Monday, 3 December 2007

President overrules Mohammed

President Mullah

This gets absurd and cannot approach farce faster than a shooting star zips past the world.

The President of Sudan as the military dictator who took power by overthrowing a democratically elected government in 1989, had two British Muslim peers of the realm in audience today.

Marshal Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, you should read that again, the President of Sudan is not a religious leader; he gained power through the barrel of the gun. Sudan has been in conflict for decades first between the Muslim North and Christian/Animist South and now the genocide perpetrated by the Arabs on the darker skinned of the West of Sudan in Darfur.

The only religious authority the President can call upon can be as trivial as the fact that he is a practising Muslim though he made alliances that have boosted his power and status by allying himself to Islamist causes and making the North of Sudan an Islamic state governed by Sharia Law.

Power to forgive

As I write, the peers of the realm seem to have secured the pardon of Gillian Gibbons as it appears once her sentence was given there was no right of appeal apart from a commutation or pardon by the President who appears to have supreme authority to overturn or revoke the force of religious law.

It is welcoming at least to see that political power wields that much influence over religious excess and if this means that the President can exercise compassion and has elements of humanity rather than pandering to expediency it is time to stop the genocide in Darfur immediate – call the Janjaweed back to the mosques in Khartoum.

Beyond this all, it means that there are men on earth who can receive tribute on behalf of Islam, receive apologies on behalf of Allah and Mohammed the Prophet and commute any sentence zealous Islamic clerics can pronounce in scapegoating others and exercising enough fear, terror, trembling and loathing to keep the locals in line.

As for Teddy Bear, one wonders if there would be a renaming ceremony as Sudan showcases everything that is just not so about the “religion of peace” and at one time in the courts of Suleiman the Magnificent, the religion of great enlightenment.

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