Title: The Sudanese Islamic Movement Background to Corruption
Author: إبراهيم عبد العزيز عثمان
Date: 05-14-2014, 10:52 AM
The Sudanese Islamic Movement Background to Corruption
Corruption of the Sudanese Islamic movement is not born nowadays. It is deeply inherited within the solicited cadre of the Islamic movement since its inception in the late fifties and beginning of the sixties. This corruption was manifested in many dealings and illegal practices in many institutions that came under their influence in the years that followed its creation. In this short and briefed encounter, I would unearth some of the causes and performances which led to the recent discovery of these ugly crimes nowadays. However, I expect this to be the tip of the huge iceberg that we may never realize its true size and effect!
The main goal of the movement's recruiters among students during the decades of 1950-1970, was to enlist and lure students with the publicly speaking talents. Their utmost focus was never meant to emphasize ethical performance or a sound religious belief but to gain hold of those cadres who can inspire and lead the masses of the elite. It was a successful move that proved to be fruitful in the short run but its long run manifestations were disastrous. The reason for such practice is that during the democratic election, the classical national parties of the Umma and the National Democratic Party usually dominate the regular parliamentary seats. While the Communist Party had dominated and captured all the votes of the elite even in the last election, the communists grabbed eleven out of the twelve graduate’s seats in the last democratic election. In order to break the domination of the socialists to the graduates’ seats, with their highly educated technocrats leaders among the well-disciplined Sudanese civil service at that time, they decided to take a share of that lucrative piece of the pie. Their leader at the time, Dr. Hasan Al Turabi was able to infiltrate and get a seat in the graduates’ elected members in the last free election held in the sixties. I believe he is the sole master mind behind the isalmists’ success in this daring move to break the communists’ monopoly of the graduates’ seats. Anyway, he survived to see and witness the disarray and split of his own cadre of recruits in later years. His own policy which was successful at the time, came back to haunt him personaly in later years.
At the end of the sixties years, the Muslim Brotherhood had gained full momentum in high schools and universities, synchronized with the slow gradual downfall of the socialists’ movements among the students and the elite. The latter had failed to present themselves to the aspirations of the educated masses of the country. They were very successful during the independence years in the struggle against the British and the decade that followed but they came short to comprehend the truthful demands of the Sudanese society afterwards. At the same time, there was a tremendous external pressure as well that led to the shrinkage of their popular support. By the late sixties, the islamists were able to control the universities and top high schools students’ unions.
One of their unfortunate endeavors at Khartoum University, is that the Islamists students’ union leaders had misused the appropriations of the meager funds that were allotted to them which were meant to help needy students. They were engaged in an ugly discriminating policy to use the funds in soliciting votes for their reelection so as to monopolize the unions’ leadership. However, they had come up with unpopular practices like buying a pick-up Toyota truck to serve the union’s leaders and to pay for the travel and scholarships for their cadres abroad. However, I came to see the same practices when I went for higher studies in the U.S.A. Of-course with the blessing of the Americans at that time, the Muslim Brotherhood was able to form the Muslim Students Association of North America taking advantage of the large numbers of Muslim students that use to come from the rich Middle East region and other countries. This association was generously funded by the rich Middle East countries and rich students as well. High monthly salaries of $2000-$4000 American dollars were paid to the leaders of the association and their family members at the time when the Sudanese student salary was around $120 American dollar per month. The same corrupt policy which was practiced at the University of Khartoum students’ union were transferred aboard on a wider basis to syphon students' money and the financial support that came from the Middle East rich countries.
The rise and success of the Sudanese Communist Party at those decades had bothered the Americans and their agents in the Middle East, who would like to safeguard this important region from any future threats. As usual, the Saudis are quick to respond to the Americans requests to bankroll the Muslim Brotherhood movement with a huge financial help and with the establishment of Faisal Islamic Bank series in Egypt and Sudan to guarantee a continual financial support to the Islamists. Another window of opportunity that opened itself for those who claim honesty and modesty! We all aware of the illegal practices of Faisal Islamic Banks in buying harvest, currency and trade. The islamists leaders hug all of the high ranking post of this bank milking all of its profits through corrupt practices and dealings.
President Numeiri opened the door for the islamists to join hands in 1978 after giving them some high posts within his embattled weak government. Some money had exchanged hands during the deal and we all had seen a photo of a cheque at the time which was paid to one of the islamists leader by Numeiri second man, Abuel Gasim Mohamed Ibrahim. The cheque was revealed after they disagreed and exchanged accusations with the military government of Numeiri. The whole fiasco was very embarrassing but to the Islamic movement’s goal of moving towards full control of power, it is merely one step in that direction. This beneficiary marriage didn’t last long but it opened the appetite of the Islamic movement in moving towards their own military coup to clinch to power.
Again the godfather of the movement (Dr. Turabi) had succeeded in infiltrating Numeiri’s army preparing for the D day which finally occurred in June of 1989. As soon as the coup succeeded, they consolidated their grip on the country creating an unhealthy brutal autocratic power. We all know the a,b,c of political science that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Hence the final phase of the movement’s heavy corruption practices was initiated silently at the beginning of their rule. However, greed, cooruption and competition among its leadership had led to their eventual split in later years. This split had unearthed accidently some of the corruption and nepotism that plagued the movement and the country during the last twenty five years of its rule. It is a very well-orchestrated institutionalized theft of our meager resources that left Sudan in a shamble. I am quite certain; the worst scenario will be unfolding soon!
Now the movement is at crossroads, either to call it quit or seek another exit! They would not take the first choice because of fear of reprisals from the victims of the past. They fear vengeance for the hefty blood that was shed previously. The other exit is to find willing partners to share the unwanted burden of running a country that was left in ruins. They want partners that give them pardon for a gradual safe exist through running an election for this coming partner to assume power. In both cases, I think they should leave. Enough is enough!