Sudanese opposition activist Khalid Omar Yousef said in a July 5 show on Sudania 24 TV (Sudan) that the Sudanese army has been controlled by Islamists for 30 years. He recounted that during his mandatory military service, high-ranking officers would make him and his comrades chant "there is no god but Allah" even though the rank-and-file soldiers and officers only chanted regular military chants. He explained that this was an example of how the Islamists infused the military with their ideology. Yousef claimed that the Islamists have been pitting freedom, peace, and justice against religion and shari'a law, and he objected that religious belief becomes hypocritical in the absence of freedom because the people fear the state rather than Allah.
Khaled Omar Yousef: "The Sudanese Army has been infiltrated by the Islamists. They have been controlling it for 30 years."
Interviewer: "The Islamization of the army..."
Khaled Omar Yousef: "They have been in control for 30 years. I was sent to do mandatory service [in the Sudanese Army] when I was a student. The rank-and-file soldiers have nothing to do with the Islamic Front. When we participated in the morning drills, the drill sergeant would make us chant ordinary army drill chants. But when one of the officers came with his car and saw us, he would stop us and make us chant: 'There is no god but Allah.' He changed the slogan according to the ideology that the Islamists wanted to infuse into the military. The truth is that the army has been controlled by a political group with a specific ideology for the past 30 years.
"The Islamists had no state – building plan, so they presented the struggle as revolving around shari'a law. They had persisted in engraving into the people's minds the idea of Islamic constitution, time and again, from 1965 to 1989. In 1989, they took exclusive control of the government. Let's see what they have done to shari'a law. They began with false and misleading slogans like: 'Shari'a, shari'a until we die. Shari'a, shari'a before food.' The shari'a can never come before food, because you are supposed to implement it on human beings, and these human beings will die if they do not eat. You cannot implement shari'a law on dead people. Therefore, food must take precedence. Take the slogan: 'Religion must regain its glory, or else our blood, the blood of others, and everybody's blood shall be spilled.' Who will uphold religion if everybody's blood has been spilled?
"Today, those people who oppose freedom, peace, and justice are trying to bring us back to square one. They are pitting freedom against religion, peace against religion, and justice against religion. With regard to religion itself – without freedom, religious belief becomes hypocritical. When the state forces religion on the people, the people do not become religious because they fear Allah, but because they are afraid of the state's weapons."