|Title||Islamists and democracy in Sudan: the role of Hasan Turabi, 1989-2001|
This research assesses the experiment of the Islamic movement in Sudan following the 1989 coup. The main question that needs to be answered with regard to Turabi and the Islamists in Sudan is the gap between theory and practice. Sudan is a complex country, with a diverse population encompassing different tribes, languages, religions and cultures, all impacting on the country’s history and future. Consequently, the Islamic movement was influenced by the nature of this society.
The Islamisc movement in Sudan was established in the 1940s, linked to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and to revivalists in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as al-Afghani, Mohammed ‘Abdu, Mawdudi, Hasan al-Turabi and Rashid al-Ghannouchi. The research assesses the theories of Turabi in Shura, democracy and issues of government. It critically evaluates the concepts of Tawhīd, the state in Islam, and human rights, minorities, women, etc., in the Islamic state.
This research established that gaps existed between the theory and practice of Turabi and the Islamists in Sudan. Their military coup represents the first violation of democracy. They possessed a clear human rights’ vision, but in practice violated them from the early days of the coup. They developed mature theories on power sharing, justice and equality, but have monopolised power since 1989.
Shura was implemented in the movement institutions, but remains to be enhanced in the State. In the first decade, Islamist succeeded in developing the economic sector, by exploring for oil, and establishing a free market, but with no mechanisms to mitigate its negative side-effects. In society, significant laws were developed, in favour of women, education, and media. One may argue that Islamists need to take further steps towards Shura and democracy on the practical level, and establish proper mechanisms.