RECOMMENDED READING: Interview With Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood Leader


An interview Al-Hibir Yusuf Nur al-Dayyim, General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan, provides some insight into several issues concerning the global Muslim Brotherhood. Here, al-Dayyim is asked about the global organization of the Muslim Brotherhood:

“Q: Is the group in Sudan related to the global organization of the Muslim Brotherhood and subject to its authority?

“The international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood is a receptacle for the coordination of efforts and attitudes and does not interfere with the activities of local groups, in accordance with its regulations and constitution, unless local groups seek its support or opinion to resolve problems.

Despite claims in the past by global Brotherhood leaders that the “international organization” had been dismantled, al-Dayyim’s reply strongly suggests that it continues to exists. Al-Dayyim also comments on the relationship between the Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood and Hassan al-Turabi, a past leader in the global Brotherhood:

“Q: The Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood experienced a series of deviations and organizational divisions: In 1979 Al-Turabi left, or you left him, and then in 1991 it split. What are the reasons for these deviations?

“In 1977, Al-Turabi was reconciled with the regime of President Gaafar Muhammad al-Numiri. The Muslim Brotherhood disagreed politically with this, and also with Dr. Hassan al-Turabi’s eccentric views, which were denounced by the Muslim Brotherhood. And because of these two reasons, the Muslim Brotherhood reorganized the group and appointed me as its Amir. There are brothers who have become intolerant or have other problems, thus they deviated from the group.

Q: After President Al-Bashir removed Dr. Al-Turabi from the Sudanese Government, you fully participated in the government. Was Al-Turabi an obstacle to your participation?

“Of course, the fundamental difference between the Islamic trend that directs the government and the Muslim Brotherhood was due to Dr. Al-Turabi’s position and ideas, and the Muslim Brotherhood had personal differences with him. After his departure the brothers felt the obstacle had gone, and they boosted their participation in the government and reassessed their stance toward it.

Al-Dayyim also takes up the issue of Doctor Isam El-Bashir, a former Minister of Religious Affairs in the Islamic National Front (NIF), Turabi’s Sudanese political party, and a member of the Sudanese “Transitional National Assembly”, composed primarily of members of the NIF. As previous posts have reported, Dr. Basheer (aka Issam El-Bashir) has held numerous positions associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood including as a former director of the UK charity Islamic Relief and a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. He currently heads the Center for Moderation in Kuwait which is also associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. Here, Al-Dayyim is asked about the departure of Al-Bashir from the Sudanese Brotherhood:

“Q: Was the dominance of the group by the historic leadership the reason for Dr. Isam Ahmad al-Bashir’s exit, considering his capabilities? And the fact that this leadership blocked him from attaining a leadership position?

“No, Isam left for other reasons

Q: What caused Isam al-Bashir to leave the group?”

Brother Isam al-Bashir was the minister of guidance and endowments as a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in the national program government, which was formed following the national reconciliation initiative that emerged after the proposal of Al-Sharif Zain al-Abdin al-Hindi’s Democratic Unionist Party, and after the signing of the peace agreement between the National Congress led by President Al-Bashir and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement led by John Garang. Before the government of national unity was formed, the Muslim Brotherhood evaluated its experience in government, represented by the Ministry of Guidance. After the evaluation, the group’s Shura Council decided to exclude Dr. Isam al-Bashir from the list of those in the government. Dr. Isam disputed the decision of the Shura Council and left the group. Now he is a member in the executive office of the National Congress. Dr. Isam should have complied with the group’s decision, because it was the one that presented him the first time and that is presenting someone else this time.

(Source: Sudan: Muslim Brotherhood ‘General Guide’ Discusses Policies, Positions, History Jihadist Websites — OSC Summary Saturday, June 21, 2008)

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