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Mahmoud Muhammad Taha

Mahmoud Muhammad TahaBorn: c. 1909
Birthplace: Rufaa, Sudan
Died: 18-Jan-1985
Location of death: Khartoum, Sudan [1]
Cause of death: Execution
Remains: Buried (flown to undisclosed location by helicopter and buried in secret)

Gender: Male
Religion: Muslim
Race or Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Religion, Activist

Nationality: Sudan
Executive summary: Progressive Islamic theologian

Co-Founder of the Sudanese Republican Brothers organization. After a period of seclusion and contemplation, Taha published an interesting approach to the theology of Islam. Early parts of the Quran were written by Prophet Muhammad in Mecca and were remarkably tolerant. But the later parts written in Medina change character, and advocate violence against nonbelievers. Both Sharia (traditional Islamic law) and much of Islamic thinking is based on this second half. Taha felt that the Medina portions, while valid, were intended to be addressed to the situation at the time, and that the more important parts for modern society were those written in Mecca. He quotes a particular hadith, "Islam started as a stranger, and it shall return as a stranger in the same way it started." Taha's moderate beliefs stand in stark contrast to Sayyid Qutb, who has had a greater effect on jihadists. He was hanged in 1985, largely at the instigation of Sudanese President Jaafar Nimeiri.

[1] Publicly hanged at Kober prison, Khartoum.

Father: Muhammad Taha (d. 1920)
Mother: Fatima bit Mahmoud
Daughter: Asma (spent 9 months imprisoned)

    University: BS Engineering, Gordon Memorial College (1936)

    Sedition 1946
    Sedition 1948
    Heresy convicted in absentia (1968)
    Held Prisoner Kober Prison (Sep-1983 to 19-Dec-1984)
    Heresy 7-Jan-1985
    Sedition 7-Jan-1985

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