Religion has an important place in Sudanese society, and it has been used as a means of political domination. British colonialism had favored and empowered the Sufi orders of the Mahddiyya and Marghaniyya, with the result that the heads and families of those orders became the hegemonic Sufi establishment who used Sufism as a power capacity tool of political domination in the Sudan. The Sudanese Islamic/Islamist Movement (SIM), which appeared with a different religious ideology from that of the Sufi establishment, wanted to impose its ideology on the Sudanese masses. As the elites in the Sudan were fractured, allowing the SIM to impose its ideology as a means of domination, the SIM forcibly seized state power through the June 30, 1989 military coup. This capture of state power gave Al-Turabi, the head and ideologue of the SIM, the capacity to impose the SIM’s radical ideology on the Sudanese masses. Thereafter, under Al-Turabi’s leadership from the Sudan, the SIM supported likeminded radical religious movements in Eritrea and Somalia. Those countries faced their own factional conflicts for state power, which provided a great opportunity to expand the SIM ideology. While imposing the SIM ideology in and out of the Sudan, the SIM faced a power conflict within its ranks. Al-Bashir, the head of the SIM’s military faction, used military power to oust Al-Turabi from state power, resulting in the palace coup of 1999. During that coup, most members of the SIM sided with Al-Bashir. The post-Al-Turabi regime is composed of competing factions of the SIM leaders and members who sided with Al-Bashir in the palace coup, and who hold sensitive positions within the regime. Therefore, so as not to be removed from state power, Al-Bashir is in a power relation with those factions. Thus, the Sudan’s continued support for radical Islamist movements in Eritrea and Somalia after the palace coup is a byproduct of power relations within the post-Al-Turabi regime. This byproduct of power relations is a tactic conducted by Al-Bashir to discourage the competing factions within the regime from removing him from state power. It demonstrates that under Al-Bashir’s leadership, the SIM expansionist ideology, to which the competing factions remain attached, has not been abandoned.


Political Science Department

Degree Name

MA in Political Science

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2015

First Advisor

Farah Ramsis, Nadia

Committee Member 1

Elnur, Ibrahim

Committee Member 2

Pinfari, Marco


151 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Bashīr, ʻUmar Ḥasan Aḥmad, 1944-

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Turābī, Ḥasan.


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The writing of this dissertation was a personal adventure, which is why I am happy to have studied at the American University in Cairo. In this page I would like to show my thanks to the individuals who aided me during my study at AUC. First, I would like to thank my advisor Dr. Nadia Farah, who had accepted to take the gamble of being both my thesis advisor and for supervising me while I was her teachers’ assistant. I am extremely appreciative of how she helped during the writing of this dissertation. I am also very thankful of Dr. Elnur’s extreme patience during the writing of this thesis, for being my point of reference on Sudanese politics, for giving me helpful materials for this dissertation, and for also being source of inspiration as his writings and my discussions with him had proven to me that national activism for Sudan can be also pursed through academia, not only through the streets. Similarly, I would like to thank Dr. Marco Pinfari, who I am greatly and equally in debt to for I learned a wealth of knowledge from his courses, and conversing with him, for teaching me to be critical, and not to take things as a given, for accepting to be a reader for my dissertation at a critical time, and for also giving me his great feedback, along with the Dr. Nadia Farah and Dr.Elnur, that furthered the academic value of my dissertation. Second, I would like to thank my family and relatives, for whom all I will always be in debt to for their constant support and patience with me, especially during the writing of this dissertation. Third, I would like to thank every friend I have made while studying at AUC, life would have been boring without such friends. I know if I had written every name of my friends, this acknowledgement page will be very exhaustive. And So, I would like to say, if you are reading this, then you must be one of my friends. Also, I would like to wish my friends who are still writing their dissertations best of luck am sure they their contributions will be profound, and amazing. Fourth, I would love to thank everyone in the Political Science department as they made feel a member of the Political Science department community. I am certainly indebt to the faculty, whom I surely took courses with or conversed with as I truly learned from what they taught me or what they strove to teach me. Fifth, I would like to thank the director of Graduate Student Services & fellowships Mrs. Sawsan Mardini, who had provided me great support not only during my graduate studies, but also during my under graduate studies. Likewise, I would like to thank, if I might say, her team of great individuals such as John Sedky, Nashwa Abdel Salam, Yasmine Ibrahim, and the others as they all were always nice to me, helpful and very welcoming when I visited their offices. Finally, but not least, I am in debt to the generosity of fellowships I had attained: The Charles Bailey fellowship, the University Fellowship, and the African Graduate Fellowship, as those fellowships had given me the opportunity to purse my graduate studies at AUC. I would like to conclude, by asserting that there are other individuals who I wanted to include in this acknowledgment, however, due to certain restrictions, I would like to apologize for not including them. Nonetheless, I would like to assert they equally have a profound impact on my life.