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Sudan’s clerics voice outrage at violation of mosques

February 17 - 2019 EL NAHUD / KHARTOUM
The Grand Mosque in Khartoum
The Grand Mosque in Khartoum

Muslim clerics in Sudan have voiced their outrage at the “violation of the sanctity of mosques” by government forces intent on quelling the national uprising that has raged in the country since December 19 last year.

The commissioner of El Nahud in West Kordofan issued a decree on Thursday, relieving Sheikh El Tayeb Abboud from preaching at the town’s Grand Mosque.

In his Friday sermon a week ago, Sheikh Abboud criticised the practices of unidentified masked men who unlawfully beat and arrest demonstrators in various parts of Sudan.

He described this as illegal in a country governed by the Islamic Sharia law.

The Imam of El Hijra Mosque in Wad Nubawi, Adam Ahmed Yousef, criticised the storming of the mosque by heavily armed security forces on Friday and the firing of tear gas on the delegation of Imam El Sadig El Mahdi and inside the courtyard of the mosque which led to the breathing problems in a number of children, women and the elderly.

Tear gas

Yesterday, Yousef said in his sermon that the mosque of Beit El Mal witnessed similar violations, where the security forces beat the muezzin and imam of the mosque, stormed the mosque wearing shoes (this is considered sacrilege as worshippers must remove their shoes on entering a mosque) and carrying weapons, and detained a number of young people inside the mosque.

He considered this an explicit violation of the sanctity of mosques.

Dr Mahir Mahran, Head of El Salam Mosque in El Ta’if district in eastern Khartoum, said the causes of the popular revolt in the country are widespread corruption and injustice.

He warned in Friday sermon of the grave consequences of the injustice on the Day of Resurrection, pointing out to the spread of corruption in the country, wondering about the fate of 23 billion Saudi Riyals recently granted to Sudan by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He criticised the government's approach in dealing with the aggressors of public money and covering up for them.

Sudan uprising

On 19 December 2018, rising bread and fuel prices sparked protests in Atbara in North-Eastern Sudan. In less than a week’s time, the anti-government protests spread across the entire country and were answered with brutal violence by the Sudanese security forces. Multiple sources have confirmed that tear gas and live ammunition is being used against demonstrators. Human Rights Watch reported that Sudanese activists estimate atleast 50 people have been killed since the start of the protests.

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