Sudan invites Jews back to country to enjoy citizenship in new climate

Minister of Religious Affairs Nasr-Eddin Mofarah, left, was included in Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok new government. (Videograb)
Updated 07 September 2019

Sudan invites Jews back to country to enjoy citizenship in new climate

  • We welcome diverse ideas, values and cultures, religious affairs minister tells Al Arabiya

JEDDAH: Members of Sudan’s Jewish community who had left the country in previous years were free to return and “enjoy citizenship” like other ethnic groups, Minister of Religious Affairs Nasr-Eddin Mofarah said on Friday.

Speaking to Al Arabiya TV, the newly appointed minister said Sudan was welcoming of diverse ideas, values, cultures and “intellectual persuasions.”

He even added that the Muslim-majority country was welcoming of other religions, citing the number of Christians and Jews who still lived in the country and those who might have left.

“I urge them (Jews) from this platform to return to Sudan and recover their right to naturalization and citizenship because Sudan is a civil state where citizenship is the source of all rights and duties. We also have other religions and faiths embraced by different people,” he said.

The announcement came after Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok announced his Cabinet on Thursday, the first since former President Omar Bashir was ousted in April.

The Cabinet includes Asmaa Abdalla, Sudan’s first woman foreign minister, and a former World Bank economist. Hamdok also picked women to lead the Sports and Youth Ministry, the High Education Ministry, and the Labor and Social Development Ministry.

The new Cabinet has come about as part of a power-sharing agreement between the military and pro-democracy demonstrators, following pressure from the US and its Arab allies amid growing concerns the political crisis could ignite a new civil war.

Mofarah said Islam had been a peaceful part of Sudanese life for centuries, and had not been introduced through violence or conflict. 

He also stressed the importance of religious tolerance in the post-Bashir era.

“Religious tolerance has also been given a significant importance in the Holy Qur’an, in which Muslims have been urged to accept and respect other religions and live in peace with them,” Mofarah said.

“This constitutes a clear call for the Sudanese to live according to the saying ‘you have your religion and I have mine,’ as long as there is no infighting, sedition or wars and as long as people interact,” the minister added.

“The issue of peace, tolerance, loyalty and resilience is one of the indicators that will allow us to build this nation on new foundations, centered around freedom, justice, equality and noble moral values,” he said.

Sudan’s power-sharing deal calls for the government to reach a peace agreement with the rebels within six months. 


Arab and world leaders pay tribute to Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak

Updated 16 min 11 sec ago

Arab and world leaders pay tribute to Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak

  • The Egyptian leader passed away on Tuesday at the age of 91

CAIRO: World leaders have paid tribute to Egypt’s longest serving President Hosni Mubarak, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 91, ending his days after a swift and ignominious tumble from power. 

The Egyptian leader was for nearly 30 years the resolute face of stability in the Middle East before being forced by the military to resign after nationwide protests that were part of the Arab world's 2011 pro-democracy upheaval. 

SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi King Salman has expressed his sincere condolences to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi over the death of the country’s former leader Mubarak, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

Also, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent his heartfelt condolences in a cable to Sisi, where he paid tribute to Mubarak and expressed condolences to the leader’s family.

UAE

Rulers of the United Arab Emirates have expressed their condolences and solace on the death of Mubarak, a statement on state-run news agency WAM said. The country will also lower flags for one day in mourning. 

ISRAEL

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Mubarak for delivering "peace and security" to his people and for achieving "peace with Israel". 

"In the name of Israel's citizens and government, I'd like to express deep sorrow over the passing of president Hosni Mubarak," Netanyahu said, calling the long-serving Egyptian leader "a personal friend.. who brought his people to peace and security (and) to peace with Israel."

PALESTINE

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas hailed the former Egyptian president as a supporter of the Palestinian cause. 

A statement from Abbas's office said he mourned the death "with great sorrow" and hailed the "late president's positions in support of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people in achieving their freedom and independence".

KUWAIT

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Sabah also expressed sincere condolences on the death of Mubarak.

Al-AZHAR INSTITUTE 

Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb of Egypt's premier Islamic institution, Al-Azhar, has paid tribute to Mubarak, praising his national role and his prominent role as a hero in the October war in 1973.