’s support for the creation of a Jewish state in a hostile Arab World to that act. That act created conditions for continuous war”.
Such fault-lines are the result of failure to justly administer plurality. The inevitable failure in this context anywhere in the World would result in extremism and violence.
In 1989, I published a book which I wrote in prison, titled, “the Challenges of the Nineties”. I said that peoples more than ever are aware of their differences, and that failure to address their grievances will lead to the deprived react with weapons of mass obstruction. I named seven such weapons, particularly, terrorism, and illegal immigration. Those two problems have now become most prominent in the International Agenda.
- Terrorism today is no longer the hit and run isolated act. The present terrorist threat has multiple parentage. The Western powers and their allies supported Jihadists as a cold war weapon against the USSR. The Arab Afghans formed Alqaeda, and after the Soviet expulsion, they turned on foreign troops in Muslim lands and so declared war against America by terrorist means. American occupation of Iraq resulted in a balance of power in favor of the Shiaa. The Sunnas of Iraq who felt marginalized formed Daesh (IS). Such developments are a metamorphosis of Terrorism, which call for a completely different approach. The Club of Madrid will organize a conference to which I have written a concept paper to deal with the phenomenon.
Illegal immigration is now a top security problem. To a European Union panel, I have suggested a program.
- Although secularist atrocities have been responsible for the greatest blood baths in history by fascism, Nazism and Stalinism, Religion is held by many to be the culprit in the current “Tsunami” of violence. This explains the phenomenon of Islamophobia championed by many, Bernard Lewis and Terry Jones in America, and PIGIDA in Europe.
This confrontation almost seems like the first chapter in an Armageddon, in which both faiths expect a final battle in which each side is expected to wipe the other side out of existence.
- Secularist opinion believes that the only way out of the violence based upon Religious Zeal, is to kick religion out of history. In the 19th century and after, the demise of religion was predicted. In many instances, in America, in India, in the Arab world and so on, challenges to the role of Religion have given ground to more extreme Religious assertions.
- Islam and Christianity stem from the same Abrahamic tradition. Although there are texts which when removed from their context bread mutual hostility, authentic texts deny that. Islamic texts are quite specific: say we believe in god, and what was revealed to Ibrahim, Ismael Isaac, Jacob and the apostles. And what was given to Moses, and Jesus and the Prophets from their God, between them we do not differentiate, and to Him we submit. There are many chapters in the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) which substantiate this ecumenical concept of the Abrahamic faiths. For Christianity, church authority may legislate in the tradition of Vatican 2 and do for Islam what was done to Judaism. In fact, a German professor, Lout, in his book: “Abraham and his Covenant Sons with God”, quotes the Old Testament, the book of creation 20/17, in which God says to Abraham: “As to Ismael, I have heard what you said about him, I hereby bless him to grow and shall make his progeny a great nation”. As Muslims, we in our prayers bless Abraham and all his progeny at least five times a day.
- Religion has a major role in the human social engineering. Even states which deny that role find themselves compelled to change course. The French Revolution, in its first phase voted to abolish religion, later it had to reach a CONCORDAT with the pope. Israel which started as a secular state built by secularist politicians is now insistent upon being considered a Jewish state. The same scenario was enacted in Turkey, in India, In Russia, and so on.
- Yes religious texts may be quoted out of context by extremists for political purposes, but enlightened religious leadership should stand up to them, isolate them, and brand them as hate mongers who work to detract the evolutionary ascent progress willed by God for humanity. The success of this blessed evolution should be joined by all, including none believers who if not brothers in faith, are brothers in humanity.
- The UN charter was written at a time when cultures and religions were marginalized, that charter is due for revision to take into consideration up to date developments, in terms of additions to the Universal Charter, and in terms of the governance of the UN system, which was conceived by the victors in the second Atlantic war.
- We, the undersigned call for the ten imperatives as a compact:
One: we call for mutual recognition of the spiritual worth of the three Abrahamic faiths.
Two: we subscribe to the moral code of truth, trust, honor and the rest.
Three: we support the human rights pillars of: Dignity, Freedom, Justice, Equality and peace. Although we support liberation movements, we condemn war mongering and call for an end to violent conflicts.
Four: we support the cause of justice wherever it is denied.
Five: we declare dictatorship as contrary to human dignity and demand its abolition.
Six: we reject violence and state and none-state terrorism. We will work to remove their causes.
Seven: we adopt a Theology of liberation in support of social justice within and between countries.
Eight: we support freedom of migration for peoples to be regulated and in legal terms.
Nine: we call for all peoples who live in host countries to respect the laws of their host countries, and the host countries to respect their cultural autonomy.
Ten: we support the guarantee of freedom, but the law of the land must deny slanderous behavior.
Finally, we commit ourselves to advocate this compact and work to make it shape reality.