Religion, National Identity, and Confessional Politics in Lebanon: The Challenge of Islamism

Overview

Tracing the rise of Islamism in Lebanon and its attempt to Islamize society and state by the reverse integration of society and state into the project of Islamism, this book looks at Lebanon against a background of weak and contested national identity and capricious interaction between religious affiliation and confessional politics, and attempts to illustrate in detailed analysis this "comprehensive" project of Islamism according to its ideological and practical evolutionary change. The author ...

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Religion, National Identity, and Confessional Politics in Lebanon: The Challenge of Islamism

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Overview

Tracing the rise of Islamism in Lebanon and its attempt to Islamize society and state by the reverse integration of society and state into the project of Islamism, this book looks at Lebanon against a background of weak and contested national identity and capricious interaction between religious affiliation and confessional politics, and attempts to illustrate in detailed analysis this "comprehensive" project of Islamism according to its ideological and practical evolutionary change. The author demonstrates that, despite ideological, political and confessional incongruities and concerns, Islamism, in both its Sunni and Shi'a variants, has maintained a unity of purpose in pursuing its project: jihad against Israel and abolishment of political sectarianism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Highly recommended." - Choice

"Robert Rabil's Religion, National Identity and Confessional Politics in Lebanon: The Challenge of Islamism offers readers an extremely timely appraisal of Islamist movements in Lebanon. Relying on Arabic, French, and English sources as well as his own interviews with Lebanese elites, Rabil navigates the complex political history of Lebanon to form an unflinching, candid, and objective analysis of Lebanon's past, present, and future. The book will prove especially useful for anyone interested in understanding how and why Hezballah, the Shiite 'Party of God,' came to play such a determinative role in Lebanese politics. Rabil's work clearly explains why other Lebanese never managed to disarm Hezballah and place it under the authority of the Lebanese state. Instead of seeing itself disarmed, Hezballah managed to determine the fate of the whole Lebanese nation - bringing down governments, facilitating Syrian and Iranian penetration of the country, and sparking devastating Israeli attacks. Readers will also understand why Hezballah's role seems unlikely to wane any time soon, especially in light of the myriad divisions amongst those Lebanese opposing the movement." - David Romano, Thomas G. Strong Professor of Middle East Politics, Missouri State University and author, The Kurdish Nationalist Movement (2006)

"Robert G. Rabil's Religion, National Identity, and Confessional Politics in Lebanon is the most comprehensive, up-to-date comparative book on Hezbollah and the Islamic Association. It includes new revelations and insightful, sharp analyses based on a thorough reading of primary sources and key documents, some of which are translated in full with adequate footnoting and commentary. Rabil offers invaluable background information on the modern history of Lebanon and the workings of its political system. The book is breathtaking, easy to read, brief, straight to the point, enlightening, and revealing to both academics and policy makers." - Joseph Alagha, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230116542
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/16/2011
  • Series: Middle East in Focus Series
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert G. Rabil is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University. He is the author of Embattled Neighbors: Syria, Israel and Lebanon (2003) and Syria, the United States, and the War on Terror in the Middle East (2006). 

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Table of Contents

Greater Lebanon and the National Pact: The Elusiveness of National Identity
• The Confessional System Between Lebanonism and Pan-Arabism
• Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyah and Fathi Yakan: The Pioneer of Sunni Islamic Activism in Lebanon
• The Reassertion of Sectarianism and the Rise of Islamism
• The Islamists and the Political System: Al-Infitah and Lebanonization
• The Praxis of Islamism and Syrian Suzerainty
• The Takeover of Beirut: The Struggle for the State
• The Future of Islamism in Lebanon

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