Dr.Hassan Abdullah turabi recieved with sepcial distinictioin his Ph.D. in 1965 from the Unversity of Sorbonne in Paris , that had followed a master degree from the unversity of London, and his L.I.B from fuclty of law at the unversity of Khartoum.Dr. Turabi is now the chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of the Sudan
- As Chairman of the Sudan's National Assembly, how do you see your role as it pertains to the constitutional reforms now taking place in your counrty?
The Sudan was developed a constitutional law that observes human rights and calls for human duties also. In other words, you have the right to express yourself, but it is a duty. And sometimes we may enforce that duty by law . You have the right to vote, and we may make it that you are obliged to go and vote - we want and need people to participate.
- Political Islam, many have suggested here that the Western world needs to educate itself more on the tenets of Islam.
Many people, unfortunately, don't know what the word Islam means. It's just an ordinary word, and it's is not even a proper noun about religion, it is just a word that means (Surrender, peaceful surrender to God, and to creation, God, nature and human beings. Just that. And Mohammed (Peace be upon him) did not use it. The Koran tells us that this word or this concept means submission and surrender to God and that it was first used by Abraham (Peace be upon him). And we call Abraham a Muslim, and we call Moses a Muslim, and so David an Solomon and Jesus Christ (Peace be upon them all).
- Why all the controversy over the word ( Jihad)?
In Arabic, it's a word of reciprocity. The rrot word is /Ji/ which means effort, and effort, it depends on what effort you are making against one else. If it's an argument you wge that one, he have to counter with an argument only as a measure of equal response. An argument against an argument. If someoneuses force against you , you are then entitled to use force to defent yourself. And in the Koran it's sometimes called (de-foc) and de-foc is like Jihad, de-foc means push , if you push me, I can push yo back as a measured response. And I think that's is where the misperception comes in. I think many veiw Jihad as someone taking an aggresive intiative against someone elese. Really, what it means is effort equally applied against effort placed against you.
- That being the Case,why do you think the Western Media continues to portray the Sudan as a contry that suppresses the members of minorities religious groups and harboring terrorists and so forth?
Harporing terrorists? I mean, really. terrorism is totally against our nature. In our life, in our history, there has never been a single case of political assasination. We don't have Terrorisms, and we hardly have any crime in this country, or the violence that is associated with crimes, much less terrorism. it's a complete fictioin.
- What is the Sudan to you to day?
The Sudan is a microcosm of Afirca amd the Arab world. Different colors, different shades of colors, and different origins, the Sudan is very open. It has nine neighboring countries, and all the neighbors are like Mexico to the United States. The Sudan has received a couple of million refugees, but we don't call them refugees. We just view them as human beings. And most of them stay on in the Sudan, they never go back.
This is an under-populated country. We have a million square miles and only 26 million people. We could hold 300 million , perhaps even abillion people. So we are an under-populated country that has a lot of water, and a lot of arable land that can be devoloped. We have rich oil and mineral resources.
And this is the only country that is African ans Arabic. It is the only country that not only has the Arabic language, but virtually all the African languages. Here, we have Moroccans, Nigerians, Sengalese, and of course , Ethiopian, Kenyans, Ugandans, Congolese , It's an open country, and that is why our people are open.
To be Continued ...