Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations in Beirut has published a new book that sheds light on the experience of the Islamic student movement in Palestine through focusing on the Islamic Bloc as one of the biggest, oldest, most effective and widespread movements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The medium sized 165-page book is entitled “The Islamic Student Movement in Palestine: The Islamic Bloc: A Case Study” and is authored by researcher Dalal Bajes. It starts with a historical background study of the Islamic student movements in the Arab world, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Then, it introduces the Islamic Bloc highlighting its establishment, stages of development and deployment, and the characteristics of every stage. The book points out that the Islamic Bloc started to operate under this name in 1978/1979, almost six years after launching Birzeit University, the first in Palestine. The Bloc soon topped student councils in most Palestinian universities and institutes since the early nineties.
The book also explains how the Islamic Bloc develops its students; politically, spiritually, culturally, and socially. The Bloc provided security education for its followers held in the Israeli prisoners. The book also talks about the Bloc’s relationship with the mother Islamic movement (i.e., Hamas), with universities administrations and other student blocs besides its base and governmental institutions over different periods.
This book presents a critical view of core issues affecting the Islamic Bloc, such as its rhetoric, its vision for the concept of Shura, and its priorities, in addition to its perception of the woman and her leading role. It also asks whether the Islamic Bloc has succeeded in achieving its set goals. Moreover, the book examines the formulation of collective identity of the Bloc’s followers.
The book gains its importance from addressing a topic that, despite its significance, has not been studied sufficiently. Indeed, the Islamic student movement represents the roots of Hamas movement in Palestine. It also represents the young age group that adopts the movement’s policies and defends them, it is the most active segment on the Palestinian arena on the different political, cultural, and social levels.
Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies & Consultations, 7/12/2012
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