1. Sudan has been here before
Previous regimes have utterly mismanaged the country’s economy and brought the country to near-standstill. Previous regimes have fallen to popular uprisings. However, in all these cases, the structural issues were never solved. Before this revolution entered its full swing, protests were happening on and off and have been met with arrests and even killings. Whereas this revolution was also sparked primarily by the economic situation, the call quickly changed to bringing the system down and has politicised an entire generation of youth who were previously disconnected from ideological and political activism which has generated an environment conducive for debate and discussion raising the level of awareness compared to previous uprisings. This is despite attempts by both government and traditional opposition forces within the protest movement to silence different opinions.
2. This revolution is part of the “Arab Spring”
As the focus of the revolution is on changing the system and not simply economic reform, this is a sequel to the initial wave of revolutions in 2011. Some argue that Sudan is different because it is a revolution against an “Islamist” regime rather than one against a secular regime. However, the reality is that the revolution is against the system of governance which is the same amongst all Arab countries. The current Arab regime is a dictatorial nation-state run by an elite drunk on power and fiercely “patriotic” in defending borders, a flag and a national identity that was set by the European colonial powers.
The post-colonial Arab system seeks to keep the Muslims divided firstly on Arab nationalism and secondly on loyalty to the borders drawn by Britain and France. This system is secular in nature but will exploit anything to maintain power including Islamic slogans, rulings and symbols if need be. In this regard, Sisi, MBS and Omar al-Basheer are different flavours of the same product. The apparent absence of Islam from the revolution is due to the secular leanings of the largest coalition of political parties (Freedom & Change Movement) not due to an anti-Islamic sentiment among the people. The protest movement united on the call to bring the regime down, but not on what happens next. The ruling military council has played the Shariah card to divide the protest movements with limited success but remain uncommitted themselves to its implementation.
3. Foreign powers are derailing the revolution
The USA, UK, EU, African Union, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Ethiopia have all weighed in on Sudan. For example, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE have been very brazen about their support for the Military council while the UK and EU have been very open about their support for the protest leaders. The USA, African Union (AU) and Ethiopia are playing on both sides. The one thing that all these agree on in principle, is the maintaining of the post-colonial system in place – to keep Sudan boxed into the international system as another secular nation-state in submission to the balance of power and following capitalist principles domestically while “cooperating” with major powers in “resolving” regional issues “politically” i.e. within the current framework.
To this end, they have (so far) successfully turned the attention away from bringing the regime down to negotiating some power-sharing set up between the remains of the old regime and the protest leaders with false promises of a democratic future when they all stood and watched democracy get killed in Egypt recently and Algeria previously. Unless attention is brought back to a radical change in the system, the revolution will fail and all the sacrifices made would have been betrayed by the naivete of the unprincipled leaders of the protest movement.
4. It’s either democracy or Khilafah
People agreed on bringing the regime down but due to the very diverse array of political movements and militias in the country, none have clear public support and many have dubious records in government. The public opinion in the country is for a technocratic civilian government to lead in a transitional period, i.e. a non-ideological government that focuses on solving the immediate issues in the country while preparing for free and fair elections after the end of this period.
The reality is that it will take something really radical to convince the people to return to a dictatorial police state and there is no royal family to establish a monarchy. Communism will never be supported in a majority Muslim country again and deceptive regimes that pretend to be Islamic or democratic will face much fiercer monitoring and accountability so there is only space for either a real democratic system or a real Islamic system. This is where the debate should be.
Democracy needs to be knocked out as an option and Khilafah Rashidah should be the objective. This is because democracy is itself deceptive and self-destructive in addition to clashing on an intellectual level with the Islamic aqeedah. Democracy promises choice to the masses but only grants it to the powerful and deceptive in society (the majority, the rich, the populist) and it bestows the right to legislate to parliament in clear infringement on the role of the One and Only Legislator, Allah (swt). It unleashes the freedom to rebel against Allah (swt).
Democracy submits the populace to the whims of an assembly of humans whereas the Khilafah is the system that submits all humans to the unbiased law of Allah (swt), giving no benefits to any group, even if they make up the majority of the population. The right to choose the head of state is enshrined in the seerah and the first Khilafah Rashidah and accountability is wajib (necessary). The state has no fixed borders so it will work to unite the ummah and pull its resources together.
5. What is the role of Muslims outside Sudan?
The Khilafah provides real independence and the capability to break out of the international system that oppresses the many nations of the world. We will then have a model and a vision to share with others and build bridges and fight wars on that noble basis. If we establish the Khilafah system in Sudan, or anywhere else for that matter, this would start a chain reaction of change in other Muslim countries.
The role of Muslims outside Sudan is to expose the reality of Western democracy and of the plans and true intentions of Western powers. Hizb ut-Tahrir has produced a model derived via ijtihad to apply this system in the modern-day. Muslims, wherever we are, need to contribute to the revival of this ummah, making the case for Khilafah to unify this ummah and to project a practical model for a society that submits to Allah (swt) instead of the Western model of secularism.
This is the mission the Prophet (saw) left us with – to make Islam the dominant deen and spread its justice to all people.
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ
It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the Deen of truth to manifest it over all Deen even if those who associate others with Allah dislike it [As-Saf: 9].