Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Mark Amen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Abdelwahab Hechiche, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kathleen O’Connor, Ph.D.


Islam, Resistance, Hezbollah, Hamas, Umma


The recent conflict in Gaza between the state of Israel and Palestinians led by Hamas has again brought the question of Palestinian statehood to the attention of the international community. Religion has often been mentioned as a cause for the conflict between the two, as well as a reason for the perceived instability of the Middle East. It is within this frame of reference that this study takes place. This study attempts to use this emergence in current events as the starting point for the interaction between religion and resistance movements, examining the incorporation of Islamic doctrine into the actions towards Israel of the resistance movements Hamas and Hezbollah. In an attempt to determine the incorporation of Islam into resistance movements, this study will undertake case studies on two leading Islamic resistance movements, Hamas and Hezbollah. The Islamic doctrine to be investigated in these studies is that of the Umma, the worldwide community of Muslim believers. These case studies will examine how the doctrine of umma affects the two resistance movements, as well as variations in its interpretation in the two movements. This will allow for both an understanding of religious influence in resistance movements, but will also examine the differentiation of understanding of doctrine in Islam, as Hamas is primarily a Sunni organization, while Hezbollah is primarily Shiite. In this, a greater understanding of each of these concepts and their interaction will be gained.