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Brothers in Arms: How Palestinian Maoists Turned Jihadists

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At the beginning of the 1980s, the idea of armed jihād against Israel was not only promoted by renegades from the Muslim Brothers in the Gaza strip, but also by former Maoists of Fatah in Lebanon. After the pull-out of most PLO-fighters from Beirut in 1982, a group around its spokesman Munīr Shafīq formed the Brigades of Islamic Jihad which were subsequently responsible for attacks in Israel. In a posthumously published booklet, two activists explained their reasons for their turn from Maoism to Islamism. The following article exposes the activists' trajectory and the stages of their ideological and religious conversion. According to their own narration, the former Maoists at first came to the conviction that Islam was a factor for mass mobilization and then individually adopted Islam to become practising Muslims.

Affiliations: 1: Beirut


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