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In Search of “Lions and Hawks”

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Abū Muḥammad al-Maqdisī’s Palestinian Identity

image of Die Welt des Islams

Abū Muḥammad al-Maqdisī (b. Barqā, West Bank, 1959), is one of the most influential radical Islamic ideologues alive. Considering his Palestinian origins, occasional references to Palestinian issues throughout his writings and the more recent focus in his work on radical groups in the Gaza Strip, some scholars and commentators assume that his Palestinian identity is an important factor in his ideology. I argue instead that while there is indeed some evidence pointing to a soft spot for Palestinian issues in al-Maqdisī’s work, he lacks a strong Palestinian identity and clearly favours the umma (the world-wide Muslim community) over Palestine in his writings. His more recent focus on events in the Gaza Strip as well as his earlier references to the Palestinian question should be seen in the broader context of his efforts to focus on areas where both daʿwa (calling people to Islam) and jihad can be legitimate, effective and fruitful.

Affiliations: 1: Radboud University Nijmegen


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