Hizbu'llah : Politics and Religion

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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 13.21mm | 408g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • glossary, index
  • 0745317928
  • 9780745317922
  • 1,071,599

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Introduction 1: Political Accommodation And Violence In Non-Islamic States 2 : The Islamic State And Democracy 3: The Concept Of The Guardianship Of The Jurisprudent 4: Islamic Universalism And National Identity 5: The Struggle With The West 6: The Resistance To The Israeli Occupation Of South Lebanon 7: Anti-Zionism And Israel 8: Anti-Judaism Conclusion Appendix 1: Miladi Equivalents To Hijri Years Appendix 2: List Of Hijri Months References Glossary Index
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Review quote

CHOICE 2002 OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC BOOK"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." --- P. Clawson, Washington Institute for Near East Policy in CHOICE"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." -- Foreign Affairs" A youngShiite scholar named Amal Saad-Ghorayeb has advanced what in Lebanon is a controversial argument: that Hezbollah is not merely anti-Israel but deeply "theologically" anti-Jewish. Her new book, Hezbollah: Politics and Religion" dissects the anti-Jewish roots of Hezbollah ideology. Hezbollah, she argues, believes that Jews, by the nature of Judaism, possess fatal character flaws. In her book, she argues that Hezbollah's Koranic reading of Jewish history has led its leaders to believe that Jewish theology is evil. (She) is hesitant to label Hezbollah's outlook anti-Semitism, however. She prefers the term "anti-Judaism," since in her terms anti-Semitism is a race-based hatred, while anti-Judaism is religion-based. Hezbollah, she says, tries to mask its anti-Judaism for "public relations reasons," but she argues that a study of its language, spoken and written, reveals (the) underlying truth." -- The New Yorker"Said-Ghorayeb's brilliant study on Hizbullah is a must read for any serious student of the Lebanese "Party of God." Most notably (the author) gives an exceptional persepective of Hizbullah's world vision." -- Middle East Quarterly"considers the political evolution that the Lebanese Islamist political party, Hizballah has undergone" -- Journal of Palestine Studies"Amal Saad-Ghorayeb's recently published and extensively researched study of the Lebanese Islamist group Hizbu'llah is a welcome addition to the literature on Islamist groups, especially given the present global climate& Saad-Ghorayeb offers us rare but thorough glimpse into "the political mind of Hizbu'llah," & [Saad-Ghoryeb] offers a more nuanced understanding of the organizatio's political thought that stresses both itsmoral consistency and its political flexibility, what she call it's 'artful' yet 'precarious' balancing act, in which political concessions are interpreted as 'calculated measures' designed to preserve its oveall intellectual foundation."--American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences
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About Amal Saad-Ghorayeb

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

30 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 17% (5)
4 50% (15)
3 27% (8)
2 7% (2)
1 0% (0)
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