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Hizb Allah (Lebanon)

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Hizb Allah (Lebanon)

    Political and social movement founded in the early 1980s seeking to transform Lebanon into an Islamic state. Main groups of supporters are the large Shii clans of the Bekaa Valley and Shii refugees forced by civil war into the slums of southern Beirut. Supporters strongly identify with the Palestinians and deeply resent Israel. Became the major political force in Lebanon in the 1980s. Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah is recognized as its spiritual leader, although he holds no formal office. Hizb Allah declared a jihad against the Western and Israeli presence in Lebanon in 1985 , seeking the termination of American and French influence in Lebanon, Israel's complete departure from Lebanese territory, the submission of Lebanese Phalangists, and the right of the people to choose their own system of government. Violent activities are carried out by its clandestine branch, Islamic Jihad. Is a major rival of AMAL for Shii support. Gained international notoriety for attacks against American, French, and Israeli forces deployed in Lebanon in the 1980s and for holding Western hostages. With Iranian assistance, has financed a wide range of social, economic, and media projects, including a television station. The party participated in parliamentary elections in 1992 , sweeping the Shii vote in the Bekaa Valley and producing a credible showing in the south. Within the parliament, it has organized the opposition movement, denouncing government negotiations with Israel. Has been credited with the departure of Israel from Lebanese soil in 2000 , ending a twenty-two-year Israeli occupation, and its members have been rendered national heroes.

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