Monday, November 18, 2013

USCIRF Issues New Policy Brief On Role of Shariah in Sudanese Law

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom last week issued its most recent Policy Brief, this one titled Sudan’s Enduring Question: The Role of Shari'ah in the Constitution and Law, (Nov. 2013). The Policy Brief says in part:
In December 2010, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir declared that Sudan’s new constitution will be based on his government’s interpretation of Islamic (Shari’ah) law. Senior officials continue to repeat his declaration, as opposition parties and civil society representatives insist that Sudan’s new constitution be based on universal human rights and reflect Sudan’s commitments to international human rights standards, including freedom of religion or belief.
Concerns about Shari’ah being central to a future constitution ignore the fact that Sudan’s current legal system already is based on a restrictive interpretation of Shari’ah provisions and corresponding hudood, or classes of crimes with set punishments.