Hizbu'Llah: Politics and Religion

Hizbu'Llah: Politics and Religion

by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb
     
 

Hizbu’llah is the largest and most prominent political party in Lebanon, and one of the most renowned Islamist movements in the world. In this book, Amal Saad-Ghorayeb examines the organisation’s understanding of jihad and how this, together with its belief in martyrdom, brought about the withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from Lebanon in

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Overview

Hizbu’llah is the largest and most prominent political party in Lebanon, and one of the most renowned Islamist movements in the world. In this book, Amal Saad-Ghorayeb examines the organisation’s understanding of jihad and how this, together with its belief in martyrdom, brought about the withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from Lebanon in May 2000.

Saad-Ghorayeb explores the nature of the party’s struggle against the West by studying its views on the use of violence against Westerners. Crucially, she also addresses the question of whether Hizbu’llah depicts this struggle in purely political or civilisational terms. The existential nature of the movement’s conflict with Israel is analysed and the Islamic roots of its anti-Judaism is unearthed.

The author explores the mechanics and rationale behind the party’s integration into the Lebanese political system, and sheds light on how it has reconciled its national idenitity with its solidarity with the Muslim umma.

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Editorial Reviews

P. Clawson
Saad-Ghorayeb has written the most detailed and scholarly analysis to date of the ideology of the Lebanese Shi'a radical Hizbu'llah (literally, Party of God. He presents Hizbu'llah's reasoning with understanding rather than condemnation. That said, he tackles head on the issues that Westerners may find least attractive in Hizbu'llah's politics. For instance, he shows that Hizbu'llah sees democracy as, in the end, a less valid form of government than the guardianship of the religious jurisprudent, as preached by the leader of the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Much of Saad-Ghorayeb's book is devoted to Hizbu'llah's struggle with the West and Israel. He explains its rejection of Western culture and its resistance to Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon and analyzes in detail its rejection of the very existence of Israel. Further, he explains that Hizbu'llah's anti-Judaism [is] as intrinsic a part of its intellectual structure as is its anti-Zionism, with Jews regarded as deceitful, treacherous aggressors cursed by God, following a counterfeit and deviant religion, to use its leaders' words. Saad-Ghorayeb's account is about ideology, with relatively little about Hizbu'llah's activities and structure. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above.
CHOICE
Foreign Affairs
The value of this book lies in the author's reconstruction of Hezbollah ideology as gleaned from interviews, party speeches, publications, and the daily press. Readers will find especially compelling chapters on the underpinnings of Hezbollah's anti-Western and anti-Israeli stance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780745317922
Publisher:
Pluto Press
Publication date:
12/20/2001
Series:
Critical Studies on Islam Series
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.47(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb is Assistant Professor at the Lebanese American University.

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