In the late twentieth century, the Middle East has witnessed a rise of Arab nationalism and a resurgence of Islamic wave that is prominent in both its strength and scope. After being known as “the Switzerland of the Middle East”, Lebanon plunged into the law of the jungle. More specifically, the Islamic movement became the powerful resistance to the existent order, politically and socially that undermine the Lebanese state’s sovereignty. A Shiite movement such as Hezbollah in Lebanon is a clear example of this phenomenon. In the rural region of South Lebanon, 85% of the Shiites were over-represented among the poor working classes. Hezbollah began by the transition from groundwork preparation and being marginalized to not only having an organized institution based on norms and rules but also its members serve in both legislature and the cabinet, while simultaneously maintaining an armed militia. In this paper I will analyze what is particular about Hezbollah and what are the circumstances that made it possible for Hezbollah to become a local, regional and international player in the political arena. I will discuss the historical dynamics of the ‘Party of God’ emergence locally, regionally and internationally and its ideology.
The compatibility of Islam and Democracy is an issue that has been recently questioned by today’s society, given the situation in which we are currently immersed. Even though for the last fifty years one hundred countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the rest of the world have adopted a democratic model, there are certain countries mainly located in the Middle East and Africa that have failed to join these waves of democratization. These countries happen to have a dominant Muslim population, which is the reason why the compatibility of Islam and democracy is put into question.
In some Islamic societies, the question of the conditions under which Christians lived remains contested. One of the most strident disputes is the one over the writing of the past about the territories of the Ottoman Empire and how they dealt with the minority groups. In other words, the use of violence against those who were seen as outsiders of the boundaries of the Islamic territories was the endogenously selective memories of former atrocities as well as defeats. There are numerous political activists and statesmen who want to establish Islamic governments in states that are home to non-Muslims. On the one hand, this can provoke fear in the other religious minorities. On the other hand, this can be fervent optimism for others since the Muslims promised the same levels of both justice as well as security for their fellow non-Muslim subjects. This was the case in Egypt and Syria under the same Egyptian rule starting from the 1800s. In this paper, I will answer the following questions: How did the Ottomans sultans deal with the Christians in Egypt and Syria between 1830 and 1860? To elaborate, I will shed light on how the Christians were treated under the same ruler in the 1830-1860 and whether they faced the same destiny or not. I will argue that although the Christians in Egypt and Syria were under the same Ottoman ruler and there was an introduction of modernization policies to achieve equality between Muslims and Christians, there were other factors that made the Christians in Egypt and Syria face different consequences. I will first explain who are al-Dimmis, the positions and situations of the Copts under the rule of Muhammad Ali and the Christians in Syria particularly their massacres of Christians in 1850 in Aleppo and in Damascus in 1860.