By Amir H. Idris (auth.)
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Extra resources for Conflict and Politics of Identity in Sudan
These historical and political circumstances certainly have led to political violence in the postcolonial period. However, the spread of political violence in contemporary Sudan should not be given, as is often done, cultural or racial interpretation. 2 In the Sudan, nationalist groups have shared profoundly different visions of history and identity, each connecting past and present through different political interpretation. The conflicting interpretation of history and identity, however, cannot be understood without locating them within the historical processes of state formation.
In this sense, Arabization and Islamization became sanctioned by state policy. ” Other discourses of national identity, however, challenge this view, and insist that these united national identities are in reality expressions of Arab chauvinisms. The Southern Sudanese, for instance, have rejected the imposed vision of national identity and instead have asserted their own narratives of national identity. This new discourse emphasizes the importance of the indigenous cultural practices and its distinctiveness.
History, identity, and conflict / 17 The official history however has conditioned the truth of the Arab Islamic regime in the Sudan. History as a knowledge system, of course, is firmly rooted in institutional practices that invoke the nation-state. 13 Such official discourses provide particular constructions of the national past, which work to produce a consensus about the past and to ratify the rule of existing regimes. 14 Such hegemonic discourses often appropriate certain local traditions and reinvent them as natural, while dismissing other traditions that pose too great a threat to the reproduction of the existing sociopolitical order.