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History / Africa / Islamic Studies / Politics

Islam, Sectarianism and Politics in Sudan since the Mahdiyya
Gabriel Warburg

"Meticulously tackles the issue of Islam and politics during the contemporary era. It will be well received by all interested in Sudan's affairs and the issue of Islam in politics."—Dr. Abdel Salam Sidahmed

Gabriel Warburg contends that efforts in Sudan to enforce an Islamic state and an Islamic constitution on a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society have led to prolonged civil war, endless military coups, and political, social, and economic bankruptcy. He analyzes the history of Sudan's Islamic politics to illuminate current conflicts in the region.

The revolt in 1881 was led by a Mahdi who came to renew and purify Islam. It was in effect an uprising against a corrupt Islamic regime, the largely alien Turco-Egyptian ruling elite. The Mahdiyya was therefore an anti-colonial movement, seeking to liberate Sudan from alien rule and to unify the Muslim Umma, and it later evolved into the first expression of Sudanese nationalism and statehood.

Post-independence Islamic radicalism, in turn, can be viewed against the background of the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium (1899–1956). It also thrived as a result of the resurgence of Islam since the mid-1960s, when Nasserism and other popular ideologies were swept aside. Finally, Sudan has emerged as the center of militancy in Sunni Islam since June 1989, when a group of radical Islamic officers, under the guidance of Dr. Hassan al-Turabi and the NIF, assumed power.

Gabriel Warburg is former vice chancellor of the University of Haifa. He is the author of many books on Sudan and Islam, including The Sudan under Wingate, 1899–1916 and Islam, Nationalism, and Communism in a Traditional Society: The Case of Sudan.

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October 2002
LC: 2002067595 DT
272 pp.    6 x 9
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