Tuesday, 1 September 2009

A fatwa

In a furore of supposed religious fervour and piety a young university teacher in his thirties educated in Saudi Arabia in Islamic doctrine declared last week that members of the Communist Party of Sudan (est.1946) are obviously and definitely infidels, and as such their association should be banned. As individuals their belief should be subject to investigation and legal scrutiny, either they do believe in Islam and must therefore by necessity relinquish communist convictions, or they do not believe in Islam and must then face persecution as renegades of faith. The angry young sheikh clarified the consequences of communist affiliation for the family. He warned parents of marrying off their daughters to communists, since they are to his judgement apostates, and their marriage to Moslem women a violation of sharia; children born out of such matrimony are to him criminal products of extra-marital fornication. He went further and declared that a Moslem community has the duty of subduing these apostates and halting their subversive activities. To this end he quoted the toppling of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan born out of the Saur revolution of 1978, the concurrent Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and its aftermath - CIA-run Jihad. His written fatwa borrowed heavily, of course without declared reference, from Abdullah Azzam's text 'al Saratan al Ahmar' (the Red Cancer). Abdullah Azzam (1941-1989), the pioneer of Afghan Jihad, was till his assassination in 1989 the leader of the Afghan Arabs, the league of Arab militants who answered his call for Jihad in Afghanistan against the regime of Nuur Mohammed Taraki and the consequent Soviet occupation. Azzam was a central figure in the liaison between the CIA and the mujahideen. Notably Azzam also called for Jihad in Palestine, his home country, but never managed to shift to this higher cause.

What the young Sudanese ethusiast of Azzam & Co, running down to bin Laden and Zawahiri, is proclaiming with such violent conviction is not particularly new. It has been a permanent feature of anti-communist propaganda, in Moslem countries and in the secular West for that matter. What is of concern here is timing, vehicle, and proponents of such false battles. In 1965 Turabi's Islamic Charter launched a similar assault on the Communist Party of Sudan, and managed to rally around its call the political mainstream, Umma and DUP, an assault that ended with the subversion of the young democratic institutions born out of the 1964 revolution and its progressive upheaval, parliament and high court; eventually Communist MPs were expelled from parliament and the Party was banned. Today the sheikh's call resonates in solo. The mainstream parties chose the pro-communist stance, and so did Turabi's Popular Congress. Even the National Congress Party did not dare official approval of the young sheikh's fatwa, offering him the shadow of support.

The young chap needs to be reminded that the Sudanese have since 1946 offered their Communist Party support and approval; it has grown and developed in their midst and under their protection. Communist women and men occupy the high grounds of esteem and respect among their fellow citizens. It is not in his hands to reverse history, his noise will soon abide and the Sudanese and their Party shall prevail.

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Creative Commons Licence
This work by Magdi El Gizouli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.