The Republican Brothers
A small but influential religious party in the early 1980s was
the Republican Brothers. A Sufi shaykh, Mahmud Muhammad Taha,
founded the Republican Brothers in the 1950s as an Islamic reform
movement stressing the qualities of tolerance, justice, and mercy.
Taha came to prominence in 1983 when he opposed Nimeiri's implementation
of the sharia as being contrary to the essence of Islam. He was
arrested and subsequently executed for heresy in January 1985.
The execution of such a widely revered religious figure--Taha
was seventy-six--aroused considerable revulsion in Sudan and was
one of the factors that helped precipitate the coup against Nimeiri.
Although the Republican Brothers survived the loss of its leader
and participated in the political process during the parliamentary
period, it has not been politically active since 1989.
Data as of June 1991