Khartoum, Sudan (CNN) — Many southerners are voting for an independent Sudan this week, thirsting for freedom from the north. They equate sharia or Islamic law that President Omar al-Bashir has vowed to strengthen with slavery.
Al-Bashir has declared that if Southern Sudan votes in favor of separation, sharia will become the main source of Sudan’s Constitution, Islam the state religion and Arabic the official language.
Many in the north are embracing al-Bashir’s pledge.
Newspaper publisher Al-Tayib Mustafa said he will be happy to see his nation break in two. Islam, he said, comes above all else.
“When the south goes, then the north will be Muslim,” he said. “For a Muslim, unity is not as important as religion. Sharia is religion. Sharia is Islam.”