Pro-Sharia supporters in Sudan reject the reform of Islamic laws which now allows non-muslims to consume alcohol in private and stops women from seeking permission from a male relative to travel with their children, among others.
The Sharia advocates want non-Muslims to be barred from drinking alcohol and women to still seek permission from male relative before travelling with their children.
The protesters, who thronged the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, addressed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok with some holding up photographs of Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari, who had announced the reforms last weekend.
The reforms which ease some Islamic laws come after long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was ousted last year following massive street protests.
The sudanese government recently overturned laws that says non-Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol. The government also annulled the apostasy law and public flogging of ‘disobedient people’.
According to the 1991 Criminal Law introduced by the overthrown Omar al-Bashir government, the punishment for apostasy – or the abandonment of Islam through actions or words – was stoning to death.
The protesters, who oppose any easing of Islamic laws, shouted: “God’s laws shall not be replaced” – and had banners saying: “No to secularism…Hamdok, Khartoum is not New York”.
Under the new laws, women also no longer need permission from a male relative to travel with their children and non-Muslims are now allowed to consume alcohol in private, however the ban on Muslim drinking remains.
And anyone convicted of renouncing Islam, or apostasy, will no longer face the death penalty.
The imposition of strict Islamist laws in the 1980s was a key factor in the long-running civil war which eventually led to independence for South Sudan.
The majority of people in South-Sudan are Christian or follow traditional religions.