Islamism, Pluralism and the Palestine Question: The Case of Hizbullah

Journal article

Høigilt, Jacob (2007) Islamism, Pluralism and the Palestine Question: The Case of Hizbullah, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 34 (2): 123–136.

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The political vocabulary of the Lebanese Islamist party and militia Hizbullah in relation to pluralism exhibits an important self-contradiction. In Lebanon, Hizbullah has adapted to a process of national integration after 15 years of civil war, and appears as much more positive towards pluralism now than in 1985, when it made itself known officially. However, the Palestinian resistance struggle constitutes an ever more important part of the party's political and religious identity, and in this area the party relies on a vocabulary of absolute and religiously motivated conflict. Hizbullah has made the Palestine Question into a religious absolute at the same time as it connects this question to the issue of national unity in Lebanon, questioning the patriotic credibility of every Lebanese who disagrees with it on this issue. Consequently, a conflict-oriented vocabulary ‘colonizes’ Hizbullah's more tolerant and pluralist vocabulary within Lebanon, thus hindering a further development of pluralist attitudes.

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