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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Discovering the South': Sudanese Dilemmas for Islam in Africa
Author:El-Affendi, Abdelwahab
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:Islamic movements
minority groups
civil wars
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/722373
Abstract:The resurgence, since September 1985, of the radical Islamic group of the Sudan, the National Islamic Front (NIF), appears to have a direct correlation with the civil war in the South. This paper examines the dilemmas of Sudanese Islam against the background of the increasing North-South polarization. It pays attention to the emergence of the 'South' as a political concept in the 1950s; the development of an Islamist movement as a reaction to the emerging North-South conflict; the formation of a new parliamentary bloc, the New Forces Congress (NFC) in 1967; the coup of 25 May 1969, which brought decisively anti-Islamist forces to power; the 'National Reconciliation' deal with Nimeiri which brought the opposition National Front (including the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood) to government in 1977; the second civil war, which started in 1983; and the NIF counter-offensive, with which the North-South polarization took a distinctly Muslim-secularist overtone. The author argues that it is unlikely, in the given circumstances, that the conflicting demands of the two camps could be satisfied within one State. The likely break-up of the Sudanese State could have far-reaching implications for the fragile State system in Africa and for Islamic ideology and practice. Notes, ref.