By Amir Idris (auth.)
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Additional info for Identity, Citizenship, and Violence in Two Sudans: Reimagining a Common Future
Not only non-Muslims were subjected to slavery but also Muslims who were doomed to be members of a lower social class. Islam as a religion did not save many Muslims from the bondage of slavery and slave trade. The driving force behind the enslavement in the initial process of forming these kingdoms was the securing of economic and political powers through the use of slaves for the army and labor. The consolidation of the kingdoms’ political and economic power required access to sources of revenues.
They were motivated by economic interests rather than religious ones. In the beginning, they were more interested in expanding their economic territorial control than spreading the faith of Islam. In addition to intermarriage, and gradual introduction of Islam among the host communities, trading agreements were also used as methods of gaining the trust of these communities. It was not an easy process of consolidating their presence due to the existence of ancient political and economic institutions in the region.
1 These two interconnected historical moments produced competing political identities, which impacted the content and the structure of the postcolonial polity. In other words, the burden of history, namely the practice of enslavement during the initial formation of both Sultanate of Funj and Dar Fur and the British colonial policies of indirect rule were at the center of the political decline of the contemporary Sudanese state. In his work, The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars, Douglas Johnson states: The origins of the Sudan’s current problem predate the unequal legacy of the colonial system in the twentieth century.