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Historical & Modern Conditions in Sudan

Modern political history and theory illustrate tensions and controversies over the reach and limits of freedom. One view, associated with John Locke, is that civil society can be structured so as to limit government power and provide guarantees of individual rights freedom. Another view is a critique of the first and is associated with the revolutionary program of Marxist thought: that if civil government allows the consequences of unlimited individual freedom to go unchecked, such freedom will become subsidiary to power and the gross injustices that proceed therefrom. Such a civil society may not and indeed should not survive but should be transformed in toto, via revolution.

In the Sudan, a long and squalid history of government-sanctioned repression and slavery, complicated by ethnic rivalry between the Arab north and animist/Christian south, has been the platform for a series of revolutionary coups and countercoups since Sudan achieved absolute sovereignty in 1956. Repeated revolutionary dislocation of Sudan's civil society led to the imposition of the sharia, or Islamic law, as the law of the land in 1983. The sharia has been vigorously enforced since 1989, when the present regime accomplished its coup, and in the hands of Sudan's ruling regime it imposes obligations on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Conceptualized as God's law, the sharia is the ideal law of the land, encompassing human relationships and not requiring justification.

But neither the sharia nor Sudan's implementation of it has escaped challenge. Widespread reports of regime-sponsored or sanctioned enslavement, atrocity, and genocide, as well as rumors of regime-sponsored export or support of Islamist revolution by way of terrorism, have isolated Sudan not only from the West but also from other Islamic nation-states. Such reports raise philosophical questions, not only of regime legitimacy but more generally of how and whether freedom can be conceptualized in ...

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Historical & Modern Conditions in Sudan. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:19, June 26, 2019, from