The Challenge of Islamism and Its Model of the Palestinian National Identity (1987-2006)


The Palestinian national identity, as well as national movement, have experienced significant changes and passed through serious crises as a result of revolts, wars, occupation, uprisings and, finally, a failed peace process following Oslo Accord. Such destabilizing huge events have resulted in vast indecision and ambivalence that had debilitated once dominant forms of secular nationalism and paved the way for new collective identities, namely Islamic, to emerge. This study was intended to explore Palestinian endeavors to establish a national identity and an independent state in Palestine. Focus will be on the Palestinian cause and the role of Islamism in the construction of Palestinian national identity. Hamas provides a case study as Islamism utilizes religion as a socio-cultural and political system. Islam is employed as a means of constructing or maintaining identity. The researcher concluded that the Palestinian national identity and national movement developed not only as a product of external historical developments (e.g. Zionism, British Mandatory or even Arab and Palestinian secular nationalism), but also through directed efforts by the Palestinian intellectuals and elite, religious and otherwise, to provide the ethnic community with a Palestinian national consciousness.

Keywords: Islamism; National Identity; Nationalism; Palestine; Secularism; Zionism

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 18-36 (Download PDF)

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