Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sudan, Hassan al-Turabi

Hassan al-Turabi born in 1932, is a religious and Islamist political leader in Sudan who made have been instrumental in institutionalising sharia in the northern part of the country. He has been called a longtime hardline ideological leader. Turabi has espoused progressive Islamist ideas, such as the embrace of democracy, healing the breach between the Sunni and Shia, integrating art, music,singing into religion, and expanding the rights of women, where he noted:
The prophet himself used to visit women, not men, for counseling and advice. They lead prayer. Even in his battles, they are there! In the election between Othman and Ali to determine who will be the successor to the prophet, they voted.
In another interview he said,
I want women to workand become part of public life, because the home does not much work any more. He was replying to an interview on Al-Araiya TV in 2006, Al-Turabi describe the requirement of hijab as applying only to the prophet's wives, saying hijab was " a curtain in the prophet's room. naturally, it was impossible for the prophet;s wife to sit there when people entered the room." he opposed deah penalty for apostasy from Islaam and opposed Ayatollah Khomeini's death sentence fatwa against Salman Rushdie. He declared islamist organisations "too focussed on narrow historical debates and behaviral issues of what should be forbidden, at the expense of economic and social development.
He thought that the sharia should be applied gradually and not forcibly and should share power with the Christians in a federal system. However after Turabi came to power in a military coup d'etat that overthrow a democratic govt. his regime was characterised by harsh human rights violations rather than progressive or liberal theology.