The Last of the Islamists: A Humanist Approach
Shiekh Hasan al-Turabi (1932–2016) was a Sudanese politician and an Islamist leader. In this Humanities Lecture, Professor Abdullahi A. Gallab, of ASU's School of Social Transformation, discusses how the Sudanese experience of Hasan al-Turabi Islamism stands as a very important one in the history of Sudan, of the region and in general—not because of its success but because of its total failure.
"It proved that what has been advocated as al-Islam howa al-Hal (Islam is the solution), turned into violence is the solution," writes Gallab. "Hence, Sudanese Islamism (al-Turabi Islamism) presented to the world the idea that such a state is, itself, an unachievable idea neither by default nor by design. His Islamists, as Hasan al-Turabi has stated, 'tarnished the image of Islam,' and Hasan al-Turabi endured more suffering under the hands of his merciless disciples than he suffered from his enemies."
Gallab argues that Islamism, like other –isms (colonialism, Fascism, Nazism, Stalinism) is a crucible for violence and evil. Nevertheless, al-Turabi remains an albatross around the neck of the Islamist movement; the Islamist movement remains as an albatross around his neck, too.
Abdullahi Gallab is a sociologist who brings to his research and teaching the unique perspectives of a scholar and a former journalist practicing in Sudan. Active in the Sudan Studies Association (SSA) of North American (which now has its home within African and African American Studies at ASU), he was the president of SSA from 2012–2015. This U.S.-based association of scholars promotes the advancement of research in the field of Sudan studies and facilitates the distribution of knowledge and understanding of Greater Sudan and its relationship to the wider world. Gallab also serves as co-chair of Islamic Studies for the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Western Region and a board member for the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.
The event is part of the 2019–2020 Humanities Lecture Series, coordinated by the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus.