Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Civilising the Uncivilised with Humanism

Sudanese women campaigning for reforms
Sudan scraps apostasy law and alcohol ban for non-Muslims - BBC News

Good news that under Sudan's new 'reforming' Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Sudan is abolishing many of the old Islamic fundamentalist laws of the ousted former president, Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted by a coup following street protests. Sudan is now governed by a council which includes military officers who staged the coup.

What is striking is how the laws being abolished are being replaced by more humanitarian, even Humanist laws such as one might expect to find in a modernt civilised state.

For example, the death-penalty for apostasy has been abolished. Under al-Bashir, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, a pregnant woman who married a Christian man in 2014 was sentenced to be hanged but she managed to flee the country. That law has now been revoked and Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari has said "We are keen to demolish any kind of discrimination that was enacted by the old regime and to move toward equality of citizenship and a democratic transformation".

Other reforms include
  • Female genital mutilation being made a crime.
  • Women can now travel with their children without the permission of a male relative.
  • Non-Muslims can drink alcohol in private. They may also import and sell it.
  • Morality police will no longer carry out public floggings.

Abdulbari has declared his intention to "drop all the laws violating the human rights in Sudan" and to safeguard the rights of the 3% of Sudanese who are non-Muslim.

The striking thing is how much Humanist morality has infiltrated Sudanese society so that these reforms, tentative though they are, are seen a preferable to the Early Iron Age tribal morality of fundamentalist Islam.

Just as the Christian world has gradually dispensed with the old Biblical Bronze Age tribal morality of the Old Testament and in fact outlawed most of it, so the same process is going on in Islamic countries like Sudan. As human cultures evolve and mature, new ethics and new, more humanitarian ideas replace the old ideas which have become fossilised and increasingly inappropriate, and yet unable to change with the culture.

Eventually tension gets to the point where a profound, revolutionary, change is required to replace the old reactionary regimes with progressive, humanitarian ones.

In the west, the revolutionary change is the abandonment of 'faith' and disaffiliation from the established churches because Christianity no longer represents the evolved, humanitarian social ethics concerning issues such as gay rights, reproductive and marital rights and the assumed right to privilege and deference by Christian clerics and church leaders.

If events in Sudan are a guide, The Islamic world may be entering it's period of Enlightenment as it is subjected to the examples of Humanist ethics.

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1 comment :

  1. These are very positive signs. It will be interesting to see if there is much protest from the Islamo-nutballs against the changes.

    Religion is actually declining at quite a rate in, at least, the Arab world, something I noted (scroll down a bit) a few months ago as a major development in modern history. It seems the internet and improved education are working their effects there, just like in the West -- though those countries where religion has been so entrenched are lagging behind us somewhat in secularization, the end result will be the same.


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