Turabi, Hassan Abdallah al-

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Turabi, Hassan Abdallah al-

Hassan Abdallah al- Turabi (hä´sän äbdä´lä äl-tōōrä´bē), 1932–2016, Sudanese religious and political leader, b. Kassala, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (now Sudan). He studied law in Sudan and London before receiving a doctorate from the Sorbonne. Joining the Sudanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, he became its leader and taught law at the Univ. of Khartoum. In 1964 he came to prominence when the military dictatorship of Gen. Ibrahim Abboud was toppled. He then served in the national legislature (1965–67), and advocated a constitution based on Islamic law (sharia). A military coup engineered by leftist secularists (1969) led to harsh measures against Turabi and his party, but in 1977 he joined the authoritarian regime of President Nimeiri, who had led the 1969 coup. Turabi became attorney general (1979–82), but he later supported Nimeiri's ouster. He formed the National Islamic Front (1985; later part of the National Congress party) and supported the 1989 coup that brought Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir to power. Turabi was foreign minister (1989), secured the imposition of Islamic law, and formed an umbrella group for international Islamists; he aided bin Laden and was implicated in an attempt to assassinate Egypt's President Mubarak. His tenure as speaker of the national assembly (1996–99) ended when Bashir, threatened by parliament's attempt to limit his powers, forced him from power. Turabi formed the Popular National Congress, became a leading opposition figure, and spent months in detention (2002–3, 2004–5). The government several times alleged he supported Darfur rebels; in 2009 he accused Bashir of complicity in war crimes.

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