Skip to main content

Adopting religion to meet political goals: the case of Hizbullah


Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter TerrorismJournal abstract

Hizbullah uses religion and Islamic jurisprudence in a unique and significant way to achieve pragmatic political and security goals. This illustrates the adaptive and flexible nature of Hizbullah as a political force. While Hizbullah has been identified in scholarship as a religious party, analysts and researchers have not clarified exactly how it uses religion to achieve pragmatic goals. This paper uses the Islamic and Shi’ite concept of taklif shari and ijtihad to show how Hizbullah justifies its political decisions and mobilises participation. Examples are given from three domains: political voting, war against Israel and participation in the Syrian conflict. It is shown that Hizbullah uses these tools creatively but also in an exploitative manner. This adaptive flexibility makes it difficult to predict future Hizbullah domestic and international actions.

You might also like: