On October 1, 2020, Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar) aired a debate about Sudanese normalization with Israel. Sudanese researcher Al-Baqer Al-Afif said that it is irrelevant whether Sudan benefits directly from normalizing relations with Israel. Rather, he said that Sudan would benefit by being removed from the list of states sponsoring terrorism, by having its relations with the United States normalized, by rejoining the community of nations, and by becoming able to accept international investments and aid. He argued that the Sudanese people are poorer and less educated than the Palestinians, and that Sudan should prioritize the interests of its own people. Sudanese Islamic scholar Adam Ibrahim Al-Shin said that shari'a law absolutely prohibits normalization with Israel so long as it occupies Muslim lands, even if Sudan were to gain from relations with Israel.
Host: "The countries that have normalized relations with Israel have not gotten anything out of it. So why is Sudan insisting on taking this opportunity? African and Arab countries have normalized relations with Israel, and to this day there have no seen any material benefits."
Al-Baqer Al-Afif: "The illiteracy rate [in Sudan] has now risen to 60%. According to official statistics, 65% [of Sudanese people] live in poverty. The Palestinians do not have our illiteracy rates. The Palestinians' standard of living is much better than ours. Compare the Palestinians' stone-built refugee camps to those in Darfur. The state of the Sudanese people is much worst than the state of the Palestinians.
"We believe that... I did not talk about what we want to gain from our relations with Israel. I am talking about debt relief, about removing Sudan from the list of countries that support terrorism, about the return of investments into Sudan, about technological aid, about opening the gates of the international banks for cooperation with Sudan in order to revive the Sudanese economy and to help us take care of our problems.
"So don't tell me that Jordan, or even Mars, have established relations with Israel and gained nothing. I don't care about relations with Israel whether I stand to gain from them or not.
"We are talking about Sudan, and we care about the priorities of Sudan's citizens. If there is progress in the matters [I mentioned before], we will..."
Host: "Dr. Baqer, why is any improvement in the state of Sudan or its people stipulated by normalization with Israel? Why is this the only solution for what is happening to Sudan's citizens?"
Al-Afif: "The normalization is with America, my dear friend. It is with the U.S. – the only superpower in the world which has laid siege and isolated us because President Al-Bashir, who was Sadam Hussein's ally, brought this trouble upon us. This is the problem we are in. We want to normalize relations with America...
"I have said it before: Our main concern is to return to this world. If the price of this is normalizing relations with Israel, and if this will ensure that these very important goals are realized, then we welcome it."
Host: "If you knew for sure, without a doubt, that Sudan would benefit materially, politically, and through investments by normalizing relations with Israel, would you have changed the fatwa?"
Adam Ibrahim Al-Shin: "The prohibition on normalization with this oppressive entity will not be lifted unless this entity gives up and withdraws from all of Palestine. Therefore, this issue is inevitable. The shari'a forbids us from normalizing relations with this entity so long as it occupies Muslim land. There is no wiggle room here, whether it serves our interests or not. A treaty for a specific period of time, until the Muslims regain their strength – that would be acceptable. As for a permanent peace treaty while the occupier still sits on our throat, the shari'a does not allow it."