The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement HAMAS

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement HAMAS

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HAMAS is the Arabic acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement (Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyya), an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) movement that originated in Egypt in 1928. The MB was not politically active in Palestine and Jordan until rather late; it focused on building an impressive social, religious, educational, and cultural infrastructure in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

HAMAS was legally registered in Israel in 1978 by Shaikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement's spiritual leader, as an Islamic Association by the name Al-Majma al-Islami, whose religious preaching and social work widened its base of supporters and sympathizers. When the MB opted for large-scale militancy by creating HAMAS, with the aid and encouragement of Israeli authorities, it appeared as a counterweight to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). HAMAS began as an underground movement, but with the first uprising (intifada) in 1987, it became public and emphasized its Palestinian character and patriotism. It professed to be not just a parallel force but an alternative to the almost absolute control of the PLO and its factions over the Palestinians in the Territories. In August 1988, HAMAS published the Islamic Covenant (its ideological credo), which presented its policy against both Israel and the national movement of the PLO.

Chapter.  4531 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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