2 million Sudanese have lost their lives due to Political Islam: Sudanese Politician, Yasir Arman
Yasir Said Arman, a Sudanese politician and a leading figure in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement is also the Secretary of External Affairs for the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF). During his visit to Norway, this popular leader met with the Editor-in-Chief of The Oslo Times for an exclusive interview, which, revolved mainly around the Political situation in Sudan and the problems the people of Sudan have faced due to political extremism.
Can you tell me about your visit to Norway?
Well I am in Norway for a few meetings with the ministry of foreign affairs and I am also here to meet the humanitarian community, and to take part in the seminar, which was organized here today.
What is your perception about the next election in Sudan?
Before I answer the question, I want to express my gratitude towards the Norwegian people and the Norwegian government. The
people of this country have contributed a lot by helping out in saving lives of the Sudanese. They have saved billions of people through humanitarian engagement and through peace building that this nation is engaged in Sudan. They have also helped by offering academic opportunities for Sudanese intellectuals. And, we are grateful to this country, to these people and we the SPLM feel this relationship should be continued and built through the confidence of the people of Norway and Sudan.When it comes to election, there were no elections in Sudan. It is an extension of the dictatorial rule. It is an attempt by the government to re elect itself for the next five years and these elections have been boycotted by many of the major political parties. The one person who has ruled Sudan for 26 years is making a cosmetic election, which will keep him in power for the next five years and allow him to rule the country for another 20 years. But, even though this might happen in other countries but we will not allow such things in Sudan.
This is a question we ask all our public figures and guests, what do human rights mean to you?
Human rights to me is very simple it is respecting human dignity and treating one human being as equal to another. It is respecting that they have rights and duties. In Sudan’s context, the country belongs to all of us, if you are a Sudanese and I am a Sudanese then we have equal rights and we have the right to live a decent life.
So, what is democracy to you?
Democracy for me is to respect one another, and accept the judgment of the majority and for us to peacefully accept the exchange of power.
Yesterday there was a big attack in France, a media attack that killed more than 12 journalists and an Islamic extremist group carried out this attack. What is your opinion about this extremist attack?
Well what has happened in France is something that has happened in our country for more than three decades. They are the same people who did that in France that have been doing the same things in Sudan. Lets not forget these people were ruling Sudan. Bin Laden came from Sudan and did what he did in the United States. In my country more than 2 million people have lost their lives because of Islamic agendas and political Islam.There is nothing wrong with Muslims or Islam, I myself am a Muslim, but Islam and political Islam are two different things. Political Islam is another version that has been designed for political gain and it a discourse that will not accept others – other religions, other cultures. Due to this Europe, USA and the international community is suffering. The only solution is to address the issues of Islamic nations, and the issues of democratization to help and assist democratic forces in those nations because this situation is affecting everyone. This situation is shifting from our homes to Europe. It is coming from the political Islam agenda in the Arab and Islamic world to the Middle East and it is being transported
So you do not like Political Islam at all?
Of course I don’t like political Islam at all. We don’t like them because we have lost two million of our people because of them. Political Islam agenda is using Islam as an ideology and it has nothing to do with Islam. It is a political organization like fascists or more like Nazism and such ideologies exists in every religion. In Christianity also there are Christian fundamentalists whose philosophies do not match with the realities of the world. The world is diverse and it needs acceptance, regardless of religion or color. We need to live together in this globe on this earth and the political Islamic agenda, requires uniformity it requires everyone not only to be Muslim but to appraise the political Islam agenda.
What are your views on Norway and the Norwegian people, government and the peace institute in general?
Before I came here I had met the Norwegian people in other parts of the world and when I came here they received me warmly. In my 25 years experience I have found Norwegian people very good human beings who are caring, dedicated and peace loving. When I came to Norway they confirmed that the values they had brought to Sudan in terms of peace building and humanitarian interventions are values they and their society have created. It is this society that gave these values and this dedication. So we are very grateful for the humanitarian and peace building role they have played. We hope they will continue supporting Africa, because Africa needs a new future and there are still a lot of countries there that could do with little help. I feel we can take the peace efforts with Sudan as example and continue building a constructive partnership with Norway.
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