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Hezbollah and their religious values

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Hezbollah's confrontation with Israel during the summer of 2006 showed a half-failure for the Hebrew State. It was worthy of a movement of great prestige in the Arab world. In addition, Hezbollah occupies a place more central than ever on the Lebanese political scene. At the time of writing this essay, uncertainty was lurking in the future of the current mode, in the facade of the force of an opposition within which Hezbollah played an important role. Thus, it seemed impossible to circumvent on the level of Lebanon. And it is also, more generally, in the whole of the Middle East.

Its capacity of harmful effect vis-a-vis Israel, its close links with Syria and Iran as days go by, make it a major actor where it is necessary to take it into account, probably more still in the years which come than today. The literature available in French on the subject is really not very abundant. If the figure of Nasrallah is, recently, well-known in the Occident, the movement itself appears rather obscure. More precisely, it is a question of seizing the nature of the movement into the minds of a very confused Western spirit.

Indeed, Hezbollah Muslims and more precisely Shiites are directed by monks, which lets one imagine them to be a religious bunch of people. But within sight of many armed actions, one would be rather tempted to say that it is about a military organization, even terrorist for some. At the same time, Hezbollah is integrated into the Lebanese political life, takes part in the elections: there would be thus tendency to naturally regard it as a political party. In what angle do we consider the nature of Hezbollah? Is it about a religious, political or military organization?

A thorough analysis reveals that these three components in fact are narrowly interlinked in the base of the movement (I) as in its actions (II).
Under Ottoman rule (1516-1922), the Lebanese Shiites were persecuted and discriminated. They were placed under the direct authority of the Sunnis courts, while they, as Christians and Druze had their own courses.
After the First World War and the end of the Ottoman Empire, the French wanted to incorporate the Shiites in Lebanon led by the Grand Maronites. They wanted an independent state under French assistance, while the Muslims considered Lebanon as a part of Syria, during the reign of King Faisal.

In 1919, armed clashes between Shiites and Maronites led to French intervention. In 1920, Shiites were forced to sign a document that held them responsible for the conflict and announced a Greater Lebanon. This oppression of the Shiites of Lebanon throughout its history spoke of a crisis of identity, which traced its origins to the execution of their eleven imams and particularly the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, paradigm Shiite suffering.

Tags: Lebanese political scene, Syria and Iran, political or military organization, Ottoman rule, French assistance, French intervention, Shiites of Lebanon, Ottoman Empire

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