Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-4rdrl Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-20T21:53:05.015Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

4 - Hizbullah and the Environment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 October 2023

Emmanuel Karagiannis
Affiliation:
King's College London
Get access

Summary

For almost four decades, Hizbullah has played an important role in Lebanese political and military affairs. The group mainly represents Twelver Shiʿa Muslims (Ithna ashariyyah), who constitute the second-largest religious group in the country. The very name Hizbullah derives from the Qurʾanic verse 5:56: ‘And whosoever takes Allah and His messenger and those who believe for friend – surely the party of Allah, they shall triumph’. According to Islamic theology, there are two parties: the Party of God (Hizbullah) and the Party of Satan (Hizb ul-Shaytan). Thus, Hizbullah is more than a party because it represents God on earth.

From its founding in the early 1980s, Hizbullah recognised Ayatollah Khomeini as the official marjaʿal-taqlid (highest-ranking religious-legal authority) of the Islamic Republic and the first faqih (Islamic jurist) after the Major Occultation. The 1979 Iranian Revolution had led to the overthrow of the Shah and the return of Khomeini from France. The founder of the Islamic Republic posed as a champion of Islamic revival to appeal to the wider Muslim world. However, his version of Islamism soon became a revo-lutionary force for the defence of Shiʿa rights in the Middle East.

Khomeini claimed the world is divided into two groups: mustakbirin (the oppressors) and mustadʾafin (the oppressed). The terms can be found in the Qurʾan, but Khomeini provided a political interpretation of them. He argued:

It is our duty to be helper to the oppressed and an enemy to the oppressor. This is nothing other than the duty that the Commander of the Faithful (Amir al-Muʾminin, namely Imam Ali) entrusted to his great offspring (that is Hassan and Hussein) in his celebrated testament ‘Be an enemy to the oppressor and a helper to the oppressed’.

Indeed, Khomeini viewed the Shiʿa as the representatives of ‘oppressed peoples’ of all religions.

Revolutionary Iran sought to export its ideology to Lebanon because the country had a large Shiʿi community and because its clerics maintained strong links with their Iranian counterparts. In the early 1980s, Lebanon was in the middle of a bloody civil war and the Shiʿa population largely relied on the Amal militia for protection. Following the disappearance of its founder, Imam Musa al-Sadr, en route to Libya in August 1978, Amal broke up into a pro-Syrian and a pro-Iranian faction.

Type
Chapter
Information
Why Islamists Go Green
Politics, Religion and the Environment
, pp. 100 - 124
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×