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Sudanese doubt call for Islamic rule

Aug. 8, 2012 at 12:23 PM
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KHARTOUM, Sudan, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Sudanese President Omar Bashir is calling for a "100 percent Islamic" constitution, an echo of the battle cry he used to come to power a quarter century ago.

His actions are being met with skepticism in Sudan, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

Sudan has been operating under an Islamic-based constitution since Bashir began ruling 23 years ago. During that time, the country has dealt with a myriad of problems.

South Sudan seceded a year ago, taking 75 percent of the north's income. Inflation is at 37 percent. The currency has been devalued, and austerity measures sparked modest street protests. Not the least -- Bashir is wanted for genocide in the Darfur region by the International Criminal Court.

"When things deteriorate, we will have a constitution shaped by the president's view, but not by what Islam is," said Khartoum attorney Adil Abdelghani. "When he feels he needs a tool to suppress his opponents, or sees a use for religion, then he will [use] it."

Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi helped put Bashir in power, and served as his attorney general. Now a critic of the Khartoum government, Turabi says Bashir's call for an Islamic constitution is "just another slogan."

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