Islam, the State and Politics in the Sudan

Four years after the fall of President Nimeiri of the Sudan (on April 5, 1985) the relationship between Islam and the State continued to be a thorny issue in Sudanese politics. The cardinal issue in Sudan’s longstanding political crisis remains whether the State is declared secular in view of the country’s diversity of cultures, creeds, and ethnic composition, or whether it becomes Islamic in deference to the northern Sudan’s Muslim majority. This paper analyses the changing patterns of the relationship between Islam and the State in the Sudan, the social and political forces behind the drive to introduce the Islamic legal system, the status of non-Muslims under an Islamic Constitution, and possible alternatives for resolving the political crises in a country characterized by distinct religious, ethnic and cultural loyalties. Attention is paid to Nimeiri’s alignment with the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, the introduction of the Sharia law in 1983, Nimeiri’s drive to Islamicize the Sudanese economy, his assault on the Constitution in 1984 in order to align it with Islamic jurisprudence, the Muslim Brotherhood as the driving force behind the Islamic Sharia, the ‘rationale’ behind Nimeiri’s Islamicization, the Sharia after Nimeiri, the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) policy document on the South, the Umma Party’s alternative Sharia law, and the ‘Sudan Charter’ of the NIF (National Islamic Front, formerly the Muslim Brotherhood). Ref.

Title: Islam, the State and Politics in the Sudan
Author: Bob, Ali
Year: 1990
Periodical: Northeast African Studies
Volume: 12
Issue: 2-3
Pages: 201-220
Language: English
Geographic term: Sudan
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/43660325
Abstract: Four years after the fall of President Nimeiri of the Sudan (on April 5, 1985) the relationship between Islam and the State continued to be a thorny issue in Sudanese politics. The cardinal issue in Sudan’s longstanding political crisis remains whether the State is declared secular in view of the country’s diversity of cultures, creeds, and ethnic composition, or whether it becomes Islamic in deference to the northern Sudan’s Muslim majority. This paper analyses the changing patterns of the relationship between Islam and the State in the Sudan, the social and political forces behind the drive to introduce the Islamic legal system, the status of non-Muslims under an Islamic Constitution, and possible alternatives for resolving the political crises in a country characterized by distinct religious, ethnic and cultural loyalties. Attention is paid to Nimeiri’s alignment with the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, the introduction of the Sharia law in 1983, Nimeiri’s drive to Islamicize the Sudanese economy, his assault on the Constitution in 1984 in order to align it with Islamic jurisprudence, the Muslim Brotherhood as the driving force behind the Islamic Sharia, the ‘rationale’ behind Nimeiri’s Islamicization, the Sharia after Nimeiri, the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) policy document on the South, the Umma Party’s alternative Sharia law, and the ‘Sudan Charter’ of the NIF (National Islamic Front, formerly the Muslim Brotherhood). Ref.