Tags: ML | Sudan

Sudanese Islamist Leader Al-Turabi Dies at 84

Saturday, 05 March 2016 03:18 PM

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Hassan al-Turabi, the Sudanese Islamist who played a key role in the 1989 coup that brought President Omar al-Bashir to power and who once hosted Osama bin Laden, died Saturday at the age of 84, Sudan's state-run news agency said.

Al-Turabi championed radical Islam in the early 1990s, inviting bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri to Sudan. He once called the United States the "incarnation of the devil" and hailed bin Laden as a hero.

But Sudan expelled al-Qaida under U.S. and international pressure in 1996, and soon thereafter al-Turabi began to remake himself as a mainstream politician.

Al-Bashir dismissed him as parliament speaker after he backed legislation aimed at curbing the president's powers in 1999, and he went on to form the opposition Popular Congress Party. Al-Turabi was jailed on a number of occasions and spent more than two years under house arrest.

Born the son of a religious judge in 1932, al-Turabi was a lifelong scholar of Islam. The oft-smiling, soft-spoken cleric was among the few Islamic scholars to argue that Muslim women could marry Christian or Jewish men.

He passed away at the Royal Care International Hospital in the capital, Khartoum. He was brought to the hospital early on Saturday after losing consciousness at his office. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Sudanese state TV stopped its regular programming in mourning, airing instead a recitation of the Quran.

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Hassan al-Turabi, the Sudanese Islamist who played a key role in the 1989 coup that brought President Omar al-Bashir to power and who once hosted Osama bin Laden, died Saturday at the age of 84, Sudan's state-run news agency said.Al-Turabi championed radical Islam in the...
ML,Sudan
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2016-18-05
Saturday, 05 March 2016 03:18 PM
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