Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Mark Amen, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Abdelwahab Hechiche, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kathleen O’Connor, Ph.D.

Keywords

Islam, Resistance, Hezbollah, Hamas, Umma

Abstract

The recent conflict in Gaza between the state of Israel and Palestinians led by

Hamas has again brought the question of Palestinian statehood to the attention of the

international community. Religion has often been mentioned as a cause for the conflict

between the two, as well as a reason for the perceived instability of the Middle East. It is

within this frame of reference that this study takes place. This study attempts to use this

emergence in current events as the starting point for the interaction between religion and

resistance movements, examining the incorporation of Islamic doctrine into the actions

towards Israel of the resistance movements Hamas and Hezbollah.

In an attempt to determine the incorporation of Islam into resistance movements,

this study will undertake case studies on two leading Islamic resistance movements,

Hamas and Hezbollah. The Islamic doctrine to be investigated in these studies is that of

the Umma, the worldwide community of Muslim believers. These case studies will

examine how the doctrine of umma affects the two resistance movements, as well as

variations in its interpretation in the two movements. This will allow for both an

understanding of religious influence in resistance movements, but will also examine the

differentiation of understanding of doctrine in Islam, as Hamas is primarily a Sunni

organization, while Hezbollah is primarily Shiite. In this, a greater understanding of each

of these concepts and their interaction will be gained.

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